I’m Back in Bali: My Home Away From Home (Away From Home)

It’s hard to believe that it’s actually been an entire year since my last visit to Bali. It honestly feels like I was just here. I suppose that’s the nice thing about returning to a destination over and over again. Things start becoming increasingly familiar, and for someone who’s spent the past four years traveling, and moving from place to place, any sense of familiarity gives me great joy and comfort.

In the past few years the island of Bali has become my home away from home (away from home). Ever since I left California in the fall of 2013, Bali has been a place that keeps luring me back.

cenggu rice terraces bali (1 of 1)

I first touched down on the island a few years ago, when I spent a month backpacking here in March of 2014. (I actually started this here blog during that trip!) After very unexpectedly moving to Jakarta a few months later, I went on my first ever (and much needed) solo trip to Bali in the fall of that same year. In 2015, I visited Bali twice: The first time on an amazing (but disastrous) trip that led me to the otherworldly island of Nusa Penida, and another that allowed me to spend an unforgettable few days photographing rice terraces and lounging in 5-star resorts with my dearest friend. Just last summer, I had the chance to spend two months living and traveling all around Bali.

And now, one year later, I’m back again.

rice terraces (1 of 1)

suluban beach (1 of 1)

It might come as a surprise, but Bali isn’t my number one travel destination in the world. I was actually very lukewarm about Bali for years. But clearly I’ve come around to this place. There must be a reason I keep coming back.

The food is great, the beaches stunning, the vibe mellow. But honestly, for me personally, Bali is a wonderful place to spend time in, especially as a longterm traveler or part-time digital nomad… or whatever it is I’m categorized as.

Most of my trips to Bali have been spent moving around from incredible location to incredible location. But last time I learned that mixing travel with full-time work wore on me fast. I swore that I would do things differently this time, which is why I spent my first few days in Bali apartment hunting. Glamorous, I know.

I’ve never been all that great at finding short term apartments in foreign countries. But this time around I actually did my research, found out the best Facebook groups to keep an eye on and, most importantly, I didn’t take the first place I looked at (why do I always make that mistake?).

street art canggu bali 8 (1 of 1)
My “hometown” for the next two months.
After looking at a handful of apartments in the Canggu area Aaron and I finally landed on what might be the perfect place for us. Call it a stroke of luck, but we answered an ad for a guy renting a bedroom in his villa. It turns out he’ll be out of the country for the exact dates we were looking for. And he just really wants someone to stay in his apartment. This place exceeds my wildest expectations. It has a private pool, an impeccably decorated open-air kitchen and living room and a bedroom overlooking the rice terraces. It’s also right in the heart of Canggu, a 2-minute drive from the beach and, best of all, we’re only paying the equivalent of $15 a night for the entire place!

street art canggu bali 3 (1 of 1)

Yep, we scored. We don’t move in until next week but I’m so excited. And in case you’re wondering how to navigate Canngu’s rental scene, I’ll be writing a whole post about it soon.

In the meantime, I’m happy to be living the simple life here in Bali. It’s the little things that make me happy about being here: seeing the rice terraces every morning when I wake up, heading to the beach for sunset beers after work, feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my skin as I motorbike around the city.



I don’t know what it is about this place, but I’m definitely feeling good about being back.

Where’s your home away from home?

About Justine

Justine Lopez is a California native who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust. In 2013, she set out on a yearlong round-the-world journey and never looked back. Since then she's lived the expat life in both Jakarta and Phnom Penh. She's now living and working as a freelance writer in Beijing. As she meanders her way through Asia she's always seeking out great vegetarian food, budget travel deals and amazing new travel destinations.

4 thoughts on “I’m Back in Bali: My Home Away From Home (Away From Home)

  1. Great post and gorgeous pictures. Every time I read about Bali, it creeps just a littler further up on my list of places to go. Will you get to travel to any new parts of Bali while you’re there?

    1. Bali is a wonderful travel destination. There are so many different places to visit so I feel like it really does have something for everyone. Yeah, I really want to see what central and north Bali have to offer. I’d love to do a volcano hike and see the coastal town of Amed up north, among other things!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge