This whole adventure started a little over a month ago, with of all people, my VERY pragmatic and sensible father. He pointed out to me, that I was living beyond my means, in a stunning Downtown Los Angeles loft, that I owned, but was loosing money on. Let me explain. I bought this loft at the bottom of the Los Angeles real estate market, and it has appreciated significantly in value in the last 5 years. The market had priced me out of my own home. I was loosing the opportunity to gain $6,500 a month. A cost I WOULD NOT pay to live in my own loft. In addition, I have two loans on my property. One for $377,000 at a low interest rate over 30 years, and one for $150,000 at a higher interest rate over the same period. The increase in property value had presented an opportunity to pay off the higher interest loan in a much quicker period, saving over 120,000 in interest. It was becoming more and more clear, it was time to move out. 

Again, why Bali?

I’m getting there. At first thought, I wanted to stay somewhere in the US. I checked out Portland, and realized right away that this wasn’t going to work. To maximize my investment, I needed to be saving money, and not just a little money, but AS MUCH MONEY AS POSSIBLE. Next I checked out Hong Kong. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Hong Kong. It’s my favorite city in the world besides Los Angeles. I thought that maybe, if I lived off the main island, saving money would be possible. Again, I was mistaken. 

Google to the rescue. After a few searches for the cheapest places in the world to live, it became clear that my real options were Latin America or Asia. I chose the latter, though it’s clear if you speak Spanish, the former is a better option for a true saver. Now I started to read. A 

LOT. Vietnam, Bali, Cambodia, and Thailand made the final cut. I decided on Bali. I use only the island Bali as my destination, even though it’s part of Indonesia, because it’s a Hindu culture, where as the rest of the country is Muslim (as a gay man, that’s not an option for me). 

So what was it in the reading that made Bali stand out as THE cheapest place I could live with the highest quality of life? Check out Why Bali Part 2!