Meet Domi, an Italian guy who left his normal life to go on an adventure to rediscover himself when he was already 40 years old. He ended up in Bali. Now he lives a simple happy life together with his dogs, hosting a guest house in Canggu. He is sharing his life lessons with us.
My story is quite simple, I was born in the province of Milan, a city I’ve never loved. I worked in the technical field as an electrical installer. I even played high-level futsal. Financially I couldn’t complain, everything was OK! But I didn’t feel complete, I felt like something was missing. I used to talk to myself in front of the mirror – it’s not the life I want, I need to leave.
I was 40 years old already and one day I got a call, it was bad news concerning a dear friend of mine. It was like a wake-up call! After hanging the phone, I knew – enough is enough. I am leaving to find what is missing in my life.
I had friends all around the world – Thailand, Panama, Brazil, etc. It would have been easier to choose one of these destinations where I knew at least one person who could help me. I opted for Bali. In those days it wasn’t so popular like today. I can’t explain, but when I searched it on Google or talk with people, I felt so excited, like it was calling me! I knew – this is my destination. And it is not going to be a vacation. I left and I never felt better!
What were the biggest lessons you learned during this adventure?
If you feel like you don’t belong where you are right now, just pack your things and go explore your soul somewhere else. Don’t share your plans with others unless you are so ready, that your bags are packed, belongings are sold, and you already left your job. Unfortunately, those who are closest to you only will try to change your mind! They do this thinking they are helping you!
I left Italy when I was 40 years old. Can you imagine the buzz around me? “You are forty years old, not some student skipping year”, “You are crazy, you have a good life here, good job! What are you going to do there?” “What about your family, you are leaving us!”.
The truth is you are the only one living your life! So, trust your feelings! Believe in yourself! Share your plans only with those, who you really trust and who can support you and your decisions. Otherwise, it will be even harder.
Secondly, you must understand if you are leaving alone, well, you will be alone. Alone in the other part of the world, with no one to support you, no one to consult with. You will have to make all the decisions, acknowledge and learn from all your mistakes. Believe me, you will make a fair share of them!
Living a life so far away from Western culture, you will see the pointlessness of it. We waste our time chasing all these things expensive cars, designer clothes, fancy appliances for what? A moment of satisfaction? Living, in Bali, you start to see what is important in life. Enjoy and treasure all the small things.
If you would do everything from the beginning, what would you do differently?
Good question, I could mention thousands of things that could have been different. I believe I was meant to make these choices – good or bad – so I could reach the mindset I am today (even if I don’t belong to the YOGA TEACHER world category ?).
Maybe it was a bad idea to go to a German surf camp as I don’t have fond memories of it, but even there I met my fantastic friend Johanes. Let’s say I got carried away by my feelings, by fate…
So, for all the people who ask me this question if you are on the search for yourself – start alone. Otherwise, you might end up having regrets about doing things, not for yourself, but to please your travel companions. Decide for yourself and count only on yourself.
And about Bali? Any advice about relocating in there?
Take any opportunity to interact with local Balinese! Learn the language, consume local but always remember we are just guests. Respect their customs, traditions.
What do you love the most living here in Bali?
The first thing that comes to mind is I don’t wear slippers! I find them horrible! I have been walking barefoot practically since I arrived 6 years ago. The climate and energy allow me to do it in absolute harmony; of course, it would not be appropriate in the city, I’m aware of it ?
I love the sea, the beach, so two hours a day these is essential for my mental state. I think there is nothing better than watching a sunset. I constantly see wonderful ones. Bali is full of incredible places, endless rice fields, along with waterfalls and temples. I always recommend taking the scooter and searching for new places; Bali never ceases to amaze me. If you get lost, don’t worry, there will always be someone ready to help you.
What was the hardest thing in this whole experience?
Undoubtedly, convincing my family that I was leaving to live in Bali. I’m Italian and in our culture, if you are between the ages of 30-35 and you’re not married with children, something must be wrong with you. My mother still hopes that I will come back to Italy with a wife and grandchildren!
As for the rest, to be honest, this transition from my formal life to today, despite some everyday problems, went smoothly! I feel in control of my life, I feel fulfilled and in my place! I believe that for every situation there’s always an answer, my moment arrived when I was 40 years old because it was the right time for me. It doesn’t matter if you are 20 or 40, your determination is what makes the difference.
What would you suggest to people dreaming about this kind of lifestyle? How to prepare?
Don’t plan too much, otherwise, you might ruin the surprise the universe prepared for you! When you decide to relocate from Europe, or the US, or any other developed nation, you need to understand everything works differently here. Come try to live here for a few months, familiarize yourself with locals, culture, rules, religion, and then decide if this lifestyle fits you.
Many come here in Bali with this cool Instagram Bali vision but coming here on vacation and living here is a whole different thing! You can’t decide to relocate in just a few short weeks, only visiting standard tourist places. I have seen many people return unsatisfied, disappointed by their initial ideas because they had wrong expectations!
Is there any new adventure or projects you are planning in the nearest future?
In the middle of the pandemic, my friend and I opened a “Bali brothers” guest house. Right now I am focused on the business. We didn’t want it to be just a guest house for sleeping, but a place where people can feel embraced. Once a month we organize an outdoor bazaar sharing good vibes, supporting local artists, singers, and most importantly the orphanage near to us. We want to create a place that lasts over time, for which anyone who arrives here will perceive a pleasant, familiar, and light atmosphere.
What is next? I would like to be able to finish a book that I have had in mind for years! I love to write. It would be so cool to meet someone who could help me to bring this novel to life. Who knows, maybe someday.
Undoubtedly, I would like to meet the person who is destined for me! She will be free-spirited and beyond beautiful. When I talk about her to my friends, they say this kind of woman lives only in my dreams, but we will see. ?
Now, I am just happy living a simple life together with my dogs, far away from a capitalistic consumer society.