I love finding families living in Bali, and I came across this Indonesian family who moved to Bali over 10 years ago. They are not an expat family that I usually feature from overseas, but they too were looking for similar things that attract families to Bali. I love their story on how they ended up loving and living in Bali and chose to have a family there and raise their two daughters. Through their blog and Instagram, they share their experiences on the island and perhaps introduce you to parts of Bali you might not normally see and food you might not try. It is also a great way to practise your Bahasa when you read their stories and some of their blog posts! They are great when it comes to all things #Baliwithkids!
Meet: Eko, Diana, Lala and Kai
Originally from: Eko is from Bandung (West Java) and Diana is from Palembang (South Sumatra).
Arrived in Bali: February 2011
Home in Bail is: Denpasar
What made you move to Bali?
Originally it was to pursue our passion in scuba diving. We worked 9 to 5 in a big firm in Jakarta and had extra money to have fun, so we did things like learned how to scuba dive and ate good food. But the traffic, pace, and routine in Jakarta drove us crazy. Then we moved back to Bandung, where we first met in University, to help my sister run one of her businesses. But family issues got into the way, and we decided to go and live quite far away from home where we could really start our own lives and dreams.
We were thinking of a couple of options, but since we wanted to pursue our dream in scuba diving, we decided to go to Bali as it is close to the sea, and has more resources for us to do it. Finally, we were able to open and run a dive center for three years, before we started a family. After that when we could not personally take guests diving anymore, we decided to switch our jobs.
Where is home in Bali and why have you decided to live there?
We lived in three rental homes before having our own home in Denpasar, closer to Sanur.We live 10-minutes away from the beach.
After working and living here for months, we found that Bali has everything we can’t live without – the nature, city life and nice people.
Bali has waterfalls and beautiful greenery for when we need to escape the city and the most wonderful and tolerant people we have ever known. Plus cinemas and Burger King are still within reach! On a side note, I stayed for a month in Labuan Bajo (Komodo) when I got my Divemaster certificate and found I couldn’t live on a remote island without these privileges!
Bali has such a diverse culture that we can learn so many things. We love that our kids learn about traditional Balinese culture and make friends with citizens from all around the world. It is a very dynamic, vibrant and diverse place to live and a safe environment for our children to grow up in.
Since living in Bali, we have met many inspiring people who have a very different point of view. We have hosted many international guests who share their inspiring stories and we have found many ways to collaborate with them in making this world a better place to live.
Besides those main reasons, Bali also has an International airport with many outbound destinations and hubs and because it is a holiday destination, many relatives and friends visit us often.
Financially, how do you live in Bali?
Eko works as a Finance Manager in a sustainable fisheries NGO in Bali, and is also a Director of a fisheries start-up company. I work at home as a freelance writer.
Before COVID19, we opened our home to guests through Airbnb. We also have another vacation rental in Sanur. But we are taking a break from that due to the pandemic.
What is a typical Bali day for your family?
On weekdays, we work and kids go to school. On weekends, we go to the park, the beach with our dog, explore waterfalls, rivers and hills, or go to shopping malls. Sometimes we go camping by the lake, or camping with our friends, too. If we have a couple of days off, we do a staycation in East or North Bali.
What is it like living in Bali during COVID19?
It is very sad when passing popular tourist regions that were once crowded are now are quiet due to the pandemic. But in another side, it is good to see Bali without the bad traffic, and the weather and seasons seem to become normal again.
This is a difficult time for everyone, everywhere but we’re happy to see many communities in Bali still work together independently to do what they can to help. For example, our friends who run a catering business are donating and sending free food to those who are doing self-isolation due to COVID19. In other ways, we also see many friends and people buy things from other local friends just because we all know it is one of the ways we can keep the economy going.
What have you decided to do for education in Bali?
Both of our children go to ELC & Primary School in Tukad Badung IXA Renon, Denpasar and it is just 10 minutes away from our home. We chose that school because it has play-based learning and it is a hands-on experience for the children. They also emphasise a personal learning experience instead of putting a target on the whole group. In ELC, there is a large garden with a little hill where the kids can run, climb, touch the grass, and learn about birds and flowers as well. Because we feel that we fit into their educational system, we will continue through the Primary school as it also suits our budget. We inspected about six other Primary schools before deciding on that one. The Primary school has a Cambridge and K13 curriculum but unfortunately they don’t have a Secondary school.
You are a wonderful Bali Family Blogger! Please share more about Smell Like Home.
We actually started this blog to share more information about traveling with family around Indonesia and we planned to go around Indonesia by car – that is where this name comes from. We hope, no matter where we are or where we go, we and people always find it smell like home.
We think it is also useful to focus more on Bali family activities as many of our friends always ask us about what to do in Bali with family; so they are happy when we write them down on our blog or Instagram.
Thank you so much Diana for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! Click here to visit their blog packed with tips, itinerary, things to do and so much more!