Living between Australia and Bali during the Coronavirus
Meet: Nicci Chalmers – an Aussie expat who usually lives in Bali but is currently a COVID nomad in Australia, waiting to return to our island home. Husband Phil, kids are Reggie and Lulu, and dogs are Freddie and Monty.
Originally from: Australia, but have lived overseas for the past 10 years between Hong Kong and Bali. We are staying in my hometown of Kiama, south of Sydney right now which has been a lovely breath of fresh coastal country air, great coffee, surf, cows and beaches – a bit like Bali… sort of!
Originally moved to Bali in: I have been travelling to Bali on and off for years, but we moved our family there permanently around 2015.
Home in Bail is and why: We have a villa in Berawa and have always rented places around the Canggu / Berawa area. We loved the original relaxed surfy vibe of the area, but inevitably it’s changed a lot in this time. We still love the Warung beanbag beach scene and it’s been fantastic to see the ever-evolving F&B industry grow which is so important for the local community.
What made you originally move to Bali?
We were raising two small toddlers in a small apartment in Hong Kong. I loved Hong Kong but I craved space and a more relaxed lifestyle for our kids. At that time we were travelling to Bali quite a lot and the appeal of getting our kids out of the high-rise urban jungle living and into the gritty, beachy lifestyle was strong. Their immune systems were incredible after they started eating black volcanic sand! I’d been exploring sustainable fashion options in Hong Kong since 2013 and we knew the move to Bali would help to enable the launch of my own kids swim label.
How long did you plan to stay in Bali and explain your return to Australia?
We were actually on a 2-week ski trip in Japan testing Cosmo base layer outfits when the pandemic started really kicking off. With ageing parents with health complications, we decided to come back to Australia for a quick visit. We are still living out of the same suitcase 15 months later!
Exciting to hear you plan to move back to Bali soon, why have you decided to go back? How long do you plan to stay this time?
Bali is our home and where we have our villa, good friends, businesses, great staff and our dogs who we miss terribly (they are being daily beach-walked by our lovely friend, Emi). I also have a shop in Berawa for my brand Cosmo Crew so we have a lot to get back to. Not to mention the weather, the food and the surf.
Tell us about your preparation for your move back to Bali? What are doing with regards to COVID preparations, any new regulations and protocols?
Indonesia is bravely facing up to this pandemic with inevitable challenges. I really feel for the frontline healthcare professionals working so hard for their patients. We have been so lucky in Australia that we haven’t really felt the brunt of this pandemic like so many other countries, although the Delta strain could change things. We require a lot more paperwork to travel – Covid clearance test, Govt approval to travel, visa information, and more… We will adhere to the Indonesian Government’s advice on quarantine and mask wearing – anything to minimize the further impact of Covid on the people of Bali and Indonesia.
What visa will you travel on?
A working visa through my company.
Financially, how will you live in Bali? Tell us more about your swimwear business Cosmo Crew Kids!
Cosmo Crew is a small brand I initially started with a friend but now run myself with my amazing team. I was keen to create a unique kids brand that wasn’t just another boring kids’ swim brand that uses low-quality cheap fabrics that don’t last more than a few wears. The core foundation of Cosmo Crew is based around producing stylish, high-quality, durable products that last, with innovative fabrics and practices that are less harmful to our environment. It’s not always easy sourcing the fabrics into Bali and we are always open to advice and feedback from fellow mums and dads on how to improve and tweak our products for the better!
Our focus is on sustainability and we are heavily influenced by the magic of our natural environment. We love bold, unique prints, ecologically advanced fabrics that are made from recycled materials like plastic bottles and regenerated fishing nets, and we celebrate kids adventures and growth, outdoors in their natural classrooms.
We have the shop in Berawa, Bali, retail sites in various countries, and sell online worldwide.
How are your kids feeling about moving back to Bali?
We have been so fortunate to be able to come back to Australia for the past year and spend time with our families. The girls joined a local school here and made some lovely friends. But they are keen to get back to our home in Bali, mostly to see their 4 and 2 legged friends that they have missed so dearly.
What have you decided to do for school in Bali?
We have been impressed with the schooling system in Bali and our kids have had great experiences at The Garden Early Learning school and Canggu Community School. Fantastic teachers, great values and we have met wonderful friends. We are still deciding on the next schooling step for them in Bali.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Join all the mums and family groups, embrace the relaxed lifestyle, respect and support local communities, customs and traditions, and come with a smile. Oh and always wear a bike helmet!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Hope to see you out and about in Bali one day. Please drop by the shop. x
Thank you so much to Nicci for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! Click here to visit Cosmo Crew. They have one store in Berawa in Bali and also ship worldwide. Nicci is also offering the Our Year in Bali community 20% off your next purchase. Enter BALILOVE at check out.
Interested to make a move to Bali?
Our Year in Bali consults worldwide so no matter where you are in the world we would love to hear from you. If you are keen to move to Bali or want to know more about the costs and logistics read about our consulting offers and request a package.