Bali is the only island in the Indonesian archipelago that is predominately Hindu, in contrast to the rest of the islands, which comprise the world’s largest Muslim population. For the Balinese, Hinduism is not just a religion—it’s a fundamental social and spiritual value that forms the bedrock of culture, from dance and painting to architecture. In the 1970s, Ngurah Rai International Airport was expanded, and Australian surfers flocked to the small island. This first generation of foreigners were followed by others from all around the world, drawn to the pristine nature, nearly millennia-old traditional culture, and Balinese sages who bequeath secrets to a balanced life. Then came creatives with high hopes of learning about self-care and sustainable futures through yoga and meditation. More than just a tourist destination, Bali is now the ultimate mecca for alternative living.
This transformation from rugged, spiritual and exotic paradise of relaxation to home for transient and permanent knowledge and wellness workers has occurred while preserving the reputation of the island as an escape into another world. This issue of Magazine B talks to residents and experts about the transformation, the current state of life, rest and work on the island, and where it leads for the island’s future, and the increasingly blurred definition of work and vacation enabled by computers and broadband. If your job allows you to work from anywhere, Bali’s a pretty good choice. Excuse me, I’ve got a flight to make. I’ll be typing from the beach. Excuse the sand in my emails.