Living Abroad - Part 1 "Why we moved to Bali"
“So, why did you move to Bali?” This is undoubtedly the most asked question I receive. For Jared and I, there were so many factors involved in the ‘why’; lifestyle, health, education, weather, finance, community, culture… let’s just say, when push came to shove, the pro’s list significantly outweighed the con’s. So I thought it was about time to write it all out. The ‘why’s’ and all the moments that led up to our relocation to beautiful Bali.
Two years ago, my husband Jared and I, were searching for a destination for our belated honeymoon. We were really keen to go somewhere that had lots of opportunity for exploring and endless sunshine - because, I’m a solar panel. After about 10 minutes of research, we settled on Vietnam. We went through the tedious process of booking our budget airline flights via the Boxing Day sales and clicked ‘purchase’. But, nothing. We tried again. Nothing. While we waited for the the website to get itself together before we tried again, we decided to do a little more research on our honeymoon destination. After about 5 minutes we realised that we had attempted to book smack bang in the middle of rainy season… not ideal for this solar panel. We took the failed payment as a sign and ditched Vietnam. That’s when we toyed with the idea of Bali. To be honest, it wasn’t high on our list (in fact it was very, very low on our list). We had always seen Bali as the typical Australian holiday destination and loved to go to places that were a little more ‘off the beaten track’. However, we had some friends based in Canggu who told us about it’s small town seaside vides and amazing food (umm yeah, i’m there) so we decided to check it out.
At that point in time, when it came to our personal and work lives, we were feeling a little discouraged. We both worked full-time with long commutes which ate away at our quality time as a newly married couple. Jared was quite stressed in his current position and I was struggling mentally and emotionally with the busy-ness and pace of our lives. We were doing our best to keep ourselves healthy with nourishing foods but when it came to our mental and physical health, we were were really lacking. We felt like we really needed our ‘holiday’ but in the back of our minds were questioning, “Can we really keep this up?”.
At that point in time, when it came to our personal and work lives, we were feeling a little discouraged… We felt like we really needed our ‘holiday’ but in the back of our minds were questioning, “Can we really keep this up?”.
When we finally made it to Bali we fell hard and fast. After just three days (yes, three days) in Canggu we were sold. We weren’t working online, we didn’t own our own businesses, we didn’t have savings but we had fallen in love with the community and joyful spirit that Canggu provided us and we felt oh so strongly called to be there.
We got home and spent the next few days thinking, talking, and crunching numbers. We had been struggling with our ‘nine to fives’ for so long and felt the heaviness of life weighing more and more on us everyday. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to start something completely new, invest in us and learn about a new way of living. As two people in their late 20’s/early 30’s, the thought of starting over could be terrifying, but for us, it felt like freedom. One pro’s and con’s list, a few spreadsheets and just the right amount of wine later, and we cheersed to starting over and booked our flights back to Bali.
We gave ourselves nine months to save enough money to keep us going in Bali for approximately 12-18 months. We wanted to give ourselves the best opportunity to upskill and learn without the pressure of making money straight away. After all, starting over was all about finding what we were passionate about, not simply making money.
During those nine months we lived very modestly in order to save what we could and loved every second of it. It was actually a brilliant experience that eased us further into minimalistic living, which was something that we have been adopting for some time. We planned on selling pretty much everything we owned once we left the country (which we did) so we had no need to keep buying nice things for our house, upgrading our cars or purchasing new winter clothes, etc. We became incredibly content with what we had and learned the art of borrowing, purchasing second-hand, accepting wine donations and dinner invitations from our parents (love you guys!) and friends, as well as doing the, “do I really need this?” assessment at the checkout. We found some great self reflection moments through this process. The more we sold, donated or gave to our friends the more weight we felt lifted from us. We had never been happier and never owned less.
On 11 May 2018 we (I) said a somewhat teary goodbye to our parents at Sydney International Airport and stepped into our new life; jobless, homeless and with just four bags containing the entirety of our belongings. Were we scared? Yes. Were we questioning what our life would even be for the next few years? Haha, yes. Were we stoked, excited and ready for this season of our life? Yes, yes and one hundred percent yes.
We have been based in Bali for nearly 6 months now and have never once regretted our decision to move.
We have been based in Bali for nearly 6 months now and have never once regretted our decision to move. While we have certainly sacrificed a lot to be here, and have at times really struggled with certain aspects of living in a foreign country, we still believe this was the best thing we have ever done for ourselves, our relationship and our careers. I cherish the extra time I have to spend with Jared, the opportunity to intentionally invest into our health, the opportunity to grow personally, the new incredible friendships we have made, the freedom to travel, and the learned practices of openness and acceptance that come from being humbled by our community and those that who are a part of it.
I will definitely speak more about the details of our life here, what we do, how we earn a ‘living’ (I use that term very loosely, haha) etc in another post soon. It was important to me to first share with you our heart behind our relocation and what brought us to the decision. And while I sit here writing to you in a sweet little cafe in Chiang Mai, I am more than certain our dreaming hearts lead us to a lifestyle where we truly feel at home.