From London to Bali: An Interview with a UK Family on Their 3-Month Adventure
I had the pleasure of chatting with Becks about her family’s exciting adventure to Bali. It all started when Becks reached out to me via Instagram in April 2022, asking for my assistance with their three-month trip to Bali in September of the same year. In our 30-minute discovery call, I shared advice on schooling, budgeting, accommodation, and practicalities such as visas and insurance. It was a joy to follow Becks and her family on their adventure, offering feedback and guidance along the way. Becks even graciously provided a lovely testimonial for me!
What’s even more thrilling is that this beautiful family is planning to return to Bali later this year for an extended period. After comparing their life in London to the experience they had in Bali, they’ve decided to shake things up and make Bali their home for a few years. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this adventurous family! Keep following their journey to Bali and beyond.
Meet: Fudge, Becks, Jesse (aged 12) and Naiara (aged 8)
From: London, UK
Arrived in Bali: September 2022
What was it like working with Simone from Our Year in Bali?
Working with Simone was the most perfect introduction to Bali! Imagine having a consummate professional to work with that also feels like a friend – you can’t ask for a better combination, especially when trying to move your family all the way to Bali from the UK. We have travelled as a family around Asia, but had never stepped foot in Bali, so Simone was a great help!
Had you been to Bali before?
We had never been to Bali, so this was all new as Bali is a very unique place. You can prepare and research as much as you like but being there is the only way to get a feel for the place.
What made you move to Bali?
We had always been keen to move away to warmer climates, preferably somewhere tropical and Fudge had a job opportunity that led us to Bali. You don’t need to ask me twice to go anywhere, so we jumped at the chance and embraced the opportunity!
Home in Bali was in Tumbak Bayuh and why did you decide to live there?
Home in Bali was in Tumbak Bayuh, North Canggu. It is quieter there than somewhere like Berawa or Batu Balong. There were many locals nearby which was lovely. Our neighbours were from the UK, which was also lovely as we made friends with them quickly! We lived on the cusp of Pererenan, which was awesome as there are plenty of places to eat nearby (without the hustle and bustle) & we were also only 10 minutes from central Canggu, so we really were living in a good spot. Seseh was around 8-10minutes from us by scooter, which I loved!! I think I would like to live there in the future.
How long did you stay in Bali for?
We only stayed in Bali for 3 months, which is nowhere near long enough!
What did school life look like for your children?
School life in Bali is so varied depending on what you are looking for – there is something for everyone and all situations.
Jesse and Naiara both started school at a lovely tutoring centre in Berawa called TutorMeBali.
They both studied their core subjects along with some subjects of their choice. For example, Bahasa, business & entrepreneurship, art etc.
The TutorMe school environment is quite different to the UK schools that Jesse and Naiara were used to. They would go to school mostly barefoot, no uniform and always have the school dog, Zanto with them. Their school days would start at 8.30am and finish between 1-2.30pm.
Naiara then went on to a different school called Skywalker Academy. Our aim was to try different schools to get a feel for what would be the most suitable for them in the future…when we return!
What were the biggest challenges you found living in Bali?
For me personally, transportation and getting around was a bit of an issue as I hadn’t plucked up the courage to ride my own scooter! Going anywhere by car can take too long, especially in the rain, it’s much more convenient to ride your scooter everywhere or order a GoJek (which can be a nightmare if it’s raining!). Fudge drove a scooter and all four of us would occasionally all go on the same bike, Bali style! Trying to carry your food shop on a bike is also interesting!
We also missed family and friends a lot – this is something that would take some time to get used to – oh, and the bugs!
I think the adjustment of being in a new place takes time and you need plenty of it to really settle in a new place.
What exciting things did you get up to in Bali? Favourite memories?
Ah too many to tell! Although we were only there for 3 months, we did so many amazing things, Bali has soooo much to offer! We swam with turtles, rafted in the river, surfed, visited Waterbom (kids love this!), visited the Gili Islands, hiked Mount Batur, visited local people and learned about the local culture. There is so much more we want to do in Bali.
I think my favourite memories are of just simply being at the beach for sunset, there is nothing quite like it. My favourite spot in the evening was at Seseh Beach.
The drive through the streets of Seseh in the evening are just stunning! The kids LOVED the Gili islands, Jesse especially. He felt he had so much freedom on the island and loved riding the electric scooters all day long weaving through the island! I think he felt grown up – you couldn’t do that in London, that’s for sure! Naiara loved snorkelling with turtles, she would do it every day!
I think one of Fudge’s highlights was playing for the Bali Bulldogs football team, he really enjoyed it and loved the community that was created there.
How do you get around Bali? Any tips or advice when it comes to traffic?
Coming from London, we are used to traffic. I was surprised to see that some areas in Bali can be more congested than London, but with scooters instead of cars. It can be manic, and it is quite the experience! However, there is NO road rage, it is not a thing in Bali, and this is so welcomed. Everybody respects each other on the road. There are pockets of stunning rice fields and views when you are on your journeys. My advice is, take the good with the bad and the bad with the good. Be patient in traffic and adopt the Balinese mentality whilst out on your journeys, your experience will be better for it!
Oh, and keep your feet tucked in during the tight traffic!
What was the best thing about living in Bali?
The single best thing about Bali is the people. The Balinese people are truly amazing.
The lifestyle in general, it is slower but not too slow. You are outside a lot of the time enjoying nature, the warm climate, the people, the community. It is easy to enjoy life in Bali. You will always have the normal day to day ups and downs…but you get to do the ups and downs in paradise.
Coconuts and massages are lovely little extras too!
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Like many others will say, just got for it! I think if you have the opportunity to visit Bali first before moving, then do so, but it isn’t essential…we didn’t. We did have the help of Simone, which went so far. Simone will really help you to save time on your research and preparing for the move. Go with an open mind and allow yourself plenty of time to settle, it is a big adjustment.
I found we went through up and down phases, but you eventually start to feel more at home, and I can only imagine you become more and more settled as time goes on. Bali already feels like a second home.
Take some foodie goodies from home – you will miss them more than you think!
I believe you are planning on returning to Bali – please share!
Yes! We plan to return and stay in Bali for a long time! We don’t have a fixed amount of time yet, but we intend for it to be around 2 years, but who knows. After we returned to London from Bali in December, it enabled us to make true comparisons of the lifestyles between London and Bali (two extremes). We agree that Bali is better for our family as a whole. This won’t come without it’s challenges as Jesse, who is now 12 and in secondary school in the UK, will no doubt feel the permanent adjustment the most. It is not a decision we made lightly but do believe it’s the best one. Bali is a great lifestyle and if the opportunity is there, you’ve got to take it!
We have some more preparations to do like choosing a new school for Jesse and Naiara to stay at more long term, but it is all coming together, and I will keep you updated along the way.