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  • Living in Gili Trawangan as an expat.

    Hi guys!
    I am writing on this forum today because I would like to eventually move to Gili Trawangan, as I've been there and absolutely fell in love with this place. I'm from Montreal and have always thought I was living a well suited life for me. I was wrong and am now looking to move to Gili. I want people with a similar experience to let me know how it went for them: did you find a job? a home? how's living there being an expat?
    More specifically: is it hard to get a visa to live there? what kind of visa could I get? working visa, marriage visa? help!
    As I want to live there indefinitely I would like to start a family there if ever I meet the right boy. So if someone has done that, how is it? How's being pregnant over there, marriage with an indonesian?
    Share your experience!
    Thank you

  • #2
    Coming from Canada, you'd most likely have to sacrifice a huge amount in terms of career advancement and satisfaction, lifetime earnings/financial security, and expectations for what you would be able to give your child(ren) in terms of education and health care. But it depends on what's important to you in life. Every person is different.

    Getting a visa in the first place will be quite difficult. Do you have job skills and experience that most Indonesian nationals don't? If not, getting a work permit is practically impossible. There are other visa arrangements such as a "SOSBUD" (social cultural visa) but all cost money/need regular renewals, and they won't allow you to work, so you need to have income from some other source.

    Sorry to be negative but you need to know that your dream is not realistic for most people - a few really do sort through all the difficulties and end up "living the dream" but it is rare. If you want to be one of those determined few, start by browsing this forum in depth. Look at the "laws and visas" channel in particular to see what you are up against in terms of visas, work permits, marriage to an Indonesian, starting a business, and the like. Good luck!
    Last edited by Puspawarna; 03-09-15, 11:45. Reason: typo

    Comment


    • #3
      My suggestion to you, live in Lombok not in Gili Trawangan. You then can go to Gili T anytime you like. Living in Gili T will cost you more than living in Lombok, you must pay more for electricity, water, groceries due to extra transportation cost. Unless running a business, living in Gili T is not my choice.

      Health Facility -- Hospitals and clinics more or less provides similar service as other area in Indonesia. What you need is to find good and reliable doctor. For more complicated case, you can fly to Jakarta or Singapore, which Lombok has direct flight to everyday. Don't worry about getting pregnant, the most important is to master the language, and your baby delivery could be much nicer experience than having baby in your home country. I said this, because I experienced it. I have given birth in 3 different countries, all in 3 different continent.. the best is of course here, not because only the fact that I had a lot of help here, but because I can communicate so doctor and nurses understood what I wanted and they deliver the best they could do to accommodate.

      Visa, can be complicated, depend on agent that you use. I advise you to use an agent to deal with it in Lombok. If you apply in Jakarta, do it yourself.

      I am not an expat, but I would give you the sight of my expat husband about living in Lombok using my own words... "It is my dream to live in a nice villa by the beach, with the view of beautiful blue water and bright sunny sky everyday and not worrying about office politic."

      Running a small B n B should be able to cover your daily expenses.

      To me, as this place is where I grew up, I oppose to live there. I felt that living there is not good enough for our kids. I do not want the kids to grow up and being educated there (eventhou in the back of my head i kind of agreeing with him that kids may be happier there with all the island activities they can do, from cycling, horse riding, snorkelling, diving, and other stuffs that you won't be able to do in big cities).

      Lombok is a small island and to me is nothing much going on there except tourism and beach life. I don't even see any significant changes since I left 25 years ago.

      But, if this kind of life - lay back, beach, quiet - that you are looking for.. Gili maybe the answer.

      Comment


      • #4
        ehm, OP, since you are still very young, I would not suggest you to jump to lombok just because you fall in love with the island. i fell in love with disneyland when i went there , but it doesnt mean i should live there.
        i'd rather suggest you to work where you are now, work hard and spare extra money then take like 2 full months of vacation in lombok.

        lombok, bali (or any vacation places) are great for people with money. penniless people might suffer a lot staying in a place where they cant work because of legally , without income etc.

        i know some people from the forum who said that they want to move to Indonesia because of the beautiful land, or beautiful guys or girl they fall in love with, then in 3 months they switched their love toward something else /something more important ( parents, house, friends etc) . ... and they are older than you...

        not all 'moving to bali/lombok' story would end up like 'eat pray love' book.
        dont judge a book by it cover. judge it by it price. good books are expensive

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by worldtraveler View Post
          Hi guys!
          1. did you find a job?
          2. a home?
          3. how's living there being an expat?
          4. More specifically: is it hard to get a visa to live there? what kind of visa could I get?
          5. help!
          6. "As I want to live there indefinitely I would like to start a family there if ever I meet the right boy."
          So if someone has done that, how is it? How's being pregnant over there, marriage with an indonesian?
          Share your experience!
          1. No, I tried my best to find it. I never had any problems to find one in Europe but here in Indonesia it is a different story. ATM I am working for family business here in Indonesia.
          2. It takes time to adapt to a new environment.
          3. For me personally I can say: Difficult most of the time. Even with all the help from in-laws and my wife.
          4. It can be time and money consuming process VOA first (KITAS next). I am only aware of working visa and spouse visa and those two are the main ways to stay here in Indonesia.
          5. There is plenty of help on this forum
          6. This is a very nice dream I wish it come true for you.

