Winter in Bali with Tribewanted.

Time to reflect!


On Jan 11th I wrote a blog post to let friends and family know why I was heading to Bali the following day. Check it out here.

Fast forward 11 and a bit weeks and I’m currently sat in Bandar Seri Begawan airport with just under 10 hours to kill before catching another flight to Dubai. This feels like the right time to reflect and re-visit some of the questions I was asking back then.

Can you run a business successfully from anywhere in the world? Can you make things pop in London whilst in a timezone 8 hours ahead?

Quite simply, yes you can.

David & Beth leading a workshop in our meeting room

Of course it depends on the nature of your business and your own definition of success but it’s definitely achievable. Our bamboo office for the winter, Hubud, was full of successful people who label themselves as digital nomads — a movement of location independent entrepreneurs and freelancers who need nothing more than an internet connection to get to work. We were on more of a co-workation which Liza summarises far better than I can here.

On a personal level, I got way more done in Bali (working smart, not hard) than I feel I would have done if I’d been in London. The time difference was sometimes a little inconvenient but a couple of late night Skype calls a week is a minor sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of things. In truth, being 8 hours ahead was actually a psychological advantage — I’d finished client work, wrapped up emails and scheduled everything often hours before anyone I knew at home had even woken up.

On reflection, I don’t aspire to be a digital nomad. London is home, but having the freedom to travel wherever and whenever you please (whilst sustaining a business to fund having a lovely time) is definitely the goal. One thing is for sure — I’ll never go back to a world where I need to ask for permission to take holiday. 24 days a year saywhaaaat?!

Was it a good idea to escape the UK winter and work from Bali?

View from the office, not too shabby.

YES! Bali is a beautiful island full of amazing people and Tribewanted was absolutely the right project at the right time for me. All I would say is remember that social media isn’t a complete reflection of what it’s like to live abroad 24 hours a day — on the outside, you just see a showcase of the finest infinity pools, sunsets and highlights from the weekend. I didn’t upload photos of the dead rats, blog about having Bali belly or take selfies looking shattered in the office at 1am. That said, 99% of the trip was epic and I’ll knock up a separate post with recommendations of things to do/eat/see/experience in Bali soon!

Did I get value from the people I surrounded myself with?

Cheesy team photo at Green School. Aint nobody fresher than my clique.

100%. This is the single biggest learning I think I’ve taken from the experience — community is EVERYTHING. Being amongst a group of positive, focused and supportive people is invaluable on so many levels.

If you hang around with unambitious negative people, chances are you’ll become one. On the flip side, spend your time alongside winners and guess what you’ll become?

This is exactly why I launched Rebel Book Club (bringing together an a-team community in London) and I’m now on the hunt for an inspiring co-working office space!

To conclude…

• Bali was an awesome place to spend 3 months — add it to your ‘must visit’ list immediately!

• There are always ways to work smarter rather than harder. Community is key.

Tribewanted Bali exceeded all expectations — it was a successful hybrid between a creative business trip and an outstanding adventure holiday. From building websites to climbing volcanoes, pitching new ideas to swimming with turtles, skill sharing to spearfishing, closing clients to camping on a beach and so much more.

Until next time…

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Check out what I’m up to at www.bensaulgarner.com — would love to hear your feedback!

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