Meet: Naomi, Billy and sons King and Jett.
Originally from: Melbourne, Australia
Arrived in Bali: December 2012
Home in Bail is: We live in Tumbak Bayuh which is the north side of Canggu. We moved there to get away from Semin’yuk’ back when it was too busy 😉
What made you move to Bali?
I originally came over as a professional dancer …pretty much on day 2 of being here, I knew I wanted to live here. The creativity, opportunity, weather, culture and nature was amazing. I also met my partner Billy here on that same contract, and I ended up moving over 4 months later.
How long do you plan to stay?
I have no plan of leaving….. we are very happy here with our home, business, family and awesome community. But who knows what the future holds – and we have to be mindful of my partners son Kingston, who will need another operation on his leg soon (he has a congenital short femur, and will need it lengthened in Australia).
Was it difficult to find a villa?
No…we chose a house actually, didn’t want a pool as we already knew about the water shortage in Bali, and we are only 7mins from the beach.
Financially, how do you live in Bali? Tell us more about your family business Alive Wholefoods!
Before Alive Wholefoods I worked as a dancer and fitness instructor here, I organised my own KITAS/Working visa, and my partner Billy was a DJ/ Music Director. With a young family we knew that we needed to move away from entertainment. When friends of ours came to us for help opening up their little health food shop in our area, we jumped at the opportunity. So we started as minority owners in Alive Wholefoods, same time I was 9 months pregnant! Then 8 months into opening we became majority owners and the rest is history.
I come from a family of health freaks. My father owned a vegetarian food company, my mother was always super health driven and instilled healthy alternative eating in me, my grandparents on my mums side owned a bulk health food store and my grandparents on my dads side owned the towns local store…..so, it’s uncanny that from dancing, this is now what I have come back to!
Please tell us what it has been like living in Bali during COVID? I know Alive Wholefoods have done some great community work giving back.
Ah thank you, we are doing what we can. It only makes sense to help! Living in Bali through COVID is a rollercoaster. We are so happy to be helping our community of organic farmers, suppliers, local business owners, awesome staff and customers through our business! We work very hard and are very grateful…. we are learning daily! But at the same time it is devastating watching so many local people without work, and Bali is still not open for tourism, with no real end in sight…really sad and heartbreaking.
Was it difficult to set up a business?
Honestly yes it was difficult to set up, it was a mess as we took over from what was previously set up. But now we have a Lawyer we trust, and the government is more open to foreign business, it is much easier than what it was four years ago.
What is a typical Bali day for you and your family?
For us we wake around 6am or 7am, squeeze in a walk around the neighbourhood with our dogs if the kids aren’t up yet. Make them brekky and get them off to homeschool/ kindy. Sometimes one of us (more often Billy) will get to the gym. Then we get to work! Either in our warehouse, stores or at home if there is COVID restrictions. We have a wonderful cleaner Komang that helps us with monotonous cleaning (like the washing and cleaning bathrooms 5 mornings a week), and an awesome Nanny Kadek who picks up Jett from Kindy and brings him home 4 days a week, she also helps me with some food prep. Without this help we wouldn’t be able to run our business…and we are forever grateful!
There is also awesome weekly activities that we get to when we can like dancehall class, pilates, golf, beach café brekky’s, excellent Japanese food deliveries, and enjoying the most beautiful sunsets over the ocean or rice paddies.
What have you decided to do for school in Bali?
Homeschool for our 12 year old boy King and a homeschool/kindy for our 4 year old Jett. There are so many great schooling options now, we are so blessed! It is especially great for boys who thrive in smaller classes. And they’re both doing AWESOME! They also do weekly activities like Jiujitsu, coding, guitar lessons and dancing.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Rent is usually expected in advance yearly, so get saving. Schooling can also be expensive so allow for that and do your research. Pack any synthetics in in ziplock bags, and you actually don’t need to bring too much…most of the things you need you can get here now. Learn Bahasa Indonesia, knowing the basics will get you more respect (which is only logical and handy when it comes to things like bartering) Let go of perfection, and embrace the Balinese culture. Bali tests you, but it’s worth the tests! It’s a truly magical place.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just that there are more and more people moving over here and its exciting to see…many brave people thinking outside of the box. With tourism so unreliable Bali needs these people, and it also makes it even more interesting to live here!
Thank you so much to Naomi for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! Click here to visit the Alive Wholefoods. They have two stores, one in Canggu and one in the Umalas. These stores offer you a complete range of organic produce, bulk wholefoods, general grocery items, eco household items, natural personal care and much more!