Why are you here?
I have come across many people in Bali. From well-off individuals to surfers on a budget and everything in between. However, I have found there is one thing that many have in common.
Some are here for business, while others are here for the love of the surf. However, the one thing many long-term individuals have in common is that they are searching for something that was not found at home. This could be a different world to hide in and drown their sorrows or to find themselves.
Many are here for business and do quite well. Others struggle and hope for the next best thing to come along. Many are here on a spiritual journey. Something different, something new, interesting, and enlightening.
I look at it like Hollywood.
Many actors and actresses have moved to Hollywood to make it big and end up serving tables. That is how I have seen Bali as of late. Yes, there have been many ups and downs with Covid, but this is something else.
Many young people end up in Bali to live the dream and instead get caught up in the struggle. Not wanting to leave Bali but having a hard time making ends meet.
I have witnessed several young people on social media trying to gain traction. Social media motivational content, Cryptocurrency trading, and many how-tos. Do this and make $400/hour and how to make $100/hour by following these easy steps. Many people try to figure out their life. Yet here they are in paradise; this should be easy.
It’s never easy.
While many come to Bali to follow their dreams it does get even darker. Many people end up on the streets so to speak. Not literally but that is how they feel. They fall into depression and or some sort of substance abuse.
They end up in the party scene and bounce around from place to place. For accommodation, they try to crash at a friend’s or stranger’s place each night. It is amazing how this does not only apply to foreigners but locals as well.
Many people come here from Java and try to make it. This was evident during Covid. When the pandemic hit, and the businesses closed, most locals or Indonesians went back to their hometowns. Bali became a deserted tourist attraction filled with many foreigners and of course the Balinese.
So now what?
Well, as people come and go, they realize that Bali is paradise and looks great on paper. The photographs are sometimes great snapshots of the many amazing places that litter social media. Yet many come on a shoestring budget just to get those shots for their social media. However, in many cases, the truth behind the photograph is hidden.
Is this the dark side of Bali?
There is more. Many young women turn to prostitution and end up in a much darker place than they ever thought they would be. This is where things fall to pieces. Afraid to go home, and afraid of failure, they struggle to find a job and make ends meet.
This applies to both foreigners and locals. Life is never easy. The next bit of real life is always just around the corner. So be careful, even paradise has a dark side.