Why I Chose Coliving in Bali

If you asked me 2 short years ago, if I would consider living abroad, in shared living… the answer would have been nope, no way… what!?

The same goes for living abroad, but that is a different story.
I want to focus on why coliving has completely changed the way I think about living, how it aligns with my ideals of a new future, for everyone, based on human values and connections vs paying bills and property values.

I’ve always been extremely independent, to a fault. I value alone time since my work has always been people focused and extroverted…

I’ve actually lived alone since I was 17 years old (minus very short term roommates). I had an interesting childhood and upbringing that led to me moving out in my last year of high school. In fact, I am still incredibly grateful for that. It taught me the work ethic that I have today, I had to hustle for everything I had and put responsibility first. Sink or swim and I have been swimming ever since…

I spent about half a year in Bali in 2014 and it changed my perspectives on everything, it was supposed to be a one month trip. I worked on contracts from my laptop to survive my extended trip and met incredible people who were doing just the same… working solo like that can be pretty lonely, even when you are in a magical place, like Bali.

I developed such strong networks of people to work alongside in Bali, my first taste of what it really meant to Co-work was a pretty special one. I spent a lot of time at Hubud, Bali’s first coworking space, which hosts workshops, networking events, and desks for people to work silently or collaboratively. A bamboo fortress in the jungle offering a productive environment for people working on projects, businesses or remotely.

A photo of the space at Hubud Coworking

A photo of Alysia speaking about branding your business at HUBUD
Speaking about branding your business at HUBUD

I was hit pretty hard with the reality how how special this really was when when I went back to my hometown, Vancouver, Canada. I thought I could bring all of this inspiration back with me, scream at the top of my lungs and find likeminded people to work alongside and enjoy everyday with…

Soon enough, I was working out of my apartment everyday, solo. I tried coworking spaces and sharing office space with agencies I had worked with previously, but nothing felt the same or even close. People were always heads down, headphones on, tapping away. I felt like a giant elephant in the room, everywhere I went. Productivity matters to me, but did it have to be this way? There was no going back after what I had experienced in a truly collaborative, open minded community.

 

A photo of Alysia's desk
My lonely desk…

I could’t find connection, just desks plopped in a space for people to sit in. 9–5 still existed and “networking” or what I call “organized fun” wasn’t fulfilling, it was always centred around drinking and relieving the stress of everyday vs learning, collaborating and being excited about tomorrow. It was tearing me up inside.

In a sense, I felt like a stranger in my own city. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and Vancouver, I am blessed to have a pretty amazing network of people in my life — but once you’ve lived and worked differently, it changes you. I needed a likeminded community to belong to and I was desperate to find it…

In fact, I spent a good chunk of time researching, speaking with friends and VC contacts to explore the possibility of opening a coworking space in Vancouver that included the ideals I felt were missing — that OR opening my own rental apartment up as accommodation that catered to tenants working temporarily with a desk, fast internet + a list of cool friends you could call to meet for dinner or join for activities. All of the things that would make visiting a new city and working comfy and connected, so you feel like home, wherever you are — what I experienced in Bali. The core of me is still dedicated to inspiring this in more Urban cities.

Which is what attracted me to Roam. I had been introduced to it through a friend with Summit Series — Courtney knew it was aligned. At that point, it was still in very early stages.

A photo of Roam Ubud
In February of this year, I made the choice to return to Bali and work on an e-commerce project that had been calling my name for far too long. I visited the Roam property here in UBUD 2 days after I landed. It happened to be 2 minutes away from the home I rent here.

A photo of Alysia's first visit to Roam and the amazing BBQ
My first visit to Roam and the amazing BBQ

Immediately, I met an amazing group of intelligent, hilarious, curious and likeminded people — people who were all working on a project, a business or remotely — and were currently exploring coworking\living options OR had been for quite some time already. It was exactly the community I was looking for and just like that — it appeared, it existed! In one of my very favourite places on earth. I still feel like I am dreaming, living here at Roam.

A photo of people coworking in full swing
 

A photo of Alysia learning to make Sate with Mudita!
Learning to make Sate with Mudita!
A photo of the Roam Bali staff
Roam staff and family sharing a special ceremony here in Bali with us!

Roam is a coliving community where people from all over the world come to stay for a week or a month at a time. The property here in Bali is a converted hotel and it includes:

  • 24 private, beautiful german designed rooms, with A\C and really comfy beds
A photo of a bedroom in the Roam Bali property
Bedroom in the Roam Bali property
  • Coworking space with lightening fast internet (which is difficult to find here) that overlooks the sunset every night
    Beautiful, brand new shared kitchen which also hosts weekly cooking events and lessons! (I love cooking and eating out is tiresome + costly after the first 10 days)

 

Sushi night at Roam Ubud
Sushi night

 

  • A pool
  • A cafe with amazing coffee (everyone who knows me, knows my blood is made of 50% coffee- this is important)
  • An insanely gorgeous yoga deck, complete with mats, blocks and all important yogi things. (which hosts regular classes but is free to use for all members)
  • A cool lounge that has chalkboards, games and comfy couches for connecting and hosting work and brainstorming sessions
  • 24 hour staff that are incredibly helpful and feel like family — anything we need is always super easy to get, period. (also helpful learning the Indonesian language, which is really important to me)

My 3 months here have been absolutely incredible — I have had the chance to make lifelong friends from everywhere in the world and I know I always have people to adventure with around the island. It has been one of the most productive times in my life as well — everyone is so self motivated and we all inspire each other just by working hard, separately but together. It offers lots of private space and I never feel pressured to participate in things, but always welcome to join anything at all!

A photo of Alysia rollin' with the ‘Roamies’
Rollin’ with my ‘Roamies’

Coliving is actually the oldest way of living, we came from a long prehistoric line of communal ancestors, but for most of us, it is new again, a recycled idea that it is rapidly gaining traction around the world. It is my hope that more and more people will begin to branch out and give it a try, words can’t express the growth I’ve experienced here and how much I feel at home — even more than I do in the city I am from.

More to come on my experience here at Roam and this trip to Bali, in response to emails I have been receiving over the past few months. (I did take a break from blogging)

You can find out more about Roam here and if you have any questions — please do send me an email, anytime! I am happy to tell you more and always on the other side for Bali questions!

You can always follow my adventures, as usual on Instagram and Facebook and I really recommend following Roam Coliving OR checking out their website to find out more or apply to stay!

Love from Bali and as we say here — #roamfree,

Alysia

Make this life a wonderful adventure.

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