Alright after getting back to Bali last week it has got me in the feels!
So I wanted to tell you the story of how and why I moved here 3 years ago now and just how important it is to build connections and relationships with people who are in the same industry as you.
Let me take you back to October 2020. I’ve been cooped up in Sydney since March that year with little to no opportunity to go out, shoot, meet new people and so on, just like everyone else. I’m starting to feel like I am making some progress in my business but feeling like I am in a rut with my day-to-day life.
Poor sleeping habits, laziness, uninspired friends, a lack of drive, you name it, all typical covid things I guess.
And one day in October 2020, I got a text from my good friend Jonas. Some of you may know him from his work you can find here - https://www.instagram.com/jonashornehoj/?hl=en
And in this text message, he is telling me that he has just touched down in Bali and is looking for a place. We spoke a little bit and then he asked me about my plans for the new year and if I’d fancy moving to Bali.
Of course, the answer was yes, who wouldn’t want to move to Bali right?
The thing is, while Jonas and I got along like a house on fire, I’d never lived with him or anyone before and we had met about 4 years ago in Bali and spent about 2 weeks together shooting. Aside from a coffee we had got in Sydney once, I’d met this guy twice…
I’d also never moved out completely from my parents. Sure I’d travelled a lot by this point but never had I committed to somewhere permanently and full time before. Top that all off with the uncertainty of Covid still getting around made it a little bit more of a challenging decision.
I remember speaking with my dad about this at length and we had come to the conclusion that if I make the move, the worst case scenario is that I come home and I have to spend 14 days in a hotel in Sydney, then I am back to where I started.
I said fuck it, I am in and on the 31st of December 2020, Jonas and I signed our first lease of a place in Bali together.
While that’s all well and good and you might think the story stops there, it only gets more interesting from here.
I was planning to spend about 10 days of the new year in Sydney, get everything organised, say goodbye, sell my car and fly out, however, Indonesia had other plans for me.
In early January they blocked all incoming passengers that were not already a resident and that was me. For the next 4 months they were opening and closing the borders and the visa process to some countries one day and other countries the next and for over 4 months, Australia was on the banned list.
So it’s April 2021, I’ve got nothing but aside from my cameras and clothes as I sold everything in January and I’ve been in limbo in Sydney for 4 months. I’ve also paid my entire rent for the year upfront and while I was blessed that we had a good friend of ours take my place to cover the rent, this wasn’t the experience I was hoping for when I thought, sweet I’m moving to Bali…
My rut from the previous year got deeper and deeper and I was getting incredibly frustrated with the whole situation. I was actually very close to renting an apartment in Australia and saying to hell with it with Bali.
In mid-April, I asked another good friend of mine Tavis to go on a road trip in South Australia together. Tavis is always down to shoot and have a sick time so I knew he’d be keen on a good trip together.
That road trip in South Australia still goes down as one of my favourite trips I’ve ever been on to date.
Halfway through that trip just as we are leaving Kangaroo Island (it doesn’t get more Australian than that) my Indonesian video got approved.
I honestly could not believe my eyes.
I still had a mountain of hurdles to get over but this was the first sign of good things coming.
So I booked my flights, got my permission to leave Australia from the government (yes this is something you had to do during COVID times, Australia was insane…), booked my 5-night quarantine in Jakarta, organised what felt like 1000 COVID tests before I left, packed my bags and I was on my way.
I’ll leave the quarantine for a different story.
Anyway, after 5 nights in Jakarta quarantining away I was off to Bali and what came next was better than I could have ever imagined.
Maybe someday soon I’ll break how things changed for me once you’re in a different environment surrounded by different people and so on but the move was 100% for the better.
Jonas changed my life by asking me to move. I wouldn’t have done it solo as it wasn’t even on my radar.
Surrounding yourself with people who think like you, have similar goals and aspirations and want more out of life are the people who are going to bring you up in life.
If you’re just starting this journey, begin to build friendships, connections and relationships with others, not for personal gain but to make sure that you have a support network and that you can also offer the same back to others when they need it as well. And who knows, maybe someone you meet at a random waterfall in Bali might just change the whole direction of your life.
Thanks Jonas ❤️
And thank you guys for not only your time today but your continued support over the years. This life wouldn’t be possible without you. Anyway, I’ll catch you in the next one, peace.