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Spanish family travel with young children for 3 months in Bali

I first spoke to Kyla in March 2023 when she was planning her 3-month Bali family adventure. This journey was also set to be part of a fantastic itinerary that included time in Thailand and Vietnam. Hopefully, this insightful interview with Kyla will inspire other families to embark on similar adventures. Yes, you can travel with very young children! As Kyla expressed so eloquently, “Our kids learned more in our 4 months away than they will ever learn from a book at school.”

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

I am half German/ British but have lived in Spain most of my life. My husband is British and our 3 kids were born here in Spain!

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

I first visited Bali 10 years ago and it stayed in my heart! When my husband and I decided to head off on an adventure, Bali was our first stop. We arrived in September with an open mind to potentially moving over for a year but also wanted to explore the rest of Asia as much as we could!

How did you hear about Our Year in Bali and what was your experience like?

I found Simone and her page on Instagram after it was recommended to me from a mum who lived there! Simone was absolutely brilliant. Answered all of my questions, hopped on a call with me before I decided to buy her bronze package which has an insane amount of information in.

I knew some of it already after having been 10 years previously, and some didn’t apply as we weren’t planning on putting the kids into school at that point, but there was still so much information and help that we used before and when we arrived. Simone also put me in contact with a great vis agent who gave fabulous visa advise and help. I would recommend her for anyone who needs help with this side of things!

What motivated you to move to Bali for 3 months, and how did you go about making the decision to do so?

As much as we adore our life in Spain, I wanted an adventure before the kids got too old (1,5 and 6).

We had an opportunity to simply not put our kids back into school when the new school year started and so we thought it was the perfect opportunity. We put our home on Airbnb for rent and worked more remote than normal for the months we were away.

Where in Bali did you live and travel around?

We started in Sanur, then to Nusa Lembongan, Ubud, Sideman and Kuta! There were so many more places we wanted to visit, but we ran out of time sadly!

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced?

I think generally we didn’t encounter any huge challenges, but traveling with kids is of course a test in itself! Paying for some services unnecessarily I found frustrating once I was there, but in hindsight, especially traveling across the world with 3 small kids, you want to keep things as easy as possible.
We paid for a chauffeur airport service for example, which actually we didn’t need.

Our kids got quite seasick which was a shame as I wanted to desperately visit the Gili Islands again, but they were sadly too far for the kids.

How did you get immersed into the local customs and traditions in Bali – share some experiences.

Our kids befriended everyone we met and so it was easy to integrate and become involved!

Our first week involved joining several fire shows. The locals and staff in home stays and hotels taught our kids about their culture, my eldest daughter dressed up in their local clothes and learnt how to cook authentic dishes at some of the kids clubs we attended too. The locals were so impressed when we spoke the few words we knew in Balinese. You could tell they were so appreciative!

Our kids learnt more in our 4 months away than they will ever learn from a book at school.

What was your favourite thing about Bali?

I loved feeling free! Feeling welcomed and appreciated by the locals for the most part! I loved being able to teach my kids about a different culture, have them try new foods, play with local children etc. Some of the beaches were incredible and even though prices have risen since I was last there, in general the prices were great.

What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about Bali, and how would you correct them?

That it has become almost unbearably expensive. I heard this before setting off. We knew that we weren’t renting a house and so I cant comment on this, but in general after comparing Bali to Thailand, they were pretty much the same price. I expected Bali to be much more expensive, but it wasn’t. Of course it depends on what you plan on doing, but we didn’t find it as expensive as we expected.

The people were also the kindest we experienced from Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. By far!

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

The people, the different activities you can do in different places and the amount of places and islands there are to explore. The massages are also incredible!! I was having 1 per day minimum!

What are some factors that families looking to live in Bali should consider?

Where you want to settle, because there are so many amazing places, and everywhere offers something different in terms of activities, places to eat, things for the kids to do etc

Accommodation (hotels and home stays) also vary in cost, but generally there is so much on offer.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience living in Bali that we haven’t covered?

Just that if anyone is on the fence about doing it, whether it be for a few months, a year or indefinitely, to just do it! We met so many expat families who moved over from different parts of the world to simply relocate because it was such an amazing place for families.

We will be back again very soon and already cant wait! If we didn’t live in Spain and love our life here so much, we would be in Bali!

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