July 22, 2024

The Rise of Digital Nomads in Bali 

What does a backpacker do when they run out of money?

These days, there are more options than ever for those wishing to stay on the road or make it their very way of life… Digital nomads are popping up all over the place. Many are just starting out and leaving their home countries for the first time in search of the famed laptop lifestyle, a promised land of easy money and working from beaches.

Whilst this oft-Instagrammed lifestyle is actually a thing of myth (sand and laptops don’t mix well), it is indeed possible to build an income online whether it’s through following in the footsteps of the original travel bloggers from times of old or going down newer routes such as trading cryptocurrency, drop shipping products from China or selling astrology courses online. Honestly; there are a MILLION ways to make money online…


Life as a digital nomad

In the past, the trailblazing hippies of the 70s travelled with a singular purpose; make it as far as possible, on as little as possible, as often as possible. Enterprising individuals stuffed their travel backpacks, or sometimes even an entire camper van, with textiles and shiny nicknacks from India and beyond which could be sold at festivals to enable the next adventure…

These days, many modern backpackers are genuinely making a killing, or at least a respectable living, whilst travelling the world. For some, it’s just another way to make more money to keep the road unfurling in front of their battered boots. For others, it’s a life and a living, with full careers being built in the warm glow of Macbook screens.


The challenges of a digital nomad

The biggest challenge perhaps facing newbie digital nomads and aspiring entrepreneurs is finding the balance between actually enjoying their travels and being in an environment where it’s possible to put in the hard work and the many hours that are required if you wish to truly be successful.

Backpacking entrepreneurs these days are all too often faced with an agonising decision – Suddenly you’re getting torn between choices, choices, choices. Should you join the hostel pub crawl, chat up the cute hottie in the corner and make a bunch of new backpacker friends or finish the assignment you’re working on? Both come with downsides and both could make you experience the dreaded FOMO… Truly, balancing work and play on the road is a real challenge.

Either you’ll be the employed but out-of-the-loop loser (usually you feel this way, rather than this being your reality of course) at the hostel, or you’ll have to dredge through the last of your work tomorrow with a pounding hangover. You’re f*cked if you do, f*cked if you don’t.

But where there’s a need, there’s a market. When hostels of the past were mostly catering to the raucous early-twenties bunch of gap yearers, the rise of the digital nomad hostel is changing the game.

Sure, digital nomads could always stay in normal hostels. But hostels intended for partying backpackers might not be ideal for doing your work efficiently. There might be noise or distractions, and some hostels don’t have desk spaces suitable for a full day’s work. (Don’t believe the stock photos – working on a beach is overrated, ergonomy is more important!)

But the biggest problem is the community. The backpacker peoples wandering around the globe are a welcoming bunch but almost all of them have the same things in common: they’re on a holiday and they rarely have any responsibilities. Many are students or on a gap year. Suddenly, you’re dropping into the middle of a different culture – you no longer speak the same language as your fellow travellers.

We stay in hostels FOR the community; to meet other travellers. What happens if you can no longer vibe with your community?


Digital nomad hostels

Digital nomad hostels are aiming to solve all these problems. Maybe you can have it all! A hostel with a chill space to get some work done, eat some good food and fuel up with great coffee. A hostel where you can meet your REAL community: digital entrepreneurs and freelancers from all over the planet. One of the hardest parts of being a digital nomad is always having to rock up in a new place and find friends. If you’re staying in a hostel where you can be sure to meet other digital nomads, the first hurdle of your problems has already been taken care of and more importantly, meeting people who have the same passions and ultimately the same drive as you – the freedom to travel forever if that is what you wish, funded by hard work online – it’s truly a game-changer which will fuel up your inspiration tank…

There are many digital nomad hotspots popping up around the world – Chiang Mai was the leader of the pack for a long while, Medellin is popular (but the parties make it hard to get much done), Madeira and Lisbon increasingly draw a digital nomad crowd (although this seems likely to change now that draconian new laws are coming into place to tax cryptocurrency assets) but perhaps there is nowhere in the world better suited to serve the digital nomad community than Bali…


Digital nomads in Bali

Yep, Bali, the Mecca of digital nomads. One of the world’s most famous (or infamous) holiday islands has turned into a digital nomad hotspot in the past decade. And the speed is only increasing. Bali’s reputation as a prime spot for laptop lifers guarantees that it’s one of the best places in the world to work, live healthy, create a community, and relax splendidly in your free time. The standard of living here is also very high in relation to what it costs.

Bali has a fantastic work-life balance, warm weather all year round (even when it’s pissing down rain), great food, friendly locals and awesome ex-pats, and tons of stuff to do. The Indonesian government knows this, too, and has been planning on a five-year digital nomad visa for those aspiring professional wanderers who want to make this paradise their home for a bit.

Now, how do you bring all this together?


Introducing… Tribal Bali Hostel

Introducing: Tribal Bali – the first purpose-built co-working hostel on the Island.

Nestled in between rice fields on a quiet side street, Tribal Hostel is the first custom-designed digital nomad hostel in Bali. It’s taken three years to build and has all the perks of a great backpacker hostel…

It’s located smack bang in the middle of Pererenan – the coolest area in Bali’s south coast as many ex-pats would agree – just five minutes from the nomad hotspot Canggu and a few hundred metres from the beach. The modern space features a big pool, games and a billiards table, a proper restaurant and a bar that serves iconic tribal tonics; posh and cheap cocktails.

Most importantly of all though, Tribal is a hostel designed for digital nomads by digital nomads. It welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs, broke backpackers and professional vagabonds from all over the world to work hard and play hard, meet their tribe, or just vibe and get some sh*t done.

The idea for the hostel was born out of over a decade of balancing travel and work on the road visiting hundreds of hostels, none of which were quite right…

Tribal is the home away from home for location-independent wanderers while still keeping up with the honourable traditions of the backpacker life and whether you’re new or old to the DN game, Tribal is a fantastic place to meet your tribe, share ideas and get some hustle done.

Tribal is the meeting point for travellers who also want to focus on work. Grind during the day, and head out exploring the nightlife of Canggu by night. Community is key at Tribal. The downstairs area of the hostel is a breezy open-air coworking space with a slick design and an airy feel.

During breaks from work, chill out around the pool area and hang out with your hostel mates over a game of pool. Even better, as the co-working space is popular with nomads from all over Canggu, Tribal is a prime place to be if you want to meet the long-term nomads of Bali, network, flirt, make friendships and get a lay of the land as soon as you touch down in Bali.

At the same time, many backpackers turned professionals appreciate having their own space. The dorm rooms at Tribal are not the stuffed-full kind that many older backpackers to Southeast Asia dread but the number of beds is low at 8, and each bed is equipped to provide as much privacy as possible in a dorm room. And for nomads craving even more peace, Tribal also offers private rooms if you meet somebody special and are looking for a little privacy.

As the popularity of digital nomadism grows, more and more hostels dedicated to remote workers are sure to pop up. Tribal is starting early in the game, making them the OG digital nomad hostel in Bali and one of the best co-working spots on the island!

If you’re Bali-bound or simply Bali-curious, check out Tribal on Hostelworld and snag yourself a spot in this truly unique hostel!


The author

Will Hatton has been on the road for over a decade, traveling to far flung lands in search of adventure. A keen writer, vagabond and long-term digital nomad, these days, he is mostly found chilling out down at Tribal Bali. Come say hey if you are in town!

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