Meet: Mum Catlin and toddler Seth. I am a single mom from Holland with a 2 ½ year old son. We have been travelling since Seth was 3 months old and we arrived in Bali a couple of months ago.
Originally from: Netherlands
Arrived in Bali: We first landed in Jakarta on the 27 May and then did a very long quarantine and arrived in Bali on the 16 June.
Where is Home in Bali and Why?
We first started in Canggu in Berawa. We had a really nice house there but I am really a nature and sea lover so after one month, I decided to move to Uluwatu. We now live a one minute walk from Uluwatu beach. I’m so happy that he is waking up with the birds and monkeys and that we are able to walk to the beach every day. I’m really in love with Uluwatu.
How long do you plan to stay in BALI?
I feel that this is home and Seth loves it here. Eventually we have to go back to Europe but we will come back to Bali again!
What made you move to Bali?
The first time I came to Bali and fell in love with it was around seven years ago. Then I came back twice a year to Lombok and Bali. I always missed Indonesia a lot when I was back in Holland. Its feels like home and I don’t have that feeling when I am in Holland – even though I was born there! So 18 months ago, I made a plan to stop working and go to Bali – but then the COVID began! After changing my plane ticket six times I decided to apply for a visa and just go. I was a little bit done with all the waiting. I quit my job in Holland and then we left in May. We have decided to go for a couple of months to see how we feel and if we really like it, then the plan is to sell everything in Holland and build something up in Indonesia.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO LIVE IN BALI FINANCIALLY?
Currently we are living off savings. After years of working in Youth Care, and witnessing hardships from other families, I really wanted to take a break and have one-on-one time with Seth. Time flies so fast and he is growing quickly. I have been a single mum since he was born and always worked and saved. So at this moment we are really enjoying life and no work. The plan in the future is of course to work again and invest in a place in Bali. I would love to have guests from all over the world in our own place in the future. But for now this feels really good.
What is the best part about living in Bali with a Toddler? What is your routine like together?
The best about living in Bali are the beaches! We really love the sea and I get so much energy from it. It is such a good feeling to just sit and watch the waves and play around with Seth, looking for little crabs and fish. Besides that, the people are amazing and the nature. All the different parts of Bali have their own unique style. I think it’s really good for kids to grow up with so much nature around them and not too much stress. In Europe, I am used to running all the time.
Before he went to school, our routine was: breakfast, playing on the beach, groceries, nap time (he still sleeps during the day), meeting friends, sunset at the beach and go out for dinner or cook.
He started school so our routine is like this now: breakfast, school, I work a bit online/ writing/ surf lessons, picking him up from school, nap time, beach time, shower and enjoy the evening at home or we go for dinner.
BACK IN HOLLAND YOU HAVE A GORGEOUS ENGLISH BULLdog. EXPLAIN YOUR DECISION TO NOT BRING YOUR DOG TO BALI.
Hazel our English bulldog is back in Holland with my family. We miss her a lot but she is already 6 (almost 7). My parents love her and they take turns looking after her. I’m really lucky with them! I will not bring her here or try to bring her here. I dont think it would be good for her. The temperature is really hot for dogs too. I know it will be especially difficult to get her out of Indonesia again with Rabies around here.
Please tell us what it IS like living in Bali during COVID19?
Where you live will determine how strict it is – Bali style! It goes through stages of places being open, closed and then open again. The mask is the most important thing I think and they can be strict on that too. The only bad thing at the moment is that my mom is unable to come for a visit. They stopped the visas for now and you are only able to come to Bali with a KITAS. I understand that COVID is here but I don’t really see it around me.
Its more difficult to meet new people during this time because there are almost no parties. But besides that, everyone is easy going so its not so difficult to just start talking in other places like restaurants.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Just follow your heart. My motto is that you only live once. It’s really easy to go and live in Bali because of how lovely the people are here. Give it a try if you want to really do it and there is always a way back.
I always say if I can do it by myself with a toddler, anyone can do it! But of course that can be easy to say and I know it’s a really big step for a lot of people to let go of your structure.
Go and experience different parts of Bali to see what fits you as a person and family because they are all so different.
Also dont be afraid that you will not be able to buy things here – they have almost everything here now. Good bread, chocolate, diapers, clothes, yoghurt etc.. So that’s no excuse anymore – haha. And to be honest with all the good Indonesian food, I don’t miss a lot of things!
Is there anything else you would like to share that I haven’t asked?
Choose a safe hotel from a big hotel company (like Mecure) for your quarantine in Jakarta. We were in quarantine for 22 days, and I hope no one has to do that again. Indonesia is Indonesia so these kind of decisions are really important in my eyes. If you have more questions about this topic you can always ask me.