I’ve been hanging out in Bali as an expat for the past two months.
I fucking love Bali. It’s one of my favorite places, ever.
I fell in love with it two years ago when I came for the first time with my daughter, and spent four months here.
I love how it smells permanently of bonfires and incense here.
I love how you can often hear melodic chanting and the crow of roosters, drifting over the landscape at dawn.
I love eating all the fresh, colorful and artfully presented foods
I love drinking flat whites in the endless array of vibey cafes
I love how the humidity makes my skin feel all dewy and alive
I love the feeling of freedom and wind on my face as I scoot through vibrant green rice terraces.
I love feeling badass as I weave in and out of mad city traffic
I love that this place is called the Island of Gods.
I love how easy the living feels here for me.
I could literally go on and on about the things I love about this place.
To me, Bali is the perfect fusion of sacred and profane.
It’s rugged, it’s luxurious, it’s dynamic, it’s intense, it’s peaceful, it’s pure fucking magic.
Obviously, I can feel these things anywhere in the world because a feeling is just a choice, but there are certain places that just resonate with your soul and sensibilities, and this is one of those places for me.
I totally didn’t plan on this being a post gushing about how much I love Bali… but hey, who am I to judge the message?! Lol
What I was actually intending on sharing was one of the aspects of expat life, which I find to be very hilarious and so very arbitrary, which is Visa Runs.
Foreigners in Bali are allowed to be in the country for a certain amount of time for specific reasons, on Visa. Some expats get long term social visas or work visas, however, many expats just stay on visitor/traveler visas.
The visitor visa here in Bali is good for 30 or 60 days. At the end of both visitor visas, you’re mandated by law to leave the country.
The expat loophole maneuver is to fly off the island when your visa expires and then fly back in whereby you can acquire another 30-60 day Visitor Visa and begin the process all over again.
We’ve met expats here who have literally been doing this for years.
Yesterday our Mckenzie and I are expat loophole maneuver day. Lol
We flew off the island in the morning, landed in Malaysia, got our passports stamped, never even left the airport, then got on another plane and flew back to Bali where our visitor visas were renewed.
All-day long I was giggling to myself about how fucking funny and totally arbitrary this process is.
We flew for three hours to cross an invisible line, where we got some ink put on a piece of paper, and then flew three more hours back across the invisible line, to stay where we started in the first place for another 60 days.
Who made up these rules, and why?
It’s not like these countries don’t know exactly what all the expats are doing.
Wouldn’t it be easier if they just had us pay some money every month to stay, instead of flying all the way to a different country to get a stamp on a piece of paper?
I think about how non-sensical rules are all the time.
I used to feel rebellious against them when I was younger, but now that I know it’s all made up and totally malleable I just perceive them as funny rules of the dreamscape game which could literally change at any given moment in time.
One of my fave dialogues about the pure and utter “made-up-ness” of rules, is facilitated by Robert Scheinfeld in his book called Busting Loose From the Money Game. I’ve been recommending this book to my clients for years. So good.
In his book, he illustrates how humans LOVE to play games, such as baseball, golf, monopoly even. And if you take a close objective look at the rules to any game, you’ll quickly become aware of the fact that there’s no rhyme or reason at all.
For instance in baseball (which I think he uses as an example in the book) for what reason are there three bases and not five? Why three strikes and you’re out? Why nine innings? Etc…
The rules for any game are made up.
And if there is reasoning behind it, it’s all based on perspective which is entirely subjective.
Even though it may not feel like I can control the macrocosm of arbitrary rules, such as the visa requirements of Bali, I can control how I respond to them. I can control how I perceive them. I can control what I focus on, such as the endless things that I love about Bali and I can even choose to fall in love with the arbitrary rules, knowing that I am one with the Dreamer who dreamt them up n the first place. I can laugh and play with them, or I can fight and resist them. Both of which produce VERY different results, btw.
What I do have the power to do, is question the validity of the rules I have created for myself in the microcosm of my life, and I can choose new rules to play by if I so desire.
It’s wild how your perception of life shifts and morphs and changes based on the ways you choose to focus, what you pay attention to, and what you believe has power over you, or alternatively what you believe you have power over.
You get to choose.
Those are the rules you get to make.
And those rules that you create for yourself,
even though it may not seem like it,
effect the totality of the world you perceive.
NO LIMITS. JUST LOVE.
~ Chandra Nicole
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