UK family escaped Europe and now happily living in Bali the best decision they have ever made
Meet: Corinne, Dave, Alexander and Milán (also known as Twintastic Nomads)
Originally from: United Kingdom
Arrived in Bali: March 2020
Home in Bail is: We spent our first year in Ubud, surrounded by rice fields. The pull of the ocean brought us to Uluwatu, where we’ve been for the past 3 months.
What made you move to Bali?
Our twin sons were born in Budapest, and we have a specialty coffee shop there called The Goat Herder. We wanted to travel and show them some of the world. So, we appointed a manager for our coffee shop, rented our apartment out, and packed our backpacks. The plan was to spend 6 months or so travelling overland across Central America. We arrived in the UK to say “goodbye” to our family, and catch our flight to the USA, but the pandemic was announced and our flights were cancelled.
We needed to find a new plan, and fast. With airports closing all around us, we booked a one-way ticket to Denpasar at 11am, and flew at 6pm the same day. It was an anxious time to say the least. My heart beats a little faster just writing this. Everyone was “going home” at the request of their governments, and we were travelling to the other side of the world with our twin toddlers. Europe was going into panic, with new lockdowns being announced every day.
Our desire was simple, to choose a place where our children could live a normal life, outdoors and surrounded by nature. We had been to Bali before and knew that we were going to a self-sufficient island, with fresh produce and the friendliest of people. Oh and plenty of vitamin D. Bali closed 2 days after we arrived, and we still pinch ourselves that we made one of the best decisions of our life.
How long do you plan to stay?
We love living in Bali, and we’re honestly not sure if we ever want to leave. We are all very happy here. We have a business in Europe, so we need to consider that, but we’re not planning on going anywhere until the world normalises.
Where is home in Bali and why have you decided to live there?
Home in Bali at the moment is Uluwatu. We were drawn to it by the beautiful beaches, and we really love the life that we’ve carved out for ourselves here. We do miss the green and gentle beauty of Ubud though, and I think we’ll move back there one day.
Was it difficult to find a villa?
During this time, it was quite easy. We used Airbnb, and found ten or so villas that we really liked, contacted the owners with a long-term stay offer, and a couple of them responded positively. The one that we chose is perfect for us.
Financially, how do you live in Bali?
Due to the pandemic, our coffee shop in Budapest has not been able to pay us in about 15 months, so our income is solely from renting our apartment out. We live on a budget, but it’s really not a problem here. We spend a lot of time outdoors, playing at the beach. We take picnics with us often, and eat out at local warungs. We keep our costs down, but still have a lot of fun.
What is a typical Bali day for you and your family?
Most mornings we pack up our breakfast and drive down to our local beach for a picnic, swim and play. Our 3 year old twins go to a Montessori-inspired kids’ club 3 afternoons a week, and on these days, Dave and I get to do some work for our coffee shop. All other times, we have fun as a family. We spend a lot of time in the water, and we can often be seen chasing the shade around the Bukit.
How has COVID affected you and how is Bali currently living with it?
Bali is very quiet, and financially that’s not a good thing for the locals. But it’s given people an opportunity to slow down, and reconnect with the island. At sunset, beaches around Uluwatu are often filled with locals having fun, playing beach football and bathing in the shallow waters. They have their island back. Tourism in Bali is usually crazy, and it’s so nice to be here during this quiet time.
What have you decided to do for education in Bali?
Our children go to a Montessori-inspired kids’ club, 3 afternoons a week. They plant flowers, harvest mushrooms, feed bunnies, paint, play and are being introduced to numbers and letters.
What is it like being part of an expat community?
The expat community is really nice. There’s lots of support and friendship on offer, which has been really lovely. We’ve found Ubud and Canggu to be more family-orientated locations, so most of our friends are there.
What is the best kept secret/hidden gem in Bali you’ve discovered?
We love the volcanic region in the north. The climate is cool, the air is clean, and it’s really a very special place to visit.
What have you struggled with the most in Bali?
I don’t think we’ve struggled with anything.
What advice do you have for other families making the move to Bali?
When we lived in Budapest, we used to go to the playground every day. There was an instant social scene there, both for children and parents. Playgrounds like this don’t exist in Bali, so we had to get a bit more creative. We joined Facebook groups, arranged playdates and took part in kids’ classes like pottery. It takes a bit more effort to find things to do, but it’s definitely worth it.
Thank you so much to Dave and Corinne for sharing your Bali life with the Our Year in Bali community! You can follow their wonderful journey here – Twintastic Nomads on Instagram!