What living in a conscious community in Bali for a whole year has taught me
A reflection of living in a constellation of Burners, crypto maniacs, self-development junkies, and spiritual hippies in paradise.
Wild. Free. Dreamy. Juicy. Alive. These are the words that capture 2021 for me. I started off the year by overhauling my life. I left my cushy job at Google, moved out of Singapore, my home for the last 10 years, and began my digital nomad's life in Bali to go all-in on my startup, Warmspace. I didn’t know anybody. It was scary and also the best decision I’ve made in my life. The instinct to follow my heart has led me to meet my soul-tribe, experience some wildest dreams money can’t buy, have my breath taken away every day by glorious nature, discover many gems about myself, and heal lots of inner wounds. It felt like 5 years worth of peak experiences condensed into one.
It’s always in hindsight that the dots connected. The beginning of the year came with lots of emotional turmoil. Having no big paycheck coming my way and the pressure to grow my startup quickly kept me pretty anxious in the beginning. Being surrounded by many accomplished, type-A personalities can be inspiring but also triggering at the same time. I often identified myself as a self-development junkie, a spiritual and alternative hipster in my circle. But in Bali, everyone is all of that and much more. These are successful life coaches and entrepreneurs, people who make a living from teaching and embodying self-development. I also learned that the spiritual world is so vast beyond the little piece that I knew. As open as I thought I was, I began to see things that are far from my level that I didn’t connect with. I caught myself comparing, feeling not good enough, and questioning my identity.
Just like moving to any new place, it also takes time to build meaningful connections. I realized visiting and living in a new place are two completely different experiences. I’ve done lots of solo travels and have always been good at keeping myself company for one to two weeks. After some time in Bali however, I found myself craving more beyond the one-off connections I made. I wanted to be part…