Experiences of a Non-Diving Piña and Life on Gili Air

Wait, what? Living and learning in paradise? Since are reading this, somehow you crossed paths with Paradise Interns. Maybe you already have applied to the marketing internship. The program might sound too good to be true, but it’s true! 

Is It for Me?

If it ever occurred to you to leave the 9-5 rat race behind and become a digital nomad, you are in the right place. It’s okay if you don’t have the marketing skills yet. Paradise Interns will teach you before your placement. And you get to practice – a lot! In real life, which is the best kind of practice. 

That is exactly why I applied. I was already living the paradise part in the Cayman Islands, but in a hospitality job that I hated. I was eager to find a way where I could gain real digital marketing experience and combine my passion for traveling. Being anywhere in the world while working on my laptop… that’s the dream.

Working on my laptop in paradise

I hadn’t been to Asia before, but I was keen to discover this part of the world. So I leaped and applied to the Paradise Interns digital marketing internship. For me, moving to a new country and doing something I knew nothing about was more exciting than scary.  Soon I found myself packing bags again to begin my new Piña life in the 2019 August Bootcamp. 

If you are the other type who finds it more on the scary side, don’t worry too much. The Paradise Interns onboarding brochure will be your bible. All the info you need is there. Everything about life in Indonesia, visas, flights, money… no joke, everything. 

Diving vs Non-diving Internship

It was a real debate in my case. Which one should I choose? I love diving and I had my Open Water already, but doing a divemaster internship wasn’t my priority. I had pros and cons for both. At this point of my life, I was more interested in the marketing side of it. I wanted to focus on yoga also, as a new teacher.

But to be completely honest with you, if you have any interest in diving, go for the diving internship. Even if you don’t want to become a divemaster! Getting unlimited free diving for 5 months is a rare opportunity. And you still get the same marketing experience. If I could apply again, no doubt I would choose a diving internship.

Bootcamp Life

The marketing internship starts with a one month Bootcamp in Bali. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work at the same time. In my Piña crew, there were only 8 people (each Bootcamp can have up to 20 interns). Everybody was from a different country and with very different personalities. That made our little group so special and entertaining. We became real friends and I miss my Piña fam so much. Living the Bali villa vibes together was perfect. 

August interns in marketing Bootcamp

Bootcamp is kinda like going back to school. It gets intense, but if you listen during the lectures and do the homework properly you will be fine. You can expect to learn about Facebook, Instagram, branding, hashtags, analytics, fonts, blogs, email marketing, Facebook ads, Canva, Tik Tok, and more. They are up to date with new marketing trends, so you will definitely learn new material, even if you have marketing experience already. 

After finding out our placements in Bootcamp and finishing the month of training, I arrived at my placement at Grand Sunset Gili Air Resort. It was a new company for Paradise Interns, which meant I had to start from zero. Putting together the brand guidelines from scratch was a struggle, not gonna lie, but there was a lot of support from Anna and the team. 

Luckily everything you learn at Bootcamp about social media you start putting into practice by working on your brand. So by the end of the month, you should feel pretty comfortable getting to your placement.

I had a very basic marketing background and close to zero skills in social media, especially in editing and designing. Technology fascinates me yet gives me quite a bit of anxiety. And now, here I am writing blogs and doing tasks that a social media manager does! 

Non-diving Piña Life on Gili Air

So after that fabulous month in Bali with my beloved new friends, I was on a speedboat to my new home, Gili Air. I mentioned before I have lived on a small island, but maaan this one was tiny! At first I thought, “Oh God, what on Earth am I going to do here for 5 months??”

No cars – only bicycles and horses. Full-on village vibe. The whole island is only 5 km around, which is the same as Margaret Island in Budapest, where I used to run a 5 km lap. 

I spent my first two nights in the resort of my placement. Then the manager was kind and sorted out a room for me in a good location. Quite far from the mosque, so no waking up to prayers before sunrise! I stayed in this room for the whole time. It cost 2.5 million IDR, which was covered by my placement. It had AC, no hot shower, salty water (it’s Gili Air…), huge king size bed and something they called a ‘kitchen’! 

No internet, so whenever I was doing social media at home I used my cellular data. The internet is pretty unreliable and quite slow at most places, so having enough data on your phone is a must. I used about 50 GB monthly which costs between 200-250K. 

I won’t lie. My first two months of the internship were a struggle. Stressing about content 24/7, not feeling the vibe of my placement and just not feeling great on Gili Air overall. It sort of felt like I was in the wrong place. Which made me feel weird. I usually adapt quickly and find my way around in new places, making myself feel at home in a flash. 

Experiencing local culture on Lombok during Paradise Interns marketing internship Gili Air

As I write these words, I have to laugh at myself. As much as I was crying about not wanting to be here and almost quitting, I’m just as sad to leave this magical place now. 

Work Hard

As a non-diving marketing intern, most likely you will have a lot of free time. Time management will be everything. Being your own boss is not easy at all, especially if you struggle with self-discipline. As the number one procrastinator (but ‘at the end somehow manages to get everything done’ kinda person) my number one advice to you is: do not procrastinate. It will save you a lot of stress. Build a system that works for you and your life will be easy. 

Party Harder

My second piece of advice is to ENJOY your time. Yeah, content and work can get overwhelming, but you will get through it, just watch the deadlines! Life in Indonesia is incredible and the best perk of being a digital nomad is that you get to work from ANYWHERE. Make the most out of it. Don’t wait for others to come to you, go out and engage both with locals and expats. Explore as much as you can. You will meet amazing people and build life-long connections. It’s an unforgettable experience. 

Beautiful Gili Air sunset

What’s Next?

For me, I’m going to Australia. Will I work in digital marketing? I don’t know. But if I choose to I can, because now I have the marketing skills. 

All in all the internship with Paradise Interns is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try out the digital nomad life. Besides the digital marketing skills, you learn a hell of a lot about yourself. Maybe it’s for you, maybe it’s not. But if you never try, you’ll never know. Good luck potential Piña Poppers!