Our TDM Master students recently finished their field research project in Bali. This was the last destination of three months field research in Asia. Veronica Wee from Malaysia shares her experiences on Bali in this blogpost.

Moving from Bangkok to Bali was unexpectedly different. As we all know, Bali has a reputation of being serene, peaceful and spiritual, where many people escape from their daily lives to re-find themselves. However, as we step foot and began our next quest in Bali, we find ourselves stuck in a paradox of chaos. Amidst the honking taxis constantly searching for tourists walking along the roads, and countless amounts of motorbikes speeding through the streets, oddly enough, it was organized chaos. Organized chaos that we have succumbed to when each of us rented motorbikes and took on research in a very different way.

We were assigned to the Bukit area in Bali, and from where we stayed in Seminyak, conducting research meant commuting at least 20km a day going through congested traffic jams when passing the Denpasar area. As tough as it may seem, the group built up courage through determination in discovering the research area and meeting as many stakeholders as possible to come up with the most conclusive research to achieve the objective. In the end, we learned that flexibility is the best asset to achieving success. Keeping in touch with former colleagues gave us potential avenues to discover further. Of course, the traditional way is not necessarily the best, as one will experience true Bali, only once off the beaten track.

Looking back at our experience, no method of research stayed the same. From Brisbane, toBangkok, to Bali, the people change, the culture differed, and the environment evolved in ways beyond control. As we learnt, the only aspect that was within control is our flexibility towards our research. Keeping an open mind and always being there for each other fostered great teamwork, therefore strengthen our ability to accept change. In order to improve, we presented our report entirely different, no chapters, purely recommendations and actions to take. During our last moments of putting the report together, the brainstorm sessions in structuring recommendations were intense but useful. Every team member had a proactive input in presentation and therefore resulted in a concise and professional method of presenting recommendations. In my opinion, Bali gave us the best experience in learning, understanding, and experience. Definitely a destination that changed and united us all in one way, or another.