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Tarek Kholoussy
Bali according to Tarek Kholoussy

Written by Maya Middlemiss
Cover photo by Niklass Weiss

I have traveled the world but couldn't stay far from Bali for long. It’s the closest thing I have to a home. The spectacular diversity and nature, combined with the warmth of the local people keep me coming back.

The Balinese welcome everyone. The local community is so welcoming and hospitable, yet rich in their own cultural traditions and faith. Nomads tend to quickly fall in love with the unique way of life on the island. While I recognize Bali has changed significantly due to the growing nomad community, I hope we can find a way to keep the Balinese culture intact. I'm fascinated by how the Balinese manage to live in such harmony with nature and other people.

Bali is where adventure meets tranquility. The island holds so much variety, there’s always something going on. Within the digital nomad communities, there’s a lot to choose from - knowledge sharing, activities in nature, and getting to know the local history. I love the camaraderie, the energy, the smiles. It reflects how I feel on the inside, which is why this place and its people inspire me so much.

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“It’s a magical choose-your-own-adventure playground with something for everyone.”
Tarek Kholoussy

There’s no such thing as a typical workplace, or workday. I used to be a New York City corporate suit-and-tie kind of guy, but here it’s shorts and sandals all year. My day might start with a workout, or a run through the rice fields past farmers at work through the early morning. Then I do some work at home or from a local café, catch up with a teammate, and make calls in the afternoon. In the evening, there are usually events or gatherings going on - if not, there are always people around to hang out and relax with. The digital nomad community here is tight-knit and welcoming.

The island offers something for everyone. Ten years ago, it was all about Ubud, when the Eat Pray Love crowd came to discover themselves, which was great for the economy. ‘Ubud’ literally translates to ‘medicine’, and it remains the go-to spot for spiritual rejuvenation, yoga and detox. In the southwest, you’ll find Uluwatu, the up-and-coming area for beaches and surfing. It's a bit more chilled and laid back than Canggu, which is full of cafes bustling with digital nomads. Choose where you want to be based depending on your lifestyle and how busy you want the area to be. Everywhere has its own unique atmosphere.

The whole island is accessible. Most nomads and I stay in Canggu, Ubud or Uluwatu, where you can walk nearly everywhere or hop on a GoJek (Uber-like scooter). You can explore the rest of Bali by car or a scooter, but keep in mind that a short ride often turns into a long trip due to heavy traffic. Make sure to also visit other islands! Recently, I went to Nusa Penida for a night. Local ferries make island-hopping fairly easy.

Even during the rainy season, Bali is beautiful. The weather is pretty consistent year-round in terms of temperature, but some people prefer to avoid the rainy season between October and February. You can always shelter from the rain though, and it’s beautiful here no matter the weather.

City guide

Nomad communities
Nomad communities
Nomad communities
The latest on local nomad groups and the best coworking spaces in the area.
Travel info
Travel info
Travel info
Check the country's Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements.
Health & safety
Health & safety
Health & safety
Local hospitals, things to watch out for and safety for solo travelers.
Culture
Culture
Culture
A guide for art, theatre & live music in the city.
Nature & outdoors
Nature & outdoors
Nature & outdoors
Activities in and outside of the city, along with weekend trip suggestions.
Living like a local
Living like a local
Living like a local
Accommodation, coliving spaces and everything you need to feel like a local.

Volunteer & connect

Reach out to the Nomads Giving Back team! They have a big team there, if not Tarek himself, who can tell you about the current initiatives you can contribute to.  Also, you can check out their Bali Giving Back Guide, which gives you a great way to meet nomads and locals in the area.

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