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Pursuing Dreams: A Gold Coast Family’s Bali Gap Year, Balancing Online Schooling, Quality Family Time, and Embarking on Villa Investment

Meet clients from the Gold Coast – a family who embarked on a transformative journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, they chose to embrace a “gap year” like no other, one filled with adventure, exploration, and new opportunities. This interview Kristine delves into their experience of balancing online schooling for their teenage son, immersing themselves in Balinese culture, and venturing into the world of real estate investment by building a stunning luxury villa. Join us as they share the details of their Bali life, the memories they crafted, and the lessons they learned along the way.

Kind words from Krisitne:

“If you are considering a gap year in Bali I cannot recommend Simone highly enough. Her knowledge and valuable information is second to none. Simone also checks in regularly with you to see if you need any ongoing support to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. We are so excited for our 2022 adventure! Thanks Simone.”

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where are you originally from?

Originally from Coffs Harbour but moved to Coolangatta on the Gold Coast in 2012 .We have 4 sons (3 are grown up and out of home). Damien is a surveyor and I am a registered nurse.  I also have a little side hustle jewellery business.

Expats on beach in Canggu

When did you first arrive in Bali, and what brought you here?

We arrived in February 2022. I have always loved Bali and I had a jewellery wholesaling business out of Bali from 2000 to 2008 supplying retailers all over Australia and New Zealand.  It was always my dream to one day have have a sabbatical in Bali. Even when I returned to my nursing profession we would still travel to Bali at least once a year sometimes twice.

Australian expat with Balinese kids

How did you hear about Our Year in Bali, and what was your experience like with Simone’s assistance?

It was during the lock downs that we felt restless and yearned to get back to Bali. People were really anxious to commence travel but we honestly couldn’t wait. I started googling “living in Bali” and Simones site popped up. Within a few days we had scheduled a zoom meeting. After speaking with Simone we purchased her Silver package that gave us a comprehensive overview of everything we needed to know and things that we hadn’t even thought of. We were also advised of the right visas and if we were prepared to quarantine in Jakarta, we could get over to Bali sooner than expected. Living in Bali is quite different from just visiting as a tourist and we found Simones knowledge invaluable.

What motivated you to move to Bali, and how did you go about making the decision to do so?

Like everyone else the pandemic had a significant impact on our lives. It made us reassess everything. We really wanted to spend some quality time with our teenage son and to be honest just slow down and take some time out.

Gold Coast expat family waterfall temple

Where in Bali did you live, and what made you choose that location?

Although our main priority was to immerse ourselves in the Balinese culture and make friends with the locals, we also wanted to be in a community where it was popular for expats. We wanted Ollie to be able to meet other teenagers that were living on the island. After chatting with Simone we decided on Berawa in Canggu. We arrived before tourism reopened and were able to negotiate a great deal for a 3 month rental. We spent another 3 months in Berawa staying at a friends villa who owns Cocoon Medical Spa then a 2 month stint in Seminyak.

Ollie and Dame surfed every day and I enjoyed yoga. It was so good to take a break from our stressful daily routine in Australia. We had the opportunity to share quality time and experiences together as a family.

Australian expat with a coconut

What did you decide to do for schooling for your teenage son?

This was our hardest decision because international schools are expensive, so we decided on Brisbane school of distance education. This gave us the flexibility to travel and get away to the beautiful mountains and neighboring islands.

Father and son walking to beach in Bali

You decided to build a luxury villa as a holiday rental investment “Suku House Berawa” in Canggu. Looks stunning by the way! Tell us more about the process, how it came about, any tips and advice for others who are keen to do the same.

While we were in Bali we toyed with the idea of building a villa but we honestly did not know where to start. We had heard so many horror stories. Sacha from Suasa Real Estate was tagged in an Instagram post so I contacted him and we set up a meeting. He answered all of our questions he  was so knowledgeable and we found him very open and honest but it was still very overwhelming. We only had a few weeks before we were heading back to Australia. We were nervous about not being on the island to check on the build for our first investment in Bali real estate. Suku Houses were 3 off plan luxury villas in the heart of Berawa. The architect Tim Caston owner of We are Design Assembly and the building contractor Bali Home Builder had really good reputations on the island.

Our priority was a quality build, no water issues and lots of natural light. We purchased the last villa available through Suasa real estate. It is stunning and we are thrilled with the finishes. If you would like to stay in our beautiful villa please visit our Airbnb listing.

Airbnb villa in Berawa

What would you say was the best thing about living in Bali?

The best thing about living in Bali was being amongst the locals witnessing their daily rituals and ceremonies and beautiful customs. Every evening heading to the beach for the magical sunsets. They made us realise you can live so simply and be so happy.

We focussed more on relaxation and wellness surfing  pilates  activities that we don’t make enough time for back home.

We plan to come back to Bali at least twice a year and spend time in our investment villa who knows what the future holds one day we may get to live in it permanently.

Anything else you wish to share with the Our Year in Bali community?

If you are considering a gap year in Bali I would highly recommend it. You just need to be a little free spirited in nature and  go with the flow because everything happens on Bali time.

Father and son going for a surf in Uluwautu

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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