The most common reaction we have had from people when we told them of our news that we are  packing up and taking the family to Bali is of excitement for us and sometimes even envy. However, the reaction has not always been so positive. For a few, the first thing they said was “Why Bali?”, which is short for “Why on Earth would you go to Bali?”

Olive and Jetson at the Monkey Forest
Monkey Forest visit. Image from a holiday in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. June 2012.

Such a response is understandable, and the reason twofold. Many people in Perth have had personal experience holidaying in Bali. They stay in five star hotels, and their experience with the locals is the service staff and the hawkers on the street and beach. It is purely an escape holiday location for them, which is great for a break and very luxurious, but is not necessarily a lifestyle that anyone would like to live all the time. The other reason applies more to those who have not travelled to Bali, and rely on their knowledge of Bali from news and more so current affair type news stories, which are filled with images and descriptions of holiday makers getting drunk, scammed, ripped off, drinks spiked, robbed or worse. We would not like to live in a place like that either, and we don’t expect Bali to be like that for us.

We have our own image of what living in Bali will be like, and only time will tell whether it lives up to that. We are moving Ubud, to the cultural town of Bali located in the central hill area, away from the beaches and the highly touristed areas in the south. We can visit these areas, but we won’t be living there.

Bali is not an entirely unfamiliar place to us. We first visited Bali in 2002 for a wedding for Rob’s brother. We took the opportunity then to have a quick tour around the island. Ten years later, we again went to Bali and stayed for the entire time in Ubud, for just over three weeks in a private villa. We had plenty of time to explore Ubud town and the surrounding area, and had lots of adventures. At the time we were exploring the idea of moving there to live, but after that trip we were still not fully convinced that it was the right thing to do and the right place to do it.

Here we are, a year later, having decided to go. There are many places that we could have gone to, but we finally chose to move to Bali as we were familiar with the place, it has an interesting culture, English is spoken widely, there are reasonably priced international schools, and it is not far from home.

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