Living in Canggu as a nomad
Canggu is a town in Bali, and one of my favorite places to spend a few months each year.
It's very popular with people working remotely, and the community is great. Weather is hot all year round (although it does rain a lot between November and March) and life is quite cheap. It's easy to meet friends, find places to work with, and explore the rest of the island.
I've been to Canggu twice and spent about 5 or 6 months in total. Here's a little recap of my daily life there :)
When settling in a new place, the first thing on my agenda is to find the best beach near me.
Here's a secret... The first time I came to Canggu (and Bali), I was disappointed by the beaches. They're perfect for surfing... but they're unswimmable because of the big waves, they're full of people, and SO dirty.
Also, I've been spoiled by Bermuda's beaches, which are insane.
I did find some very nice beaches in the south of Bali (more on that later) but they were a 2 hour drive away from Canggu. I could go there on the weekends, but I needed to find a beach that I could use daily :)
So after some research (eg driving around) I found the places below! A few empty & clean beaches in the Tanah Lot area. Too far of a drive for the regular Canggu-er, perfect for me (I love driving, and even if I didn't I'd be willing to do it for an empty beach).
Still unswimmable because of the waves, but there are some natural pools in the rocks that come up at low tide, and turn into little jacuzzi's because of the waves.. so fun to splash around in :) Plus there's not a person in sight!
I would come here every day after gym and to spend a couple of hours.
Driving a scooter
A scooter is essential in Bali, unless you wanna drop tons of money on taxis and be limited to the well-known places.
I'm saying that out of experience - I don't drive, and I spent my first 3 weeks in Bali without a scooter. Until my neighbor randomly decided to force me to learn on her bike :) It took me just 30 minutes to learn - literally - and I fell in love with driving. On my second day as a driver I drove to Tanah Lot in the rain, after a week I drove to Ubud (2 hours there and 2 hours back).
Now I've crossed the island from south to north and back, several times, and discovered some very remote and hidden spots that most foreigners have never seen :) I can drive for hours and rarely get tired of it.
The scooter is essential in daily life as well - everything is very spread out in Canggu (and Bali in general), unless you want to be walking 30min to 1hour everywhere, you need one. They cost about $40 per month for a basic bike (Honda Vario), and about $1.50 to fill the tank.
I can write an entire post about my scooter adventures in Bali (like getting "fined" by the local police...) but I will leave that for another time.
Canggu is famous for the food... Especially the breakfasts (which you can also eat for dinner). I'm not a big fan of the hipster places, I prefer the local indo food.
I end up eating out all the time here, since it's strangely cheaper than cooking at home. Maybe I just haven't found the real local markets. In any case - eating out is so good, and so cheap!! Especially the local warungs.
Pictured below: Gado Gado (in el Passo, my favourite spot); warung food (I ask for no rice), and poke (so good and so cheap compared to Europe).
Right next to my gym, there is a hidden but amazing restaurant called Warung Yess. I would usually have after-gym lunch here, costs about $5 per meal.
And let's not forget the fruit!! So cheap and so good. In middle picture you can see a giant papaya, a bunch of baby bananas, two mangoes and a snake fruit - all this costed $! And taster amazing of course.
Oh and one more thing... coconuts. Indonesia is the world's biggest coconut producer. They are huge - the biggest I've ever seen - and SO good! You can drink the water then eat the rest, and it's a full meal. I'd usually have this for breakfast. Costs from $0.75 to $1.50.
Work & coworking spaces
Bali is full of people working remotely, and it's easy to find places to work from. My favorite coworking space - Dojo - is here in Canggu. It's open 24 hours, it has a pool, the community is amazing and they organize events every day. I've made some great friends here.
When I'm not in Dojo, I'm usually working from El Passo, an awesome restaurant in the middle of the rice fields, picture in the middle.
Oh and they have CUTE ANIMALS! Beware of the cat though, he look like he's always planning something (either world domination or how to drink water from your glass).
Canggu is a great place to live but can get a bit boring. For me, there's not much to do other than eating, working, going to the beach, and trying to surf occasionally.
My favorite spot so far is Sekumpul, which feels just like Jurassic park - I wrote another post about that, click here to read it.
And as I mentioned earlier, the little peninsula in the South of Bali has the best beaches, so I would go there every other weekend. There's no black sand here, and even no waves in some places, since there's reef that blocks them - so you can actually swim :) You still can't relax though, since the rip tide is super strong and can take you very far out, if you're not careful.
My favorite is Nyang Nyang beach, difficult to reach but the wildest beach I've ever seen! Felt like a castaway on remote island, so magical.
Can't wait to come back :)