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Melbourne couple retire in Nusa Lembongan

Helen first reached out to me at the end of 2020, where she has explained she had been planning a move to Bali for the last 5 years and was looking at the legal side of things and needed assistance across a variety of aspects. It was a pleasure to support her and Pete across a variety of things like buying a home, getting KITAS and the everyday practicalities. They finally moved over in December and have started to settlle into their new island life. Thank you Helen for sharing your initial few months with us.

Meet: Helen and Pete

From: Melbourne, Australia

Arrived in Nusa Lembongan: December 2022

What experience did you have with Our Year in Bali and Simone assisting you?

Working with Simone and her contacts made our move very smooth. Her crew definitely helped us with the purchase of our villa in Nusa Lembogan. She always gives her time freely. There are so many small things to get your head around for example, opening a bank account, learning how to pay your electricity bills ect so it was super helpul and appreciated.       

Why did you decide to move to Nusa Lembongan?

We wanted a quiet place to live. Bali is only 30 minutes on the fast boat if we feel like visiting. I would never ride a motor bike in Bali but on Lembongan there is next to no traffic. There are only the local taxis, golf buggies and scooters. The locals and expats are so friendly we already feel part of the community. Lembongan is very cultural and there are many ceremonies we have already been invited too. People know everyone by name it’s like moving to a country town bu you need to put yourself out there to meet people.

How long do you plan to retire in Nusa Lembongan and why you chose Indonesia?

We had planned this for a couple of years but have always talked about moving to Bali. We chose Bali for its beauty and culture but also because its relatively close to Australia where family live. We don’t have any plans to leave but may take the opportunity to explore more of Asia.

What does life in Nusa Lembongan look like compared to living in Melbourne? 

Our life is quite simple. My husband loves surfing so there a waves for him. I love cooking so I have been exploring the local markets. There are lots of beaches to explore. Lembongan is part of three islands; Ceningan is accessible by foot or scooter bridge and Nusa Penida is a small boat ride away.

Offerings a local balinese markets

What are the biggest challenges you have found so far?

There have been a lot of challenges. Firstly we moved here in December the rainy season and also the worst weather we have been told for 15 years. The day before Christmas there was a mini cyclone. The power was out for 2 days, we have a generator but it cannot be used 24 hours day so that was a huge adjustment! We had family for Christmas which turned out to be a really bad idea. Sometimes the language barrier can be difficult but we are both learning Indonesian. There is no shopping if you’re looking for high fashion or big supermarkets this is not for you. One the other hand it is very freeing to not be caught up in the shopping frenzy scene. I go to Bali every month and buy goods I cannot access here. I also use a company Bali Direct to stock up on food supplies that are hard to buy here. The 2 local markets are fabulous!

Mini Cyclone in Nuse Lembongan 2022

How do you find healthcare? Do you feel safe?

There are two medical clinics on the island. I have used one twice and the care was exceptional. There is also an ambulance and Medivac in place for emergencies.

How do you get around the island?

I never thought I would ride a scooter but I do. It’s something I definitely would never do in Bali due to the heavy traffic.

If you’re unsure you can hire a bike or a golf buggy. There are no cars to hire on the island.

What is the best thing about living in Nusa Lembongan?

Living on Lembongan has a sense of community and safety. Everyone looks out for you and there is no crime. It’s like Bali 20 years ago and there are no hotels lining the beaches.

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

It’s not like a vacation you need to make an effort. At the beginning it can be hard. Bali can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it.

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

You just need to go with the flow. Expect not everything is going to be perfect. Yes we moved to a tropical island, but even tropical islands can be challenging!

You can follow Helen and Pete’s life on Nusa Lembongan on Instagram!

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