          My suggestions are:
          1. Look for a job while staying in Montreal eg. you need to get some sort of job that will move you / delegate to Indonesia. Job is the key to live here.
          2. Read and think about what other people said on this tread.
          3. Come here for holidays, fell in love (if lucky enough), get married and then move here.

          Comment


          • #6
            I hope worldtraveler comes back to update us on her plans, but so often these questions are just drive-by postings and we never hear from the OP again. Sigh.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Puspawarna View Post
              I hope worldtraveler comes back to update us on her plans, but so often these questions are just drive-by postings and we never hear from the OP again. Sigh.
              Hehe when I read "drive-by" I instantly got this image in my head of McDonald "drive-trough" service.

              To the OP:

              I still remember the day when my mother-in-law asked me after 2 first weeks in Indonesia if I like it. My answer was simple: Please give me more time like 6-12 months then I can answer you this question. The reason why I said it was I knew exactly that in first few weeks you may can be charmed of your new place or amazing beaches, tropical houses, plants, animals, food ect. (so much advertised by travel agents in Europe and described as "paradise on Earth"). But after you have spent more than few weeks you may start seeing things different way as they were on the beginning. You may start missing those things that you have/had in your home country food, your home town, family and friends ect.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Missnaughty View Post
                My suggestion to you, live in Lombok not in Gili Trawangan. You then can go to Gili T anytime you like. Living in Gili T will cost you more than living in Lombok, you must pay more for electricity, water, groceries due to extra transportation cost. Unless running a business, living in Gili T is not my choice.

                Health Facility -- and your baby delivery could be much nicer experience than having baby in your home country. I said this, because I experienced it. I have given birth in 3 different countries, all in 3 different continent.. the best is of course here, not because only the fact that I had a lot of help here, but because I can communicate so doctor and nurses understood what I wanted and they deliver the best they could do to accommodate. .
                In my case It was totally the opposite experience, but of course probably because I am the foreigner one and my husband the local one. I almost lost my life when I had my child and I had a terrible experience, beside she was born with 1,5 kg so it was a very tough experience for me or for all of us, nothing to say that for my local husband who doesn't know another level of medical care probably was ok, but for me it was very different situation........... We spend more than 3 months on hospitals and it was a tough experience....Of course if everything goes well, giving birth can be a great experience almost every where but when there is health problems it is another history......
                I experiment exactly the opposite of you, even when I manage on bahasa indonesia, that time was not very good and hard to comunicate and so far from my family and friends, of course even having my husband family supporting us it was not the same experience I could have had in my own country with my own family and friends, I was very alone and with a terrible lack of knowledge and experience (it was the first time)..........
                Overcoming poverty is no a gesture of charity is an act of justice the protection of a fundamental human right to dignity..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Worldtraveler

                  Some valid points posted already in comments re visas, work ops etc ( the only option for expats work wise are at the dive shops and even they are limited - otherwise starting a small biz is the only other way)

                  It takes a special mindset to make it work in Gili T (and other small islands in Indo). Its a great place to live as long as you can accept the limitations of small island living.

                  Some of the comments are generalizations but Ive been living in Gili T for over 10 years so drop me a PM and I'll give you all specific details

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Puspawarna!
                    I am aware that there are a lot of sacrifices to make if ever I go to live in Indonesia. The thread I started is really just to develop an idea of what it would be like to live there. Before I make the big move, I am planning on going there for a longer trip to see how I react. Truth is, I always thought I was a city girl and that Montreal would stay forever my hood, but it turns out I found a place that makes me feel more like home, even if the general comfort is lower there and I don't even speak the language (yet). I am looking to find a job that would facilitate my entry to Indonesia, such as teacher (Would they need english teacher?) or maybe in the hospitality area (opening an B n B or something). Again, this is the first draft of this process. Thank you for your advice and I will dig further into this forum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Missnaughty View Post
                      My suggestion to you, live in Lombok not in Gili Trawangan. You then can go to Gili T anytime you like. Living in Gili T will cost you more than living in Lombok, you must pay more for electricity, water, groceries due to extra transportation cost. Unless running a business, living in Gili T is not my choice.

                      Health Facility -- Hospitals and clinics more or less provides similar service as other area in Indonesia. What you need is to find good and reliable doctor. For more complicated case, you can fly to Jakarta or Singapore, which Lombok has direct flight to everyday. Don't worry about getting pregnant, the most important is to master the language, and your baby delivery could be much nicer experience than having baby in your home country. I said this, because I experienced it. I have given birth in 3 different countries, all in 3 different continent.. the best is of course here, not because only the fact that I had a lot of help here, but because I can communicate so doctor and nurses understood what I wanted and they deliver the best they could do to accommodate.

                      Visa, can be complicated, depend on agent that you use. I advise you to use an agent to deal with it in Lombok. If you apply in Jakarta, do it yourself.

                      I am not an expat, but I would give you the sight of my expat husband about living in Lombok using my own words... "It is my dream to live in a nice villa by the beach, with the view of beautiful blue water and bright sunny sky everyday and not worrying about office politic."

                      Running a small B n B should be able to cover your daily expenses.

                      To me, as this place is where I grew up, I oppose to live there. I felt that living there is not good enough for our kids. I do not want the kids to grow up and being educated there (eventhou in the back of my head i kind of agreeing with him that kids may be happier there with all the island activities they can do, from cycling, horse riding, snorkelling, diving, and other stuffs that you won't be able to do in big cities).

                      Lombok is a small island and to me is nothing much going on there except tourism and beach life. I don't even see any significant changes since I left 25 years ago.

                      But, if this kind of life - lay back, beach, quiet - that you are looking for.. Gili maybe the answer.
                      Hi Missnaughty!
                      Thank you for taking the time to answer to my thread. Wow! You have given me a lot of useful information that I didn't know. It is reassuring to see that, for example, pregnancy is a good experience in Indonesia. It was one of my worries. I can understand that you seek for something more than what your hometown has to offer you, this is why I am looking to quit mine. I think we all have our own idea of what home should be. I will keep in mind everything you told me, especially for the B n B advice! It is something I had thought about for a job. Thank you very much!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by naughtygab View Post
                        ehm, OP, since you are still very young, I would not suggest you to jump to lombok just because you fall in love with the island. i fell in love with disneyland when i went there , but it doesnt mean i should live there.
                        i'd rather suggest you to work where you are now, work hard and spare extra money then take like 2 full months of vacation in lombok.

                        lombok, bali (or any vacation places) are great for people with money. penniless people might suffer a lot staying in a place where they cant work because of legally , without income etc.

                        i know some people from the forum who said that they want to move to Indonesia because of the beautiful land, or beautiful guys or girl they fall in love with, then in 3 months they switched their love toward something else /something more important ( parents, house, friends etc) . ... and they are older than you...

                        not all 'moving to bali/lombok' story would end up like 'eat pray love' book.
                        Hi naughtygab

                        I understand what you are saying, and this is why I am saying that this is the very first step of this process that may not happen. Before I make this huge decision, I will visit Indonesia again to be sure that this is the life that is suited for me. And if ever after being sure and making the big step I find out this isn't it: I find a new place!
                        Hated the "eat pray love", but loving the idea of quitting my hometown and moving into the only place I've ever visited that made me feel so comfortable.
                        Thank you for answering my thread!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SMALLWORLD View Post
                          1. No, I tried my best to find it. I never had any problems to find one in Europe but here in Indonesia it is a different story. ATM I am working for family business here in Indonesia.
                          2. It takes time to adapt to a new environment.
                          3. For me personally I can say: Difficult most of the time. Even with all the help from in-laws and my wife.
                          4. It can be time and money consuming process VOA first (KITAS next). I am only aware of working visa and spouse visa and those two are the main ways to stay here in Indonesia.
                          5. There is plenty of help on this forum
                          6. This is a very nice dream I wish it come true for you.

                          My suggestions are:
                          1. Look for a job while staying in Montreal eg. you need to get some sort of job that will move you / delegate to Indonesia. Job is the key to live here.
                          2. Read and think about what other people said on this tread.
                          3. Come here for holidays, fell in love (if lucky enough), get married and then move here.
                          Hi SMALLWORLD

                          Thank you so much for answering so clearly to all of my questions!
                          For the job, like I said, I am looking for working fields that would allow me to find a job over there. When you say that it is difficult to live there as an expat, what do you mean? I am very curious. Thank you for your wish and I will keep you up to date with my process!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Puspawarna View Post
                            I hope worldtraveler comes back to update us on her plans, but so often these questions are just drive-by postings and we never hear from the OP again. Sigh.
                            Don't worry Puspawarna, I will update you guys on my plans!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SMALLWORLD View Post
                              Hehe when I read "drive-by" I instantly got this image in my head of McDonald "drive-trough" service.

                              To the OP:

                              I still remember the day when my mother-in-law asked me after 2 first weeks in Indonesia if I like it. My answer was simple: Please give me more time like 6-12 months then I can answer you this question. The reason why I said it was I knew exactly that in first few weeks you may can be charmed of your new place or amazing beaches, tropical houses, plants, animals, food ect. (so much advertised by travel agents in Europe and described as "paradise on Earth"). But after you have spent more than few weeks you may start seeing things different way as they were on the beginning. You may start missing those things that you have/had in your home country food, your home town, family and friends ect.
                              Hi SMALLWORLD again!
                              I think there are always things that you could miss from home. I know that if i moved to Indonesia, I'd miss my parents and other little stuff from Montreal.. But overall I am so sure that this town is not the place for me to live that these things would easily be replaceable by things I love more in my new home (except for my parents, of course, who would come and visit me)
                              If you can and have time, I would much appreciate if you told me about your whole experience of moving and the reason why you chose Indonesia.
                              Thank you

                              Comment

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