Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Chidi Ashley
The Black Expat: 'I'm 24 And Building My Dream Home In Bali'
Chidi Ashley traded in her 9 to 5 corporate job for “a lifetime of adventures.” She founded her travel company, Chidi Ashley Travels, to encourage people to travel with a community of other like-minded travelers.
If running a luxury travel company isn’t enough, Ashley has launched a luxury investment property company and she’s building what she calls her “dream house” in Bali.
In an interview with Travel Noire, Ashley explains more about her decision to build a home in Bali:
Travel Noire: Why did you decide to build a home in Bali?
Ashley: Bali is the one corner of the world where I feel most fulfilled and at peace. It is a place where I feel the most at home. I decided to build my dream home here because I wasn’t able to find any pre-built homes that directly suited what I was looking for.
TN: Can you tell our readers what has been the best part of your experience with building your home?
ASHLEY: The best part about this experience has been working with the locals here in Bali. I made sure from the beginning, that I worked with the best local talent. From the chosen architect to the design team, and more.
When I purchased the land, I made sure to get the blessing of the local community leaders in the area. We also had a blessing ceremony for the land before we started building on it, and the local farmers asked if they could harvest the rice fields before construction— even though I had already purchased the land. I agreed, despite it causing a month-long delay in construction.
The most important thing to me is building a good relationship with the local communities here to feel respected, as I feel so thankful to have been so well taken care of by everyone I have worked with. The process has also challenged me to learn how to communicate my vision despite language barriers. I have learned so much about construction and building, especially as a 24-year-old with very little prior knowledge about anything construction related.
TN: For people considering a move to Bali, how would you describe the destination?
Ashley: After visiting over 38 countries around the world, I can’t help coming back to Indonesia. Bali is just one of those destinations that stands out! The island has a growing community of expats, so you always feel supported. It’s incredible to see so many people of color living here, and working remotely.
The one thing that keeps us coming back aside from the affordable cost of living, is the true sense of balance and the warmth that you feel on this island. I have never felt like I don’t belong here or come across anyone that made me feel uncomfortable. It feels like a getaway from the constant stresses of the Western world, although every country has its problems. If you are someone who is prioritizing your mental health and overall happiness, Bali is definitely the place to be. I want more people who feel stuck and unhappy in their current situation, to see there is more out there beyond their bubbles. You don’t have to be a millionaire to live an incredible life.