In May 2021, Ana and Angel from Madrid contacted me prior to applying to the Green School for a gap year for their two daughters. To their delight, their application was accepted and their daughters were set to begin at the school in August 2022. When they arrived in Bali, I had the pleasure of meeting them on their first day at the Green School after their long flight. Over the past six months, it has been amazing to see how they have fully immersed themselves in Balinese life, and like many of our other clients, have decided to extend their stay for nearly an additional year!
Meet: The Martinez Family – Ángel, Ana, Jimena (13) and Emilia (4)
Originally from: Spain
Arrived in Bali: August 2022
How did you come across Our Year in Bali?
Searching the internet for information about families in Bali. It is quite difficult to find information about family experiences… it`s usually more focused on young people and digital nomads!
What experience did you have with Simone assisting you?
Simone’s documentation has helped us a lot to have a more general vision of what awaited us living in Bali. After that, I have continued to consult her when I have had more specific doubts. It has been really helpful to have such a support.
What made you move to Bali?
We mainly made the decision because of the Green School. We wanted a different educational experience for our daughters. In addition, we were also very attracted by the culture and the climate. Bali seemed like a perfect place to spend some time.
Where is home in Bali and why did you decide to live there?
We wanted to experience different areas so we have been living in Ubud for a month, in Canggu for a month and a half, and finally we moved to our current home in Sibang Ecovillage, which is a 7 minute walk from the school. We love it here because it is so convenient during the school week without having to commute every day and because our daughters have a lot of school friends to play with.
How long do you plan to stay?
Our initial idea was to stay for a year… but we now decided to stay one more year until June 2024!
What does school life look like and how is raising your tribe?
The community at the Green School is amazing… activities are organized every day for families, and for the parents. We have met many people with incredible stories.
Educators are people with a great vocation and who love what they do. This is very noticeable and makes our daughters happy by learning things every day.
It really is so different from what we knew in Spain that going back to “what was before” is going to be complicated!
What are the biggest challenges you have found so far?
It was a bit difficult for us to adapt to food. It’s delicious, but there is less variety and especially for the little one it’s becoming more difficult to get used to.
Also, the traffic… we knew it was going to be intense, but it never ceases to frustrate us a little that the trips everywhere are so long.
How do you find healthcare? Do you feel safe?
We have had good experiences with local doctors for small issues and, for now, we haven’t had the need for hospitals, but from the experiences of other families we feel save in this regard.
What does your daily routine look like?
During the week we get up around 6:30 to get ready to go to school. We drop them off and while the girls have class, we do some activities we love (Yoga, Sports, meeting with other parents, etc) or work a little on the computer. At 15:15 we pick them up and go home to take a dip in the pool or relax at home. The days are so intense for everyone that we don’t normally go out!
On weekends we visit waterfalls, beaches, temples, meet some friends… we don’t stop!
How do you get around Bali?
The first 3 months we rented a car and Angel drove it, which was not easy! But now we live so close to school that we don’t need a car anymore. We only have a scooter for the short trips and, if we want to go somewhere on the weekends, we rent a car only for a day or two.
What is the best thing about living in Bali?
What we are enjoying the most is being able to do so many new and different family activities… every day is a new adventure!
Also connect with other open-minded people with whom to share experiences and learn from them.
And of course, the nature in every corner.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
Perhaps they shouldn’t believe everything they see on Instagram… Bali has wonderful things but it’s very different from “Western” countries. If they come looking for order, structure and cleanliness they will quickly become frustrated.
I would also like to warn that housing prices have practically tripled since the borders were opened after Covid. Important to take it into account when budgeting…
Is there anything else you would like to share that I haven’t asked?
How do we manage to be in Bali without working? We sold our house in Spain and invested in rental properties and some other assets. I have written a book about our story and investment method which I hope will help a lot of other families to change their mindset and jump out of the rat race: