Imagine building your dream villa and planning to live in Bali forever!
Meet: Miki, John, Chloe & Abbie
Originally from: England (Chloe & Abbie were born in Australia)
When Did you move to Bali?
Home in Bali is:
Pererenan but building a villa in Seseh.
What made you move to Bali?
My husband set up the Asia/Australia division of a B2B Marketing company called Transmission. We need to be based in Asia somewhere but we’d had enough of city living (Singapore) and that also ruled out Hong Kong. I had heard of the Green School and really wanted my kids to experience education in the Jungle so we opted for a totally different kind of island life.
How long do you plan to stay in Bali?
Where is home in Bali and why have you decided to live there?
We currently live in Pererenan but we are fed up with the uncertainties and costs of renting so we have sold everything we own to build our dream villa in Seseh.
We have everything we need in the area and as Pererenan gets busier our villa in Seseh will be ready so we will have the tranquility (if there isn’t too much building going on around us) of Seseh but only short motorbike ride back into Pererenan and Canggu.
Was it difficult to find a villa in bali?
It’s super hard to find 4 bedrooms and an office. The first long term place we had only had 3 bedrooms so when guests came to stay our eldest daughter had to move into the TV room. Now we have 4 bedrooms and its a pandemic so no one is coming to stay!
Now finding the perfect plot of land was another challenge. I spent 12 months following agents and locals on their motorbike to see plots of land. We had just about given up and were going to move our search area inland when we found a plot of land in Seseh 50 metresfrom the beach. We couldn’t believe that we managed to secure it.
Financially, how do you live in Bali?
I have set up my own PMA www.PositiveImpact.global – it’s a wellness business where I teach adults and kids Reiki, give Reiki treatments, offer Yoga, meditations and organise family or corporate retreats.
The business is both in person or online with a bigger expansion into online business over the coming months.
My husband, as mentioned, works for a B2B marketing company. He used to travel a lot but has been grounded since the pandemic started…. It’s actually the longest we’ve ever lived together since we were married nearly 15 years ago .. and we are still talking !!
What is a typical day for you and your family in Bali?
5.30am – yoga, meditation and Reiki (unless I have a deadline then its 5.30 am start work)
7.30am – send the kids off to the Green School
7.45am – horse riding
9.00am – Teaching Reiki workshop or teaching Yoga. Or a mix of marketing my business or doing family stuff, joining Green School zoom calls or attending a workshop to improve my business skills
5pm – watch the the children horse riding or walk the dog for sunset down the beach
6.30pm – family dinner
8pm – netflix or lead a guided reiki meditation or attend a guided Reiki meditation
9.30pm – bed Reiki if I didn’t do it in the morning
How has COVID affected you and how is Bali currently living with it?
Yes for sure it has affected my business and many of my clients are tourists who come to Bali for a spiritual experience and Reiki is something they can learn from themselves and then take it back home with them. The workshop is only 2 days but the flow of universal energy lasts a lifetime.
I have had to pivot and take my offerings online and continue to adapt and think outside the box to develop programmes. Luckily I can teach and treat Reiki clients via distance as Reiki goes beyond the limitations of time and space. I have a regular online yoga class whenre most of my students , including my mum, are in the UK. I feel like I’ve been of help to them over the last 18 months. They show up like clockwork every week and it’s been great to be able to support them.
My husband’s job has grown as his clients are in the tech space. He has opened both India and China offices since the pandemic started. Business is still not easy with the uncertainty but it is in growth mode as he launched the entire division less than 3 years ago.
I feel very blessed to be living in our Bali bubble. Wearing masks is not fun and the kids have to do it in school every day but we have freedom to walk down the beach to eat out at a restaurant and life is fairly normal for us.
We try to avoid large gatherings and our social circle is really small so far we have avoided any direct contact with COVID.
The blessings are the ability to move around the island with hardly any traffic and great deals at the hotels and guest houses.
The negatives are that we desperately want our families to visit but with parents over 70 they are worried about getting sick and siblings with families don’t want to quarantine in Jakarta or when they return back to the UK. It’s going to be a while before we see anyone.
We are not willing to travel to Europe because we are building a villa and also don’t want to risk getting stuck and the kids missing school. If family don’t come here I usually drop the kids in England for their holidays and a grandparent brings them back. They are sad not to be able to do it this year as they miss hanging out with their cousins and being cold !
What have you decided to do for school in Bali?
The kids are at the Green School – Chloe 13 is about to start her final year at middle school and Abbie 11 will start her first year of middle school. It’s been a tough year for the kids but Green school has done its best to deal with the situation, they have a blended programme with 4 days at school and one day distance learning. We really hope the school stays open and the kids can go back to 5 days a week in August.
Green school has just had a major investor come into the business – their aim is to make Green School a leading environmental Science school so I am hopeful of things to come. I think my eldest daughter would be keen to try another school but we will see how the next year pans out.
How is it being part of an expat community in Bali?
The expat community is great. Everyone helps each other out, especially the new arrivals. Obviously it’s very transient as many people just come or 1 or 2 years and that can be hard on the kids. But it helps us stay closer as a family and ultimately I think it will bring resilience and independence to the kids as they grow older. I also point out that when they go backpacking they won’t ever have to stay in a hostel as they will have friends scattered around the world.
What is the best kept secret/hidden gem in Bali That you’ve discovered?
Ohhhh that’s such a tricky question! Wherever you look you find something amazing. Right now I’d say it’s our villa. Although we are in Pererenan we are tucked down a path and when you enter our gate it’s like a little oasis. It has an amazing energy and we feel so safe and happy here. Next we need to recreate this in our new villa.
Other spots range from jungle to ocean, .snorkelling to hiking, silent retreats to fancy brunches. We love doing all these things.
For my husbands birthday we surprised him with a helicopter trip over Uluwatu – we all went on the 15 minute flight and it was a wonderful experience.
And this Sunday we head to central Bali for a morning hike followed by an afternoon riding ATV’s. The area is called Kings country and we’ll be traveling on the Kings road combining culture, countryside and adventure. There is always something new to explore!
What have you struggled with the most in Bali?
We’ve had our challenges particularly finding the right home and then it getting sold so then having to find another right home! I really struggled with the air pollution when we first got here. I was so angry at the burning of plastic and the rice paddies and then I got headaches so I had to make peace with it and see what I could do to help. With so little time having a family and a business I decided to offer some regular events by donation so at least I could support the local organisations I feel passionately about … check out my charity page here.https://www.positiveimpact.global/bali-life
And of course before COVID the traffic!
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Don’t delay… just do it!
Research the schools and know that not every school is right for your kids.
Rent a villa short term and ideally don’t commit long term until you’ve lived through the rainy season in it.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Bali is the Island of the Gods – listen to your heart to make sure your move is the right one for the right reason as Bali has a habit of spitting people out. If you do come and work here make sure you are legal and make sure you give back to the community.
Thank you so much to Miki for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! You can follow her Instagram account here.