Building a dream – how to create a co-sharing space in Bali
This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)
Somewhere far, far away from Bulgaria, on the other side of the world, there is a beautiful place with such a strong positive energy and so friendly people, that you feel like in paradise. Or at least in a fairytale.
It’s actually none of them. Or it’s both of them at the same time, you choose the point of view. The fact is that we talk about Bali and its thousands faces, experiences and tastes.
You might connect Bali mainly with the idea of green rice fields, beautiful beaches or spiritual healing and yoga – which is absolutely true. Though, Bali is more than that. Lately it became one of the top destinations for freelancers and digital nomads, due to many factors like its unique nature, low cost of living, safe environment and good international connections.
Thanks to its worldwide fame of a digital nomads’ hub, Bali has a great contribution to the growth of the Co-working, Co-sharing and Co-living concepts. While the co-working and co-living are quite well known, the idea of co-sharing is still something to tell more about. Аnd we found the best people to do that. Jessica and Hansen are the owners of the co-sharing space Biliq Bali, launched in April in Seminyak. It happened that me and my best friend were among their first visitors during our last day in Bali. And we just couldn’t resist telling you their story and showing you this lovely place.
The life before
Both Hansen and Jessica have a “corporate world” background. For 8 years, Jessica used to work as a designer in Singapore, for a big multinational company. When you study it’s a lot of fun, you learn, you get inspired, you develop yourself, while when you go to work it’s not that flexible. You are not allowed to do this and that, you have to follow all the rules and guidelines…you just take orders most of the time. Since Hansen had his stable job, one day I just asked him: “Can I quit my job and just travel, do my freelance job and enjoy life?”, says Jessica.
I was doing yoga almost every day, I was painting, playing with my dogs and simply enjoying my life so much! I was promising to myself that after these three moths of travelling I will go back to work.
But then it seems that life had different plans for them.
Hansen also spent the past 8 years in Singapore but working in the corporate finance sector. Although my career was going well I have never really felt happy. The paycheck was good but I never really enjoyed what I was doing. In August last year I almost had something like a mid-life crisis. I was asking myself If this is the career I want for the next 20-30 years and I was struggling to say yes. I shared this with my wife and I decided to take a career break, he says.
One day he came to me and said “I want to quit my job as well!”, Jessica remembers. Hansen is a really happy person, but once he said that he doesn’t like his job, he was not the same and I felt bad about that. As much as I didn’t want him to quit his job, I wanted to see him happy again, says Jessica, because I believe that life is more than working from nine to five, coming back home tired, waiting for the weekends, then waiting for the public holidays.”, she says.
How the idea was born
We were talking how to spend our career break time, says Hansen. We are both from Indonesia and we both hold very warm feelings to Bali. It doesn’t require visa, whereas many other countries require visa for the Indonesians. This was one of the reasons we choose to come to Bali. Originally we were looking for a place where we can work and we went to a couple of co-working spaces. But since we wanted just to check our emails, we realized that most of the co-working spaces don’t give you this flexibility. They want you to sign up a long term contract or ask you to stay minimum one day. Even If you want to be there just for an hour, you have to pay something like 20 dollars, Hansen explains.
Then we realize that in Bali there is no such a place that give you this flexibility. Very often people are coming to Bali for a work-holiday and they need to be productive, they just can pay for whatever they have used, says Jessica.
And this is how the idea was born. What fascinates me the most both in Jessica and Henson, beyond the bravery to follow their dreams and truly positive mindset is their commitment and engagement towards the community. It’s more than just business, it’s about purpose and contribution.
There are so many co-working spaces in Bali, some of them very big ones. The greatest ones are 3 or 4 and 90% of the owners are foreigners who came to Bali and started this business, says Hansen. While we are Indonesians, this is our land, we want to contribute to our community and build something for Bali. We also incorporated that intention to Biliq Bali – currently we have two full time employees and we hire only local Balinese people, Jessica says.
Why Bali and Seminyak
We choose Bali because it’s very memorable for us. We had our wedding here. There is something special in Bali, when I speak with people, everyone feels like coming back. It’s a place that somehow always meets the expectations and there are not so many places on earth like this, says Hansen. It is full of digital nomads here and it is one of the prime destinations worldwide. And we thought, if we want to start a business it’s better to be somewhere where the tourists are coming, he explains. In that respect, Seminyak is a good starting point for people who are not so familiar with the island, it is also close to the airport, in the center of south Bali.
The concept behind
More than the design of the space and the appearance, it’s the concept that’s differentiate Biliq Bali. Speaking about the space itself, it is located in a quiet street in Seminyak, where you can escape from the noisy downtown. When we came here we came to blind, no business partner, nothing. We just rented a scooter and started driving around. Then at a certain moment we were like “Aah, here it is the location!” Before, this place was a jungle, it was deserted for almost two years and the grass was almost one meter, says Hansen.
But why cosharing? We wanted to be flexible for the people. If you want to paint, you can join me and paint with me, If you want to read a book or just have your “ME” time – you are free to do it. It‘s very important that people can nourish themselves here rather than just keep working, says Jessica, that’s why we wanted to make this space chill, homey and cozy.
We avoided the word co-working, because when you go to a co-working space you are expected to work. While here is different – we have a nap room for example, says Hansen. More than just working or relaxing there, you can take part in different events and workshops for digital nomads that Jessica and Henson are organizing in Biliq Bali. In June we are organizing a couple of art workshops for example – Calligraphy, Psychedelic painting, Watercolor painting, Plastic bag art with local artists, they say.
If you haven’t been to Bali don’t hesitate and come, says Hansen (and we just couldn’t agree more!). Nowadays Bali is so diverse, apart from English, people start learning foreign languages like Chinese, Russian, German. It’s because they want to help the visitors and communicate easily with them. Don’t be scared, just come to Bali, explore and enjoy, says Jessica.
So, If you are one of those digital nomads or just an adventurous soul who is packing the backpack for Bali, put a small red dot on the map and give yourself some quality time in Biliq Bali. Its definitely an experience that worth spreading.