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Life as a French Expat Mum in Family-Friendly Sanur

Join us as we dive into the vibrant expat life of Laura, a French mother of two, who shares her unique experiences and invaluable tips on raising a family in the beautiful town of Sanur, Bali.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Laura, I’m 34 years old and I am a French mum in Bali with two kids : Gabriel & Sacha.

When did you first arrive in Bali, and what brought you here?

We had come to Bali to take a year-long break from our lives, to discover a new culture and embark on a family adventure, and in the end, we never went back to France.

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

We had two cousins who were already living in Bali, and we wanted to try expat life for a short period. Eventually, we had several opportunities that made us stay.

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

We live in Sanur, which is a very family-friendly town. You can stroll with a stroller, walk, bike, and it’s exactly what I wanted, coming from a city life in France. Our house is very comfortable, with a garden and a nice pool, and we feel really good here. The neighbourhood is quiet, and our family is just nearby, so we can share moments together.

What has it been like raising a baby and toddler in Bali? What are the positives and negatives?

The positives of raising a child in Bali include the opportunity to learn new languages, sometimes two, namely English and Bahasa Indonesia. Our children are culturally open, exposed to different nationalities, and becoming more worldly. Balinese people are lovely and very welcoming. However, the negatives might include the healthcare system if we face major health issues, the humid climate which might not always be suitable for children, especially with very cold air conditioning in enclosed spaces leading to temperature shocks. Lastly, mosquitoes, which despite precautions, can carry diseases.

How is the schooling experience and meeting other parents?

Gabriel loves going to school and often talks about his classmates. I don’t get to meet the parents often, except during birthday parties organised outside of school, as it’s Gabriel’s dad who takes him to school in the morning, and the nanny who picks him up in the afternoon. I work from home and stay with Sacha.

How would you compare the cost of living to your home country?

Life is definitely cheaper in Bali compared to France. Here, we can afford a maid and a nanny, dine out regularly, get food delivered, and live in a beautiful villa with a pool. But it’s the intangible things that money can’t buy that we miss: friends and family.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced when moving to Bali?

Moving to a new country is indeed a significant challenge. Adjusting to life away from everything familiar in a different culture can be tough, especially if you’re a city lover like me. However, gradually establishing a routine with activities like exercise, work, and connecting with friends has helped me find a sense of comfort and stability.

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

Bali has changed my mindset a bit. I used to be someone who tended to plan everything, but I’ve become more flexible with my schedule. I leave more room for spontaneity in my daily life. On the professional side, I was a press officer in the fashion industry in France, and I became a community manager in Bali.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about Bali, and how would you correct them?

Bali is often seen as a kind of paradise where people can escape their problems, but the reality of expatriate life can be very different from what many imagine. Traffic can be intense, especially in tourist areas, and it can be a shock for those who are not used to this level of congestion. However, the kindness and generosity of the Balinese people are undeniable and are an important part of the island’s appeal for many. It’s a beautiful quality that deserves to be highlighted.

Can you walk us through what a typical day looks like for you in Bali?

I start my day by taking care of my sons. Once the oldest is at school, I either go for an hour-long walk on the beach or start my workday at home. Several times a week, I have lunch with a friend at the beach to work together and spend time together. Most of the time, I stick to this routine, especially since I had my second child. In the afternoon, I come back home when Gabriel finishes school, I prepare his snack, and sometimes we stay at home to play together, or we go back to the beach to play a bit. Back home, it’s shower, dinner, and in the evening, I create my personal content on Instagram #mumlife!

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

The stunning landscapes, the hospitality of the people and their care for us and our families, and of course, the Balinese massages, are definitely aspects that make Bali a special and welcoming place. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy all of that on a daily basis.

What are some factors that families looking to live in Bali should consider?

It’s a balanced perspective. Living in Bali can offer a good quality of life at a somewhat lower cost compared to France, with household and childcare assistance. However, there are also negative aspects to consider, such as daily traffic, the constant humid heat, the feeling of being far from one’s friends and families, and concerns about the healthcare system. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making such an important life decision.

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

Living through a pregnancy and giving birth in Bali, despite the ups and downs, is truly a unique and unforgettable experience. It’s a part of your life that will be etched in your memory forever, adding a special dimension to your connection with the island. It’s wonderful to experience such significant moments in such a special place.

Ready to get started?

Book a free discovery call to learn more about how we can help you feel confident about a move to Bali.

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