Bali Storyteller Susanne known as Gypsy in Sneakers: Chasing dreams and wild adventures
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where are you originally from?
I am originally from a small town in The Netherlands, where I lived until I was 18 years old. I would describe myself as a very passionate, adventurous and growth seeking person. I love to learn new things, I want to grow as a person as much as possible, whether this is on professional, spiritual or mindset level. I love making mistakes, learning from these mistakes and figuring life out by doing not by sitting on the side-line.
When did you first arrive in Bali? What brought you here and how long do plan to stay?
I graduated as a tourism manager in 2020, when the world was on lockdown because of the well-known pandemic. So, long story short, my degree was at that moment useless because there was no tourism. Because of this I decided to work as a waitress to save up some money. That is when all catering businesses closed as well (for the same reason as mentioned earlier).
Now that I literally had nothing left to lose, I decided to go and follow my wildest dreams of becoming a content creator. Back then I still didn’t really know what that meant. But I knew it was better than sitting at home being depressed and unemployed. So, I took all my life savings and bought a one-way ticket in the middle of a global pandemic. It wasn’t sure when I was going to see my family again, but I wanted to make something out of life. The initial plan was to come for 6 months, but we are now 3 years later
What motivated you to move to Bali, and how did you go about making the decision to do so?
I knew that if I wanted to become a content creator, I needed to surround myself with like-minded people and mentors. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find these people in The Netherlands and I knew Bali was the hotspot to find them. Plus, I also figured out that if you want to create content you need to be in beautiful surroundings and nature.
Terrified of the decision I was about to make I sat down my mom and told her about my plan. I cried and I was shaking of fear. I knew this was going to be a whole new life chapter. My mom, as the beautiful person she is, saw my unhappiness in The Netherlands and the urge for wanting more out of life.
Her words: “I will support you whatever you do and no matter where you are” – is what gave me the confidence to book the plane ticket.
What inspired you to become a travel vlogger, adventurer, and photographer, and how do you use your online presence and multiple businesses to inspire others to live their dream lives and achieve location freedom?
Freedom has always been my number one value. I love traveling and connecting with other people and cultures. This is why I started this whole journey in the first place. After almost 1 year in Bali, working 10 hours a day trying to earn some kind of income (and not succeeding) – I was about to reach a burnout. This is when a friend suggested I should give YouTube and vlogging a try. Up until them I was only using Instagram as a social media platform.
I decided to go all in, spend my last savings into hiring an editor for my YouTube channel and did everything I could to improve my videos and my storytelling. I was terrified of what people were going to think of me but within a few months I started to gain income from my channel and I saw the endless opportunities.
Now that I have a significant audience, I use my voice and story to show that everything you can imagine is possible. If I can do it, everyone can. I receive weekly messages that I inspired people to quit their job and that they moved to their dream country and started to work online. This is now my purpose and life’s mission and it’s only the beginning!
Please share how your business has evolved over the years and what is on the horizon?
My business has now evolved into having an online presence of over 600K online followers on multiple platforms and a monthly reach of almost 4 million people worldwide. I grew my team into 6 people who make it possible to produce daily content on multiple platforms. I get to chance lives for the better through my content, guides and coaching calls. And I expended my business into real estate so that I now get to welcome visitors into my Bali villa’s – all located in Canggu.
I still believe this is only beginning as I am currently working hard on multiple new projects.
I want to expand the Gypsyinsneakers content into the highest production possible and keep learning and investing into this channel. I am setting up multiple businesses at the moment so that I get to have multiple passive income streams.
My ultimate goal right now is to build my absolute dream villa in Bali for myself and create a beautiful safe space I get to call home. Other than that, I would love to write multiple books on mindset and how everything is possible in this lifetime. – This is for the long run though, as I am now still focusing on other projects.
Can you walk us through what a typical day looks like for you living in Bali?
A typical Bali day I normally start around 7AM. I do my morning routine until 9AM which includes meditation, stretching, sitting in the sun, getting dressed and drinking my morning juices. Then I go to my favourite café and read a mindset/self-development book until 11AM. Then I start working until 4/5 – this looks different every day. This can be recording new videos, working on my new businesses, replying to emails, editing, creating promotional content for clients, write blogposts, work on new digital products, team meetings, client meetings etc. And I love to end the day by watching a sunset!
How has living in Bali influenced your personal and professional life, and what opportunities have you found here?
Bali has given me more than I could ever wish for. I feel like I lived my whole life in a box and moving to Bali has removed this box and it showed me the world, what is possible in this world and lifetime. It showed me through experiences and different people that there is so much be to learned and that you should never stop learning. Meeting these people from all over the world with all different backgrounds/religions/frame of reference and so on, opened up my view of life. I am way more understanding, openminded and non-judgement.
What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about Bali, and how would you correct them?
I think, especially right now. Bali is seen as overrated because it is becoming almost the number one touristic spot in the world. This is partly true. But Bali is so much more than that. It is called the island of gods for a reason, and if you open yourself up for it and you stay long enough on the island, you will understand why. Unfortunately, a lot of people only visit the super touristic places where it is crowded with people and they think that is what Bali is.
How have you adapted to the local customs and traditions in Bali, and what have you learned from the experience?
I wouldn’t say I adapted to the local customs because everything is related to their religion and I am not a Hindoe. So, I don’t participate in their customs and traditions, but I try to be as open minded as possible and witness their traditions whenever possible and learn from it. And when I do this, I pay all my respect and I always keep an open mind. The Balinese people taught the me the concept of Karma, and this is what I live by. The more you spread love the more it will come back to you. My close friends know I am in love with all the Balinese people because they are genuinely so kind and so selfless. It is something the western society can learn from.
How do you see Bali evolving and changing in the future, and what impact do you think this will have on expats living here?
As Bali is evolving and changing more and more. I think it’s not the expats we have to worry about. But we need to focus more on the local people. Bali is getting more crowded and every day foreigners are buying up all the land from the local people to start new businesses. Which I understand but I think there should be a limit. The differences between the salaries of the local people and foreigners is getting too big and I find it crucial that the more Bali is changing the more we need to shine a light on this.
What would you say is the best thing about living in Bali?
The local people. They have my whole heart.
What advice would you give to other people who are considering a move to Bali?
If this is your dream, do it. It will be a lifechanging experience in the best way possible. Bali will give you everything you need when you are ready to receive it. But please keep in mind you are a visitor and always be respectful to the local life and customs.
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