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Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

Pros and Cons of Living in Indonesia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 03, 2023

Summary: The pros of living in Indonesia include its diverse culture, beautiful landscapes, and friendly people. Indonesia is also home to some of the world's most stunning beaches, and its cuisine is renowned for its unique flavors. Additionally, the cost of living in Indonesia is relatively low, making it an attractive destination for those looking to save money. On the other hand, the infrastructure in Indonesia is not as developed as in other countries, and the country is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Additionally, the air quality in some parts of Indonesia can be poor due to the burning of fossil fuels.

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What do expats in Indonesia appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expatriates in Indonesia appreciate the warmth of the local people, their strong sense of hospitality, the wide variety of traditional and modern cuisines, the relaxed pace of life and the variety of interesting attractions and activities. The country is known for its many vibrant festivals and cultural celebrations, which showcase the rich and colourful traditions and cultural practices of local ethnic groups. Additionally, expatriates often enjoy the affordable cost of living in Indonesia, as well as the numerous professional and educational opportunities available to them. Nature enthusiasts are likely to be impressed by the abundant natural wonders, while beach-lovers will appreciate the country's stunning coastline and many breathtaking beaches," added another person living in Indonesia.

"No matter how bad things are for the Indonesians, they always manage a smile. They are friendly & kind. Indonesia is wealthy in art & culture & history," explained one expat living in Jakarta.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expats often find it challenging to adjust to new cultural norms, language barriers, and unfamiliarity with the legal and logistical systems of their new environment. It can be challenging to make friends abroad and to establish a social network in a new cultural context. Additionally, expats may experience feelings of loneliness, isolation, and missing familiarities from their home culture. Financial issues such as obtaining a work permit and navigating a new tax system can also be a challenge," remarked another in Indonesia.

"You cannot get angry & shout at someone in Indonesia, they will close down totally. To "lose face" is the worst thing for an Indonesian, therefore they won't own up to not knowing something & shouting at them makes it worse. People are afraid to say "no". Rather than say they can't or don't know something, they will say yes & then blunder through what ever they are doing. i.e. my husband is mentoring at work & has to ask 50 questions before he realizes his Indonesian colleague doesn't know what he's talking about. Or, tell a taxi driver the address you want to go to & he doesn't know where it is but drives in the wrong direction, so you have to direct him all the way," explained one expat.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

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