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Meet the Armitage family living in Canggu, Bali

So who am I talking to?

Profile:   Natalie, husband Jason and sons Raff (14) and Bailey (9)

Originally from: Perth, Western Australia

Arrived in Bali: We arrived in Bali in January 2015 so into our fifth year here.

Home in Bali is:  Canggu.

We live in Berawa. We love this location but in some ways we would like to move further out now as Berawa has become so busy in recent years. The pace of the development going on is quite incredible and unfortunately it’s not sustainable based on the lack of supporting infrastructure.

How long do you plan to stay?

Originally we only intended on staying one year and now have been here over four years. We take it year by year but at this stage we have no immediate plans to leave, likely to be another few years at least.

What made you move to Bali?

We thought it would be fun for a year. My husband and son’s are keen surfers making Bali the perfect choice for year round surfing.

We felt as if we were caught in the rat-race in Perth constantly competing for more and never feeling content. We really wanted to live simply with less stress and more time with our boys.   

What do you normally do back in Perth?  

Generally just catching up with friends for BBQ’s, hanging out at the beach or river and being around our family. Saturday would mainly be taken up with kids sports and weekend nights often involved corporate dinners and events.

What is a typical day here for you with your two children? 

An early start as the traffic can be so unpredictable!  The boys attend the Australian Independent School which is located about 30 minutes (on a good day) from where we live. 

After school the traffic is always worse. I do my own driving and don’t take the boys on a bike which can mean long traffic jams, road works, ceremonies or one of many other surprises that are impossible to avoid in a car.  Although the car is a good place for getting homework done.

Once we get home we usually head to the beach. The boys will surf most days if they don’t have sport after school.

Tell us about your food experiences living here: 

The food in Bali is amazing! You can have so many different dining experiences all in the same street, ranging from high end dining to $2 bakso from the food cart. Bali can offer you whatever experience you are after.

What are you enjoying most whilst living here?

Love being able to explore Bali with the family. Every day is different, weekends throw up all sorts of options to travel to nearby places for a night or two in exotic locations.

What have you least enjoyed so far?

The traffic, the poverty and seeing how hard it can be for the locals to make ends meet. Not having the food choices at supermarkets or the selections of good wine.   

What do you miss back home? 

Being away from family and friends back in Australia, especially miss my mum and dad.

Have you experienced any “culture shock’? 

Been travelling to Bali and Thailand for most of my life so not real culture shocks, just always sad to see the struggles of a 3rd world country.

How has it been being part of an expat community?

The expat community is very welcoming. There are many opportunities to make new friends, Canggu has a country town feel and a sense of community once you look past the tourists.

The school community was an easy stepping stone to feeling at home and enjoying the social life.

What is the best thing you have done while you have lived here?

One of the most rewarding things is spending time at Bali Mother and Baby House, a safe haven for children and babies. Would also like to trek up a volcano so that’s on the to-do list.

If you had to describe Bali in three words what would it be?  

Beautiful, chaotic, spiritual.

What tips do you have to those looking at making the move to Bali:

Be prepared to meet chaos on a daily basis and be patient. If you let the small things worry you then life will be stressful and defeat the entire purpose of making the move.  

Natalie is a Bali Photo Blogger, follow Natalie’s Bali life @bali_iger

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