New Zealand couple leave Queenstown for Bali
Meet: Rik and Kat Van Dijk
Originally from: Queenstown, Aotearoa New Zealand
Arrived in Bali: 14 February 2022
What made you decide to MOVE TO BALI?
After nearly 30 years in the corporate world, it was time to scratch that travel itch.
Bali is perfectly located midway between Aotearoa and the rest of the world, so it’s an ideal place for us to be based.
Plus the idea of turning our favourite holiday destination into our permanent home was an opportunity too good to miss. We’ve always loved the culture, the people, the climate and the food, so this was a no-brainer.
How long do you plan to stay in BALI?
As long as Bali will have us! We’re in no hurry to leave.
Where is your home in bali and why did you decide to live there?
For us, this area is at the heart of everything that makes living in Bali great. We’re less than five minutes to beautiful beaches, bars, restaurants and shops plus we’re surrounded by stunning rice fields (for now). Kat’s pilates studio and tennis for Rik is a two minute scooter ride away.
What preparations did you make before arriving in Bali?
A lot. Although our ‘why’ for moving to Bali was big enough motivation, we were still giving up successful careers and life as we knew it, so we spent 12 months preparing, asking lots of questions of friends living in Bali (sorry Janine and Trent!), following travel influencers in Bali on IG, and preparing budgets/entry visa paperwork so that when we arrived, little was left to chance.
Simone from ‘Our year in Bali’ was also great to talk to about life as an expat in Bali (highly recommended!).
Our villa was actually built during Covid lockdown in 2020, so that kept our eyes on the prize during those long winter months back home in Queenstown.
Thankfully Ranjiv, our project manager kept us updated throughout. We could in fact be the first people on earth to have a build completed on time and on budget!
What have the settling in challenges been for you?
Besides a couple of bouts of Bali belly early on, buying an expensive fake tennis racquet and learning the dark art of weaving through peak hour traffic on a scooter (who knew Bali’s footpaths are also passing lanes?) we’ve had far fewer challenges than expected.
What does your daily routine look like?
Very different to 7 months ago!
Many of the fulfilling and important aspects of our life back in New Zealand – health, fitness, mindfulness, learning new skills – had to be consciously built into our daily routines, whereas now that’s all we spend our time focused on.
Daily exercise, podcast listening, discovering more of the Island, reading those books that have sat idle on our kindles, learning Bahasa, socialising with great people and planning our next chapter.
How do you find healthcare? Do you feel safe?
Although we are fully covered by health insurance, we haven’t had to use the Bali healthcare system (touch wood). We feel very safe but still take precautions as you would in any country. We’d also recommend getting rabies vaccinations before arriving.
How do you get around Bali?
A trustee Yamaha N Max and a bright red Scoopy.
Very rarely will you see us in a car. Scootering is all about the journey AND the destination.
What is the best thing about living in Bali so far?
There is a great Māori proverb that rings true for us in Bali;
‘He aha te mea nui o te ago? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people!’
Oh, and the Nasi Goreng at our local warung is pretty special 🙂
What advice do you have for other couples making the move to Bali?
You won’t regret it.
Bali has an enormous amount to offer but still do your research before coming.
Although it’s relatively inexpensive, you can burn through your cash quickly;
Learn to ride a scooter before arriving in Bali, not on the Canggu shortcut at 4pm on a Friday!;
Learn some basic Bahasa, the Balinese will really appreciate it;
Unless you know where you want to live, rent in a few different locations to get a true feel of the area;
Respect the locals. It’s their slice of paradise that they’re sharing with us;
And whatever you give to Bali, you are sure to receive it back 10 fold.
If you live in Bali and would like to join our interview collection please feel free to reach out to me anytime.
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Do you want to live in Bali and keen to find out more?
We can help you live your best Bali life! Our Year in Bali is a worldwide consulting service, so no matter where you are in the world, we would love to hear from you. If you are keen to move to Bali and want to know more about the cost of living and how to live your best expat life, read about our consulting
Just love following your journey!! Thanks for the inspiration.
Thank you for your lovely words!
Katrina Van Dijk
Thanks Tanya ??
Lovely Article… and what a beautiful couple. Had the privilege to meet Kat In Nz 2017 and am not amazed by her decision. Hardworking Lady with a loving heart….keep growing and enjoy your experience in Bali.?? stay blessed…love-shilpa ?
Thank you for your lovely words and thank you for reading Shilpa.
Katrina Van Dijk
Thanks Shilpa, hope to see you in Bali one day ??