Ever dreamt of moving to Bali? Our guest blogger today is Bali expat, Emily O’Neill. Emily and her family left Melbourne for Bali, where they set up the family friendly holiday accommodation company, Bali Soul Villas. Today she shares with us a little about their life there.
There is no doubt Bali is a fantastic destination for children. The local people adore them, the weather is great for outdoor play, eating and entertainment options cater to every budget and as far as South East Asia goes—it is easy!
For us, the easiest part of settling in to Bali has been enjoying the affordable restaurants, massages and childcare. It has allowed us the freedom to get out and enjoy life more than we could in Melbourne. Bali is so livable—it has so many western comforts, but then on the other side of the coin we have village life, remote beaches and simple island pleasures to enjoy. It offers the best of both worlds.
It hasn’t all been easy. We’ve had to learn patience, to go with the ups and downs of “Bali Time”. There has been an adjustment in my expectation of efficiency and predictability. And when we first arrived riding a scooter through traffic to work was terrifying, now its second nature.
The expat Community here is as varied as any other community and it took some time to find like-minded people! Now life in Bali has found its pace and like anywhere we have a working week, routine and commitments. So we are busy, I think the misconception is that people picture us sipping cocktails by the pool, but this is rare! Australia is so close and we have lots of visitors so I don’t really feel ‘expatriated”.
As far as being a working Mum and handling the day-to-day juggle, Bali is great for our kids at this stage of our lives. They are relaxed and happy with lots of opportunity for swimming and the beach and meeting people from all over the world. When they are not with us they are with fantastic people and receiving one on one attention. Our son attends a wonderful school. It’s so multicultural and such a great environment for the kids to be introduced to learning. They are still little but already very aware of the spiritual ceremony of life unfolding around them daily. I think they will always carry a little piece of Bali spirit with them throughout their lives.
It’s been a great experience to get out of our comfort zone as a family and start building a life from the ground up. We arrived optimistic with suitcases and a baby and now have a house, furniture, two children, a business and friends!
When we first relocated to Bali from Australia we fell in love with the private villa experience and started our own business focused on holiday homes with a unique character. Many of our clients seemed to have young children like us and were so grateful for our advice on suitable properties that we made ‘family friendly’ a core aspect of our web site.
As we are parents ourselves we have an understanding of being in Bali with kids, and the need for pool fences, car seats, toys, appropriate floor plans for little kids and babysitters. The little things can make all the difference.
We can also provide advice on what to do and see. For parents and older children Bali offers a unique mix of culture and luxury, with something for everyone. You can drink lattes beach side, trek on elephants in the jungle, ride bicycles through rice paddies, hoon down awesome waterslides, witness a Hindu Village ceremony, sip on fancy cocktails in a 5 star resort, shop for luxury goods, then sample local cuisine for $3 all in one day. Or you can have a massage poolside in your own private Villa while the kids play in the tropical garden and the chef prepares lunch to your liking. The pace is yours to dictate.
A private Villa means the kids are in a contained garden space to play safely, and they have their own space rather than sharing yours in a hotel room. You can enjoy the conveniences of home, while still benefitting from a serviced environment. For example, you can have staff prepare meals at times that suit your routine. And while your children sleep, you can relax by the pool—what’s not to love about that?
Keep an eye out for Emily’s blog on Seminyak, coming soon. Until then, browse their beautiful villa accommodation at: