While Bali tourism remains on pause, some of us are forced to resume business and leisure travel despite continuous spikes of COVID-19. How will these newly adopted behaviors and traveler expectations shift your overall experience on the island of Bali?
Since the start of the pandemic, many people have become quite irritable with the new types of behavior some visitors display. You will see them without masks waltzing through Kuta mall or dancing about in Canggu as if they were the stars of “Swan Lake” or “Singing in the Rain”.
This behavior can also be seen at your nearest warung, local café, or some other establishment, not only by visitors but locals too.
And as a result, cases are spiking everywhere while the majority of us keep our distance and try to hold onto our sanity.
Now, if you are caught without a mask, you can expect a whopping $7 fine. No cash? That is okay, you have the option to do 20 push-ups instead and for those not wearing your mask properly, you can get away with just 15 push-ups.
Tourists in Bali are punished with push-ups for not wearing masks. pic.twitter.com/0ykb1lKjYf— Kgoshi Ya Lebowa (@Marcellomj) January 20, 2021
The planner without a budget
Most travelers without a travel budget seek to experience Bali’s magic in total bliss and without distraction. Seeking Luxury accommodations more suitable in the areas of sightseeing to not waste precious travel time to the sites. These are the manufactured Hotel resort areas. You could be absolutely anywhere.
Typically, they are not interested in beaches, water sports, hiking etc. Their trip is purely for relaxing around the pool along with a little sightseeing. They are simply looking to enjoy a wonderful holiday without the worry of extra cost.
Due to popular demand, Nusa Dua is a prime choice for those who like getting pampered inside luxury hotels. But, you should understand that certain sights and activities are best done from certain areas.
As an example a couple said “We have booked 2 weeks in Nusa Dua and are avid scuba divers” to which the reply was “couldn’t have chosen a worse place”. I dive and the wife likes to snorkel. We go to Amed, Pemuteran and the Gilis. Amed is a good 3hrs drive from DPS/Nusa Dua.
Wannabe local avoiding Bali tourism
Living like a local in Bali might mean renting a villa in Canggu, Seminyak, or Ubud. You will want to spend more time wandering the streets rather than following carefully planned itineraries.
And, since you will be living like a local in Bali, your monthly budget should actually be less than what you’re used to spending back home.
Even if you only have a week to spare for your holiday or vacation, there are a few very simple and easy steps you can take to experience how locals really live.
1. Be an early riser
2. Read the local newspaper or browse local websites and attend local events
3. Walk to a local grocery store or market and shop or jog to a park
4. Frequent the same warungs and shops as locals do, learn a few Indonesian words and then make an effort to talk to people.
5. Talk and be friendly with locals, ask silly questions as well as serious ones, and don’t pretend to understand something when you don’t
The hopeless romantic
The adrenaline junky
The basic tourist
Their travels consist of Itineraries! Selfie Sticks! Tours! Social media will be littered with their mundane travel events proving they have been there and done that. They are everywhere and usually roam the streets of Kuta in packs of 6. They’ll most likely return home with sunburns, Bali hair braids, and a Straight Outta Bali t-shirt.
Travel goals may include: eating a Suckling Pig at Bikini Restaurant, a hike through Campuhan Ridge Walk, and then capturing the perfect selfie at Ubuds Monkey Forest. Off the beaten path? Nah, it’s more like “latest catwalk pose” #goexplore #funtodolist #doyoutravel or the newest trendy “make your friends jealous” hashtag of the week.
Within the first hour they will have mentioned Yoga at least 27 times and airdropped you at least 7 of their top 10 yoga and meditation books. But it doesn’t stop there, before you know it, you know everything about this person, starting from their favorite yoga mat and vegetarian dish to how their last lover abandoned them prior to them finding themselves in Bali.
Travel goals may include: Becoming a yoga instructor, mastering the yoga sleep pose, avoiding gluten, and piercing their nostril after getting the 7 chakras tattooed on their back in hopes of opening their mind, body, and soul.
The digital nomad
What’s in their Bag
- Lap Top
- Copy of the 4hr Work Week
- Extra Battery Chargers
- External hard drive
- Collar Shirt & Board Shorts
- Camera Gear
- WiFi /Hotspot
- Work Space
- Centralized Home
Their first words you hear from them will be, do you have Wi-Fi? How fast is the Wi-Fi? Is there Wi-Fi here? Can you give me the Wi-Fi password? The key to life is most likely somewhere in their backpack. After publishing their next big blog about how to travel the world on $5.00 a day, you can bet they’re listening to an audiobook of the 4hr Work Week.
Then they’re off to Uluwatu for a sunset surf session while documenting everything along the way with a follow me drone and full arsenal of camera gear. Their office consists of a laptop, headphones, and a hotspot that allows them to work anywhere that offers them a productive work/life balance.
Even though they’re minimalist, if you ever need anything, and when I say anything. I really mean anything, ask a backpacker for it. If they don’t have it, well they’re not a backpacker. It’s as simple as that. But, they’re easy to find, well because they carry these large packs with spoons and tin coffee mugs dangling from it.
Their Bali bucket list includes places like Mount Kelimutu, Mount Rinjani, or Mount Bromo, and they’ll be living in their tent equipped with Wi-Fi and a portable espresso machine somewhere off the grid.
Their travel motto is probably something like “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”― Susan Sontag. They will be the first ones to say hell yeah to jumping out of a plane at 13,500 feet, and you will most likely find them at Ulu’s lineup waiting for the wave of the day, or rappelling 100ft down to the belly of a gorge at Sambangan.
Bali might just be the SE Asian version of Vegas when it comes to honeymooners and weddings and by far one of the most common types of visitors you will run into here besides surfers. They’re the easy to find because well, they travel in pairs, they are still holding hands, and capturing every moment together on film.
The endless summer for life brah
The wannabe travel writer
Should I stop writing about my travels altogether? Are there too damn many of us? And is travel writing responsible for the ruination of countless hidden gems (another: “best-kept secrets”), buzzing eateries, lands of contrast, and those breathtaking and must-see places that time forgot? Nah, I’ll just keep writing for now.
What kind of traveler are you?
A)Those Who Love to Plan, or Those Who Don’t
B) Those who seek thrills or those who prefer to be quarantined hotel-homebodies
C)Those that care about humanity or those who frankly don’t give a damn.
D)Those who check on friends and neighbors or those who choose to be end of the world pandemic drifters?
E)Does it really matter?