As a result, Canggu is mostly a refuge for solo travelers and very few families, making it a transient place where people (and relationships) come and go. When expats finally do bounce, reality gives them a jolt after living in such an idyll.
“It’s not real life,” my Canadian friend told me. “Everyone here is beautiful, there are hormones flying everywhere. The minute you move away, you’re in for a big wake-up.”
But for hopeful entrepreneurs, freelancers, designers, and in-betweeners, Canggu offers a chance to reset. To make connections. And at the very least, to catch a good wave. I talked to Suzy Brown, of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, who was studying for her PhD when she was rocked by the sudden death of her sister. She quit and blew her savings on a plane ticket to Bali and surf lessons. A year later, she is settled in Canggu and bent on staying.