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From Dutch Dreams to Balinese Bliss: A Young Family’s Journey of Selling Everything for a New Life in Bali

Say hello to Samir, Sarana, and their adorable two-year-old daughter, Aylena! @thetalesweleavebehind

They originally hailed from the Netherlands, where they worked as digital freelancers. But about 10 months ago, they made a life-changing decision – they decided to trade in their Dutch lifestyle for the magical world of Bali. After a six-week exploration, they sold their Dutch home and fully immersed themselves in the Balinese way of life within just three months.

Their journey is a captivating blend of @montessoribali education and Balinese culture, offering us a peek into their transformative experiences and their ongoing quest for balance and harmony in Bali.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where are you originally from?

Certainly, we’re Samir and Sarana, and our beautiful daughter Aylena just celebrated her second birthday. Our roots trace back to the Netherlands, where we pursue our careers as freelancers in the online realm. Around 10 months ago, our family embarked on an exciting journey by relocating to Bali, seeking a new adventure and a change of environment for our family.

When did you first arrive in Bali, what brought you here and how long do plan to stay?

Last year, our journey began with a six-week exploration of Bali. The island’s captivating allure swept us off our feet, leading us to make a transformative decision. In 3 months’ time, we sold our house and almost all our stuff in the Netherlands and embarked on a journey to embrace Bali as our new home. While our plans are still evolving, Bali has cast its spell, making it likely that our stay will extend indefinitely.

Dutch expat family have a turning 1 in Bali party

What motivated you to move to Bali, and how did you go about making the decision to do so?

Bali’s charm is a mix of wonderful things – friendly locals, sunny days, family-friendly places, business potential, and a strong sense of community. We were looking to recharge our spirits, feeling disconnected from where we were before. Bali instantly breathed life into us, becoming a sanctuary where we felt truly alive. Our decision to move was strongly guided by this heartfelt connection.

Where in Bali do you currently reside, and what made you choose that location?

Our current home is nestled in the heart of Berawa-Canggu. After exploring different areas, this one emerged as the most fitting for our family’s dynamics. As for our timeline here, we’re letting Bali’s rhythm dictate our course.

Dutch todler on beach in Canggu

You have chosen to send your daughter to the Montessori Bali in Berawa. What is the schooling experience like?

Our 2-year-old daughter, is loving her time in the Lili class at Montessori Bali. They really dive into personalized learning, hands-on exploration, and nurturing independence – exactly what she needs right now. The teachers are all about fueling her curiosity, and she’s thriving.Lilly and Montesrroi Bali

What is the Montessori school community like?

The Montessori school community here in Bali is like an extended family. Parents, teachers, and students are all interconnected, creating a supportive and inclusive environment. This sense of community has enriched our experience and has been a source of comfort for us as expats.

It was so much fun helping out at @twilightmarketbali. The event was organized on the grounds of the Montessori school and I have not yet seen such a big joyful (festival type) of event yet in Bali, there was so much to do and see!

Since Aylena also goes to school here they asked some parents to help out and of course I thought it would be fun to be involved in this wonderful event.

Montessori Twilight Market

How has living in Bali influenced your personal and professional life, and what opportunities have you found here?

Living in Bali has brought a refreshing change to our lives. It’s allowed us to embrace a more balanced lifestyle, prioritizing time spent together as a family and exploring the natural beauty around us. Professionally, we’ve been able to explore new opportunities within the local community that align with our skills and interests. The inspiring community of entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals fuels our drive even further.

Dutch mother and daughter on scooter in Bali

How have you adapted to the local customs and traditions in Bali, and what have you learned from the experience?

We’ve approached adapting to local customs and traditions with respect and curiosity. Engaging with the community has taught us the value of mindfulness, the importance of community connections, and the significance of traditions in daily life. It’s been a humbling experience that has expanded our cultural understanding.

Dutch family visiting waterfall in Bali

What would you say is the best thing about living in Bali?

Living in Bali offers a refreshing perspective compared to the European focus on individualism. Here, the spotlight is on community living, which has transformed us into more empathetic beings and encouraged a deeper sense of mindfulness. Every moment is meant to be savored. Bali has reshaped our notion of balance—it’s not only about work, but also about relishing the diverse experiences that weave together a tapestry of joy and contentment. Our days here are a continuous flow of happiness, a testament to a life not just lived, but embraced to the fullest.

Dutch mother and toddler in pool in Bali

What advice would you give to other families who are considering a move to Bali and those families that are coming from a previous Montessori school?

For families considering a move to Bali, we would advise embracing the adventure with an open heart. Take the time to understand the local culture, connect with the community, and explore the various opportunities for growth. For families transitioning from a previous Montessori school, be prepared to find the principles you value in Montessori education interwoven beautifully with Bali’s unique environment.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience living in Bali that we haven’t covered yet?

We would like to express our gratitude for the enriching experiences and personal growth we’ve encountered during our time in Bali. The combination of Montessori education and the Balinese culture has created an incredibly unique and rewarding journey for our family.

For family tips and insights follow their Instagram account here.

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