Dutch family live and work in Canggu with their baby girl
Meet: Arinda, Aldo and Joya (born November ‘20)
Originally from: The Netherlands
Arrived in Bali: End of 2016
Home in Bail is: Babakan, Canggu
What made you move to Bali?
From 2013, I worked in Singapore and it was there that I quickly found out that I wanted a better work-life balance. My choice was to go to Bali, because I simply would visit the place often. In addition, I love the island life, the climate, the sea, the diversity in nature, surfing and the freedom I have here.
How long do you plan to stay?
There is no long-term plan. We would like to own a house in Bali and are saving for it. I think we’ll stay until we feel it’s time for something else. Since first living in Bali my situation has changed. I am now married and have a little girl. My husband is Indonesian and my daughter is therefore half Indonesian-Dutch. We have built our lives here and mainly look at what is best for Joya (our daughter) and what we feel comfortable with. I am a primary school teacher myself and there are plenty of international schools. In addition, we have a surf school (www.surfwithaldobali.com) and hope that this will start again when the borders open. I guess we’ll stay here for the coming years.
Where is home in Bali and why have you decided to live there?
We live just outside the hustle and bustle of Canggu (Babakan) in a locally renovated house. We were able to make a deal with the owner and can live here for a small amount per month. Our goal is to save as quickly as possible and to buy and build a house ourselves that is completely to our liking. That is our focus for the coming years and Canggu is where our surf school is located (Batu Bolong Beach) so it is also a strategically convenient location. Finally, we like this place, because it is always lively in Canggu and there is a good mix of local and western choices.
Was it difficult to find a villa?
It is currently easy to find a villa, due to the current COVID situation. Previously it was quite difficult to find a nice place. These villas are often offered through Facebook groups. At the moment a lot is being built, so I expect it will not be difficult to find a nice place.
Financially, how do you live in Bali? I see you and your husband have a surf school called Surf With Aldo Bali. Tell us more!
My husband does indeed run a surf school (www.surfwithaldobali.com). It is closed at the moment because there is simply no business. The best thing about our surf school in Bali is that we set the time for your surf lesson in Canggu or Kedungu based on the tide and swell. We teach according to your level and have divided our surf instruction into three basic principles, including water safety. Our highest goal is to combine fun and quality! In addition to the organization around the surf school, I give online Dutch lessons to children all over the world.
Many young families ask about moving to Bali with their baby or toddler. Can you share your experience and advice with having a baby in Bali?
As far as I’m concerned this is one of the best places to be with a baby. Joya really enjoys the beach, the sea, swimming pools, playing with little clothes on and the baby classes at Park Life. The temperature is ideal! You can also easily find household help or someone who takes care of your child. We don’t have full time help, because I like to take care of her as much as possible myself. I am convinced that children are flexible if you keep the routine as much as possible. Give them what they need: enough sleep, good food and lots of love. The Balinese/Indonesians love children. They love to hold Joya, play with her and even the greatest bodybuilder will come up to her to make her laugh!
What is a typical Bali day for you and your family?
We often get up around 7:30am. Joya is still breastfed, so I feed her in bed. We go downstairs, get bread from the freezer and Joya plays in the living room. Then we have breakfast together. In the morning I am free so I often do an activity with her before she goes to bed around 9:30am. I take her for a walk in the village, we share a coconut on the beach or go to a place where she can play (Park Life is a minute away from us). It could also be that I go surfing and my husband does something with her. After her morning nap she eats some pureed fruit and we play in the living room. We often have lunch at a warung. One of our favorites is Warung Jaba (Jl. Raya Batu Bolong). Delicious! After lunch I put Joya to bed and start working. My work is very irregular, but we try to keep the structure the same for her. My office is at home, so that’s where I go to work. Aldo, my husband, makes dinner. When I finish early we go to the beach. We have dinner around 6:00pm and then I do the evening routine with Joya and my husband cleans up the house. We often stay at home in the evening. This is a pretty normal day. We also love spontaneous outings! So the day will be different.
How has COVID affected you and how is Bali currently living with it?
This situation has a major effect on our surf school. Financially it looks a bit different for us than before. The government is not there for their citizens, as is the case in many Western countries. Aldo therefore receives no support. We are lucky that I can work and support my family in this way (I have the right visa for that). It is quieter in Bali than before. Although domestic tourism has taken off. Many people from Jakarta come over for a vacation. You also see that local people have gone back to their village to pick up/build life there. I know many people who are currently in strife, but who have to be creative with the possibilities to get food on the table. At the same time, we also enjoy the tranquility of Bali. We are now visiting tourist attractions! Therefore, it is also a unique opportunity to experience Bali in peace.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
When it comes to children, I think it’s important to find a routine as soon as possible. Enough sleep, healthy food and lots of love… Joya is certainly enjoying that! Beforehand, it is useful to think about a well-covering health insurance policy and make a financial plan. Look for a house locally and meet the owner. I was once massively ripped off (155,000,000 IDR) and the police did nothing. If you have school-age children, it is wise to determine in advance which schools are eligible. Pay the school a visit the moment you are in Bali. A good feeling at a school is important. Sometimes it is difficult to find baby equipment that you are used to in Western countries but you can easily order through IKEA or Shopee. I don’t like baby clothes in Bali, so I’ll have that come over from the Netherlands.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
First of all, I enjoyed doing this interview. Thanks! If you have any questions, go to my Instagram account and ask them. I try to respond to all messages. Ultimately, the most important thing is to follow your heart, make dreams come true and just take the step. My motto is that I never want to be sorry for not trying new things because I was too scared.
Thank you so much to Arinda (Dutch Do Bali) for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! You can follow her surf school Instagram account and the website here: https://www.instagram.com/surfwithaldo/ and https://www.surfwithaldobali.com You can also follow her personally via: https://www.instagram.com/dutchdobali/ and watch her dutch YouTube channel (first Indo-Dutch Couple channel): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXihpUrfh_WN4VF7tHoj84w
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