So here we are two months in. How is life in Bali as an expat family going? Well, here our 2 month update.
After visiting 5 potential schools for the kids we were yet to find the right school for Master N and so we thought maybe it would be best to pull out Plan B – Home Schooling (Waldorf Steiner Curriculum and teach him ourselves). Between a Steiner curriculum and a whole bunch of social activities to choose from Skateboarding lessons, Bhasa lessons, Music, Dancing and Swimming classes etc it has been an exciting adventure we are muddling our way through together.
As for Miss M, she has started her new school. The last one was just not quite the right fit for her and whilst we could have tried to make it work, I found myself asking 2 questions. One, “Why?” and two “Will it bring her joy?” It seems to be a motto I’ve adopted this year. If it doesn’t bring joy, let it go and move on. Life is too short to ‘suck it up’ all the time. And so here we are trialing a new school for the next month in the hope it brings our little girl some peace and happiness. 3 days in and all good so far.
So, something I learnt after arriving here. Without a motorcycle licence, I am only covered to ride a scooter that is 50cc using my car licence. Most scooters here are more like 125 or 150cc meaning if was to ride one and I have an accident I would not be covered by our travel insurance. (Not something I am going to risk) Luckily hubby has a motorcycle licence and can ride one legally and be covered. So between, scooter taxis, getting lifts with hubby and having found a reliable local driver, we trust make getting around pretty easy.
In saying that though I am already in the process of researching motorcycle courses and licences so when we go home for a month in April I can do the course and sit the test to get my motorbike licence and have more freedom when we return to Bali in May.
Tip – Before you come download the GoJek or Grab apps. It’s like Uber & Uber Eats. You have a lot of options, a lift on the back of a scooter, in a car (1-4pp) or car 1-6pp) etc.
It seems finding a reliable nanny has been a bit tricky that we had hoped. I have found myself a nanny and a back up nanny but a couple of times this month I have needed a back up, back up nanny… I am not sure why but between sickness and ceremonies it’s all a bit hit and miss. There are no shortages of nannies here but it seems the prices you pay for a fulltime nanny vs a freelance nanny are at opposite ends of the spectrum. There are also nannies that love to play and engage with your kids and others that are happy to be there to keep them safe but will use screens to entertain them.
When it comes to Nannies I have learnt that you need to be very clear in what you want and need upfront or they will do whatever is their ‘normal’ which may include spoiling them with lots of sweets and treats.
We are loving the area where we live but are yet to find a place to call our own. Currently, we are on the hunt to find out own villa without shared amenities. We have quickly learnt that the local community are all very connected. In our village, you may speak to the fruit shop lady and find out she is the aunty of the owner of your villa and the owner of the villa is the brother in law of your favourite café etc… That whole six degrees of separation is really more 1-2 degrees when you are in a Bali Village.
There are so many things to do here.
We are spoilt for choice with so many daily activities for adults and children in our area. I recently read a post on Facebook saying there not much around for kids in Ubud. Many were saying Sanur is the place for families. However, I am building quite a list for Master N and I to do together around Ubud and feel there is more than enough for us to do without venturing to other areas.
The kids and I started working on a family activity list of things we would like to do in Ubud and Bali as a family, which we will pop on the wall for us all to refer to. Weekend planning is going to be so much easier!
Last week we ticked one of my bucketlist items off my list. We went to Gilli Air with four other families. (Review & tips to come soon)
Tip: if you are going to do the Gilli Islands, Lombok or any other islands around. Make sure your travel insurance is for Indonesia not just Bali! Otherwise if anything happens while you are away you will not be covered.
So there you have our 2 months life in Bali as an expat family update. Feel free to pop any questions you have about Bali or homeschooling below and I’ll answer them.
Have you read our other Bali Updates?