This is an exciting new addition to the blog where we will interview other families that have done the same and moved their family to Bali for an extended period of time.
We look forward to chatting with lots of different families to show you how anyone can end up living a Bali life.
Enjoy reading about their experiences, why and how they chose Bali, great tips and what they miss about home.
If you live in Bali and want to have chat please feel to get in touch and email us.
So who am I talking to?
Profile: Petria Leggo
Husband Ben and two daughters Rhianna 8 and Lola 21 months.
Originally from: Brisbane, Australia
Arrived in Bali: January 2016
Home in Bali is: a lovely village called Tumbuk Bayu
How long do you plan to stay: until November 24th 2016 (I will be 36 weeks pregnant then so we have decided to go back to Brisbane and have our baby)
What made you move to Bali?
Ben and I had always thought about moving to Bali but it was more of a dream rather than a reality. Then last year when we sold our house in Brisbane and we actually couldn’t buy another house, we decided we would ask my daughter’s father if he would allow to her go and live with us in Bali and to our surprise he agreed!
We chose Bali because we had holidayed here twice before and we really liked it. It’s not total 3rd World but you can still have your modern day comforts. First time we had a child-free holiday and Ben and I were in Sanur and it was very relaxing with massages and spas. Then we came back here last year for our honeymoon – or ‘familymoon’ you could say because we had both kids! We got to see more of Bali then and we went to Seminyak, Ubud, Gilli Islands, Mt Kitamani and Ullawatu.
What do you normally do back in Australia?
My daughter was in grade 1 and I was on maternity leave (I am florist by trade) and Ben is a FIFO worker (fly in fly out worker in the mines). So it doesn’t matter where we live and as it turns out Bali is closer than Brisbane for his work location so it was better for us to live in Bali.
What is a typical day here for you with your two children?
My morning always starts before the sunrise due to my children, so we are out of the house by 7/7:30am to do school drop off and sometimes we have a housekeeper than comes and helps watch Lola (21 months) for me which makes it slightly more relaxing.
We jump on our scooter, we have a baby seat for Lola and it takes us about 30 mins to school because we live in Tumbuk Bayu. After school drop off, I will come back up to near home and have a coffee, do yoga and generally go home and have lunch with Lola and then my day is pretty much over cause you do school pick up again! School finishes at 2:15pmw hich makes you have the afternoon free which is nice. Sometimes it is homework or after school activities or beach – everyday is pretty much different.
The weekends are all different, depends if my husband is back from work. If Ben is back we generally go away or sight see more. If Ben isn’t here we generally get up early and I get a coffee from the Shady Shak (where we are enjoying this interview over lunch) and we love to go to the local markets and get Indonesian pancakes (my daughter likes them!) and then we head to the beach for a couple of hours. We will generally see some friends, have some lunch, have villa time and relax.
Tell us about your food experiences living here
We have a healthy mix of both local and western food. For local food we try street carts, local Warungs and 5 star restaurants. We really like the fried chicken – completely unhealthy! Lola didn’t like rice when we first came over! It was completely ridiculous when living in Indonesia! But her favourites now are chicken, tofu and tempe. As for western, you can eat beautiful, fresh organic really cheap food which is really nice.
What do you think about the locals?
They are lovely! I don’t think we have ever come across anyone that I haven’t liked. They absolutely adore babies! Always happy to take them when you are out at restaurants and they generally care for children as well. Lola gets lots of free food everywhere because they love to feed her and walk with her.
We have a housekeeper and her husband who didn’t speak much English when we first arrived but has learnt a bit more as Lola has learnt too. Lola is obsessed with her husband and he loves to show her the cows and take her on the bike. There is no stress, no rush at all when playing with the kids.
Very caring and genuine people. It still doesn’t matter to them about not earning so much money because they are still very generous, for example our housekeeper will bring over a bunch of bananas and will cook us food for special days. Just beautiful, happy souls.
What are you enjoying most whilst living here?
More family time. We have come from a husband who worked FIFO and I worked full time, juggling early morning starts and late finishes and still doing everything at home. My facebook status a while ago was me mowing the lawn at 6am before I started work and I was pregnant!
When my husband comes back from work we can spend more time together because we have help around the house. It is a little luxury that we like and when kids come home from school and they don’t have homework you can actually play with your children.
We don’t cook a lot because it is really cheap to eat out which means you aren’t worrying about cooking and sleep times and bed times because you are more relaxed and have more time together.
What have you least enjoyed so far?
Traffic! It is terrible and it is meant to be quicker because we are on a bike but I still hate it! So traffic and rain I would say. Then there is being stuck on your bike in the rain with your 2 children!
What do you miss back home?
Champagne and it being affordable! Having said that I am now pregnant and don’t miss it that much. I like to say I miss my family but my family have pretty much all come over and made a visit. This day and age technology makes it really easy to keep in contact – we can facetime, skype, whatsapp. Its like you are still in the same country but just no seeing them.
There is also the convenience factor so the convenience of being able to just go to Woolworths and by everything you need in one location. Here you have to stop at 10 different stores for the 10 products to get what you want. You can get everything here in Bali but it is not as easy at all.
Have you experienced any “culture shock’?
No, not necessarily. My 21 month old daughter is too young and wouldn’t notice any difference.
I think the one big thing we noticed here was the lack of parks and children’s free activities where as back at home we are really lucky to have lots of that. I never realised until now that we would use the footpaths to ride a bike or rollerblade and to go to a park. But that is really all otherwise everything is pretty much same same but different.
How has it been being part of an expat community?
It is definitely an eye opener. I find I have two lots of groups of friends. The mums from school and the mums from up around this area who have young children. So two totally different groups of people.
I think the expats that live here have a different mindset to be able to uproot your family to a different country and raise children and in that way it is amazing.
I do see there are lots of people that take the luxury side of it maybe too far or maybe they are just used to having lots of staff and that can be interesting to see sometimes.
It is definitely really nice and we have met heaps of friends we will keep in contact with and I think it is because of the mindset that everyone is in. Having the two different age children has given has two totally different experiences.
What is the best thing you have done while you have lived here?
The family time and have holidays with so many family that have come here and to be able to share our experience with them and what our normal life is. We haven’t travelled as much as we have hoped but I think as we have settled into a home life, life just keeps on going.
If you had to describe Bali in three words what would it be?
Sweaty – Relaxing – Fun
Three tips to those looking at making the move to Bali:
- Join the Facebook Bali expat groups, Canggu community sites etc so helpful!
- Touch base with someone who has already done the same as you, ask questions!
- Do your research on where you want to live as it makes a big difference. For example someone who is a city person wouldn’t like to live out where we are.
- Embrace all the differences and the cultures when you are here (I know that’s four tips!)