Meet the 'Our Year in Bali' Family
My name is Simone Collins and I am the mum, wife and creator behind Our Year in Bali. I started this website to record our experiences during our gap year in Bali.
We were so happy in Bali that our gap year turned into an amazing two-year family adventure that changed our lives.
Now back in Australia, I continue my love for the Bali expat life by providing a relocation service with essential living resources to help other families make the move too!
I always dreamed of living in a different country for a period of time. My husband agreed that living abroad would be a great opportunity to take a break from our busy city life and expose our children to a different world. Don’t get me wrong: I love our hometown of Sydney, but I am glad we moved away from our bubble and I know my children and husband are too.
We spent many months researching countries such as Singapore and Hawaii. Then, Bali entered the short list and guess what: it ticked all the boxes!
Bali offered everything our family wanted in our gap year:
- An Australian School System with the same curriculum and school calendar
- Only one or two hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time, making it easy to work remotely
- Reliable internet access with free wi-fi widely available (our villa internet worked well)
- Regular flights to Australia and Singapore for easy trips home and visa updates
- More family leisure time as we didn’t need to wash our clothes, clean the house, cook and commute to work
- Lower cost of living allowing us to frequently enjoy restaurants, movies and travel
- A diverse culture and island life with a religious Hindu population and their customs, language, food, festivals and ceremonies
- A tropical climate where the forecast everyday is very warm!
- Travel opportunities with many diverse places to explore in Bali, on nearby islands and in neighbouring Asian countries
- A diverse expat community and opportunities to form new friendships and connect with people and entrepreneurs with a similar mindset
- Delicious food including exotic fruit and vegetables, affordable Indonesian and international cuisine and an incredible health food scene too!
Another big factor when relocating with children is the education they will receive. Bali offers many schooling options, including International pre-schools and schools (you may have heard about the famous Green School), family-based homeschools, distance online learning and even world schooling. Our children attended the Australian Independent School which at the time was in Kerobokan (now Jalan Imam Bonjol) for two years, where they followed the Melbourne Curriculum and also learnt Bahasa Indonesia twice a week. Looking back now, schooling became secondary to the fact how enriched my children’s lives were living and breathing a spiritual culture in a third world country.
During our time in Bali, I was intrigued by the stories of my fellow expats so I started interviewing friends and publishing their stories. I continue to publish inspiring interviews most weeks. This growing interview collection takes us into the homes and lives of expat families living in Bali before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once in a while, I get interviewed too! Watch this great video from Expats Everywhere as I talk about jobs in Bali, types of visas, pros and cons, insurances and much more.
I consult families every week from around the world – USA, Canada, Bahrain, India, Singapore, UK, Europe, Brazil, Croatia, Dubai, New Zealand, Colombia and of course Australia. To my surprise, many of these families have never been to Bali before and are looking for the magic Bali has to offer. On the flip side, many are regular visitors to Bali but understand holidays and living there permanently are very different. Either way, they reach out to me for my comprehensive service to gain the confidence they need to make the move.
We all go through a learning curve when relocating somewhere different, but by using my consulting service you will have the necessary tools to speed up the process so you can relax a whole lot quicker. I am also in the middle of writing an ebook to give you all the practicalities of living in Bali and the wonderful things we learnt during our two years.
Keen to find out more about living in Bali? Great! Email me your details so we can set up a call to discuss your plans, answer your questions and learn how I can help.
I hope you enjoy reading our stories, tips and insights into living and going to school on the magical island of Bali.