Making Compromises In Bali

I’m very thankful for the free life that I get to live. But it doesn’t come without compromises. In exchange for being able to work from a beautiful place at the other side of the world and enjoying the beautiful surroundings, there are also less glamorous sides to it – like calls that go long into the night. I think living a happy life is all about thinking about priorities and where you are willing to make compromises.

Video Transcript

Now it’s time to head to the gate. Our flight should be boarding soon. We sit pretty much at the back of the plane. So we’ll try and be there early enough.

Seems to be the right time to leave Hong Kong – it’s raining today. We’ve seen quite a bit. Had a lot of good food, met a lot of interesting people and now we’re off to Bali. Probably gonna get some more sleep and fly with noise canceling headphones – absolute lifesavers.

And with that, I’m off.

Arriving in Bali to an unpleasant surprise

We’re off the plane. It’s awesome weather here – 32 degrees Celsius, 3 p.m. Just made it through immigration and customs and now we’re ready for Bali traffic.

I usually use this one credit card everywhere and it typically works but this time – no luck. I tried five different ATMs and four different cards. So I’m going into a shop and I’m trying to exchange Euros for Indonesian rupees.


And that’s how quickly you become a millionaire. I just go to Indonesia, 100 euros equals 1.7 million of the local currency.

One thing I absolutely love about Bali is these villas are pretty affordable. So we have a villa with our own pool, big table so we could host a ton of people. I don’t know, maybe we’ll get to know some people. There’s one bedroom and then we have a movie room back there and the second bedroom.

A gorgeous evening at the beach

We’re at KU DE TA which is one of the famous beach clubs here in Bali. Just a gorgeous evening, we made it here just about 10 minutes before sunset. Just ordered some food.

I think another benefit of not owning a home is that I get to enjoy so many different places. Like, I’ll probably not have come here a week early if I had a place.

I’ve come here the first time a year ago and I think I tried to come back over and over again. It’s just a good mix. You can still be functional while enjoying nature, feeling connected and the weather is awesome.

To be free, you must make compromises

I’m extremely fortunate to live a very free life. Not just because I own very few things but also because of the projects I work with and people I work with. I feel quite liberated in how I spend my time.

On the flip side though, there’s also a lot of structure that makes the unstructured part possible. So, for example, tonight it’s now close to 9:00 p.m. and I’m gonna be on calls with people in Europe and the US for the next two hours. That’s almost until midnight.

And that’s completely fine. I think life is all about making choices and setting priorities and figuring out where do you want to be free and where do you want to make compromises. And so for me, it’s completely fine to sit out here and be on a call for two hours now, even though it’s late night. Because I know that it enables me to spend a bit of time over here in this beautiful place.

Where are you willing to make compromises?

So if you’re taking one thing away from this, maybe think about where you are willing to make compromises and where you want to be free or where you want to set your first priority. Think about your priorities in general and if they are aligned with what you really want to do or if there’s any reason to adjust them.

Close to midnight I just finished my last call, now I’m headed to bed. I’m actually really looking forward to tomorrow because it’s the first day in almost two weeks where pretty much my day’s open. There’s no meetings, no travel, no conference. And I’m just gonna be working, working, working, catching up. There’s a ton of emails that I need to read.

Then of course, also exploring Bali, getting some nice food and settling in. Finally getting over jet lag. Yeah, just super excited for tomorrow but now it’s time to go to bed and with that, good night.

You can listen to the audio version here: