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New Zealand & UK family living in the Bukit with two young boys

Meet:  Elle, Sam, Marlin 3 and Hugo 2
Originally from: New Zealand and UK (Elle)
Arrived in Bali: We lived in Indonesia for many years before kids then went back to New Zealand to have Marlin in 2019 then COVID hit and we we’re stuck there so we had Hugo there and then managed to get back to Bali mid 2021.

What made you move to Bali?

My husband grew up travelling to Bali from New Zealand regularly because his Dad has an import/export business and is also now married to a beautiful Balinese woman. Sam then based himself between Bali and Australia in his early 20s. He always saw himself living in Bali.

I travelled to Bali when I was 19 and fell in love with it, I then met Sam here when I was 21 and ever since then we’ve always planned to make it our home.


Home in Bali is in the Bukit. why did you decide to live there?

Our home in Bali is on the Bukit, currently in Ungasan but we will be moving down to Uluwatu in February 2023. We love the Bukit, great access to surf is probably the number one reason we live here, it also happens to have a great expat community and a lot of families so works great for the kids.


How long do you plan to stay?

We plan to stay indefinitely.



What does school and life LOOK LIKE raising your little boys?

We’re very lucky to have an amazing preschool, The Anak Atelier in Ungasan. Our kids love it and for us we tried a nanny but school works a lot better – the kids love it and we have the time to focus on work with them out of the house.

We’re able to raise our kids with a huge amount of freedom and very little societal judgement compared to in NZ or the UK and that we love. We plan to homeschool them in the future if we can otherwise we will chose one of the many alternative schools in Bali.

I feel very lucky that my kids are able to group up at the beach, in the ocean and surrounded by the magic of the Balinese culture.


What is the expat community like- has it been hard making friends?

I think being here during the pandemic when Bali was very very quiet meant that we were able to build a very solid community, I feel it’s very easy to make new friends when you have kids wherever you are in the world because you just tend to gravitate towards each other.

I also created The Mama Club Bali and run a monthly get together in Uluwatu for expat, local, and travelling mums to connect. 



What are the biggest challenges you find living in Bali?

I don’t really feel there are any challenges living in Bali, Bali is truly home for us.


How do you find healthcare? Do you feel safe?

I feel very safe here, over the years I’ve had several experiences with doctors and hospitals and I have always been very happy and confident in the quality of care provided. The only area I felt unsure about was giving birth here so I chose to go back to New Zealand. 

What does your daily routine look like?

Our daily routine looks like this: during the week – Sam has the mornings to go surf so I have the kids and do school drop off. Then we focus on work while the boys are at school, pick the boys up then all head to the beach then home for dinner. Weekends we are usually at the beach, doing the kids cooking class at Ulu Garden, catching up with friends and every couple of months a trip to Waterbom which the boys LOVE.

Life is pretty simple, relatively quiet and we love it.


How do you get around Bali?

We mainly use the car, we have seen and know of so many bike accidents that we only take the boys on the bike close to home. If we don’t have the boys with us we’ll use the bike.


Mum and toddler in hotel gardens in Bali


What is the best thing about living in Bali?

The freedom to live the life you want and raise your kids exactly how you want to. And of course the surf!


What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?

Make sure you have spent a good amount of time here so you really know what ‘living’ in Bali is like. Hunt out other families when you get here – go to the kid friend restaurants, the play parks etc and get talking – having a good group of other Mums around me has been really important (I think that’s true where ever you are!)


Is there anything else you would like to share that I haven’t asked?

The biggest difference for us as a family here is the cost of childcare – in NZ preschool costs a fraction of what it costs us here but that’s very country specific, for a lot of people it’s cheaper here than home.

Ready to get started?

Book a free discovery call to learn more about how we can help you feel confident about a move to Bali.

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