Who am I talking to? Jason Buchanan and Sharon Keating

Originally from: Jason from Brisbane, Australia and Sharon from Dublin, Ireland

Arrived in Bali: March 2015           

Home in Bali is: Pengosekan, Ubud.  We’re just south of the central part of Ubud, living in a 2 Bedroom Villa within De Dalam Secret Nature, the same Villa complex that we first found when we first arrived in Ubud.  It’s a great location, central but we’re quite a way back from the main road so it is also quiet.

How long do you plan to stay? Just this year we finalised the opening of our business – The Juicy Effect – and so we plan to stay for a long time.  Bali and in particular Ubud is now our home.

What made you move to Bali? We first came to Ubud in 2010 and we remember joking about ‘maybe we should move here one day.  Ha ha, sure whatever’.  In 2015 we were living in Perth and the economy took a bit of a dive, and we started negotiating with our employers to work remotely as a bit of an experiment.  We did the digital nomad thing for a while, leaving every few months but always returning.  And didn’t leave.

What is a typical day here for you and Sharon?  Up early, around 5 to 5.30am.  We have a what we call our morning cleansing drink and do a bit of stretching and breathing before the day starts.  I still do a lot of work remotely for various projects and so my day starts around 7am.  Sharon is full-time on The Juicy Effect and is preparing for clients which are normally booked in for 9am onwards.

We regularly attend a 4pm Yoga Class at Yoga Barn or Radiantly Alive, and then dinner.  Oh and we have a bit of a habit of rescuing cats and we have 7 that we regularly feed and look after.

You recently set up a business in Bali. How was that experience? Do you have any advice on those considering doing the same? After hearing how trying it can be, the actual process of setting up the business was faster than we expected.  The thing that takes a long time is the KITAS process and it also took us a while to get the premises in order to be able to get things going.  We had a very good consultant who made life a lot easier, and that is the best advice I could give.  Get someone who knows what they are doing and is on the ball.  The rules regularly change and it is easy to get caught out.

What are you enjoying most whilst living here?  Can we say everything?   The weather is good, it’s relaxed, the Balinese are beautiful people, and there is plenty to do or not do depending on your mood.  The internet is much faster these days which makes things easier than it used to be.  We even enjoy the chaos of riding the scooter around!

What have you least enjoyed so far? Everything has a trade-off and of course being here means we don’t get to see some friends as often as we would if we were still home.  But given that everyone in Australia seems to come through Bali at least every few years, our friends seem to come to us.

What do you miss back home?  Apart from the friends and family, for me it’s the steaks and the wine.  If only Bali had a Dan Murphy’s equivalent!  Australia of course also has wonderful healthcare and schools and parks and beaches.  Lucky it’s only 5 hours away.

Have you experienced any “culture shock’?  We joke about the fact that we must have been Balinese in a previous life.  For some reason we were able to fit in pretty quickly.

How has it been being part of an expat community? Good, although most people we know are pretty transient who always seem to return back to their home country after a time.  There’s always new people coming through which means my jokes don’t get old.

What is the best thing you have done while you have lived here? Opened the business.  It’s something that was never originally in the plans, but now we are here we know we have done the right thing.

If you had to describe Bali in three words what would it be?  Infuriating and Wonderful!

What tips do you have to those looking at making the move to Bali: Keeping an open mind is the big one.  It all sounds great, living on a tropical island.  There’s a lot of development happening and the traffic is tragic at times.  But it’s certainly worth a stay and if you don’t like it, there’s always somewhere else.

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