If you’re looking for the best place in the world to retire cheap, I can make 3 general assumptions about you.

  1. You’re smart with your money.
  2. You have money but aren’t super rich.
  3. You are old.

I assume this about you because all those things all apply to me. I also assume you don’t ever want to live in a hostel.  Shared rooms? Stinky backpackers? No thanks. Living for 30 days in a hostel away from my private rooms and apartments was something I dreaded. Could I survive or even enjoy this experience? Would these world travelling backpackers notice me in their midst? Would I be able to stand being around all these 20 something girls “finding themselves “? Would I find love? Or like an unwanted member of a lion pack would I be ostracized and cast out?

Why am I staying in a hostel? Price. Pure and simple. If I’m going to be looking for the best place to live in the world to retire, I need a local hub when I land, BEFORE I rent an apartment for a long term. The cheaper the hub the better. At $10 (100,000 idr) a night, a hostel was my best bet in Bali. (In other countries I’ve had no problems finding $10 private rooms on Airbnb.)

Day 1

I arrive super pissed off. The hostel I’ve booked was supposed to pick me up at the airport for $13 (130,000 idr). After discovering the absence of my driver to my infinite annoyance, I jump into a bandit cab for $17 (170,000 idr). After driving around for an hour using both the directions from the hostel and Google maps this hostel is nowhere to be seen. We call the number on the listing and the person answering gives a different name of the place from what I booked. Super duper pissed off now, we drive around for another hour in the vicinity. Eventually I just go to the hostel with the different name. It is indeed the hostel I’ve booked! It’s called Sanur hostel in my booking in reality it’s called Cafe Locca. Screw your incompetent hostel!

It’s night when I arrive, so all the lights are already off in the room I’ll be in. I navigate the maze of 60 litre backpacks on the floor with my iPad light (tip: bring a flashlight) and drop off my suitcase. Determined not to let this ruin the beginning of my Bali trip I head to the Circle K and buy some beers $2.80 (28,000 idr).

Triumphant with beers I return to the hostel. Around the pool somebody is playing an acoustic guitar. I spot several man buns. Will my hostel stay be so littered with stereotypes? ……… To be continued