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American family move from Singapore to Sanur for Sabbatical

Meet:  Alison, Niles, Nigel (5) and Poppy (3) Emerick
Originally from: Denver, Colorado USA
Arrived in Bali: September 2022

What experience did you have with Simone assisting you?

I contacted Simone back in April 2021 as we knew we would like to move to Bali but had a lot of questions, especially in terms of budgeting. We found her budgeting spreadsheet and checklists super helpful as well as the family living guide which gave us so much detailed information and prepared us for what we were getting ourselves into.


What made you move to Bali?

We were looking for a change and a place to land for a self- imposed sabbatical. We were in Singapore for 3 years prior to moving to Bali. The slower pace of life, being closer to the beach and lower cost of living all appealed to us.

Where is home in Bali and why did you decide to live there?

We are in Sanur. We wanted to be by the beach and loved the fact that the beaches here are pretty chill, with calm waters for the kids to swim. We also appreciate the small town feel and less traffic than other parts of the island. There are places to ride bikes easily and even walk – the path along the beach was a big draw for us.


How long do you plan to stay? 

We are here at least 6 months but are considering staying longer.

What does school life look like and how is raising your little ones?

Our 5 year old joined a small homeschool group that meets in different children’s homes. The families hired a teacher and currently there are about 12 students in grades K-2.

What are the biggest challenges you have found so far?

Figuring out banking/ payments without a local account. We’re also still settling in and a lot of my energy has gone into figuring out where to buy the things we need for daily life.

How do you find healthcare? Do you feel safe?

So far we’ve needed stitches for our 3 year old after some acrobatics in the bathtub and antibiotics for me. Both visits to medical facilities were fine and we got what we needed done. For small things like this I feel fine about the medical system here but if it were anything more major I’d head out to Singapore or Bangkok. We’ve made sure our insurance covers evacuation there in case we need it. We definitely feel safe here and have found people to be warm and welcoming.

What does your daily routine look like? 

Our kids are up bright and early as the sun rises before 6am here. It is nice because it gives us some time before school for a quick swim in our pool and leisurely breakfast before getting out the door. We drop the kids off and I usually try to get to the gym or yoga before coming home to study Indonesian and get some work done around the house.

We pick up the kids mid afternoon from school so either we have a babysitter get them and take them home so we can continue working or we pick them up and have a swim at home or go to the playground at the beach near our home. For dinner we almost never cook, so we either go to a restaurant (and play Uno while waiting for our food) or order delivery at home, which is fast and affordable.

How do you get around Bali? 

The great thing about Sanur is it is easy to get around by bicycle if you’d like. We also have a scooter for short trips around town and take a Gojek or Grab taxi for longer trips. If we’re going to another part of the island we usually hire a driver to take us there and back. I also decided to get some scooter lessons with Bali Safe Rider to boost my skills, technique and confidence!



What is the best thing about living in Bali?

 Honestly we love having a front row seat to Balinese culture and the beauty of everyday life. Beauty is definitely a value here and we love seeing it from the ceremonial offerings to highly decorated doorways to the funeral processions that feel more like a parade to food presentation. There is so much beauty hidden behind walls here – we feel like we’re constantly discovering “hidden gardens” in visiting other homes or restaurants or wherever. From the outside it looks like an unassuming wall and then you open the door and find a beautiful place. We love that. We also love how warm people are here – we have felt very welcome and honoured to be guests here. Bali is an island, like Singapore, but we’re enjoying the fact that it is much bigger and there is a lot to explore.

What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?

First, definitely hire Simone – she will save you lots of time and give you a full picture of what you’re getting yourself into. Decide what is important to you and maybe try out a few locations before settling into one. Come for a visit ahead of time so you know what to expect. And also slow down – things don’t happen quickly here, so patience will suit you well.

Ready to get started?

Book a free discovery call to learn more about how we can help you feel confident about a move to Bali.

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