Life in Bali: Bali travel blog
Hey, y’all. We have moved from Ubud to the sunny coast of Sanur on Bali island, and the weather (and our collective mood!) has much improved. Life in Bali is good, it would be easy to stay here forever.
We stayed in a homestay about ten minutes’ drive from the beach for the first few nights while we scouted around for a longer-term hotel. We finally found a great place to stay while in Sanur- a home-stay five minutes’ walk from the beach (in theory; the kids always manage to double that) which consists of a couple of small apartments with a pool and a cute (cheap!) cafe on-site.
Life in Bali: What’s it like for kids?
We spend a lot of time at the beach, hanging out by a little restaurant on the front with a play area for the kids. They’ve been in their element playing with beach toys, eating ‘normal’ food and splashing in the ocean.
We’ve built sand-boats, created viaducts and collected shells and seaweed, generally enjoying the space and peace and fresh air of the Bali coast. Yesterday before snorkelling we did a beach clean, collecting up the plastic and general rubbish that accumulates at the shoreline (Patrick saw a fish with a plastic bag in its mouth the other day- not cool).
We also had our first taste of Bali Belly- Eira and myself played a kind of horrendous bathroom-relay game, but we both managed to stay in good spirits and were able to enjoy the swimming pool even after every millilitre of hydration had been wrung out of us. Nice.
We haven’t found the Bali Belly culprit, although I’m fairly sure mine was from a super-cheap local eatery where I consumed a plate of warm green vegetables and rice (it was the only option other than fish head soup and I would rather eat my own hair with a spork than entertain eating that). I can’t think of any other reason
apart from using tap water to brush my teeth because I’m too lazy to walk to the fridge.
Life in Bali: Bali on a budget
Such is the way of budget travel! We are prioritising the kids’ food and wellbeing primarily, (which has meant McDonalds with a play area a couple of times) and so Mum, Patrick and I are finding ways to eat and sleep within our shoestring budget (think Borrowers’ shoestring).
Having a hotel room with a kitchenette has made the world of difference. Our first place in Ubud served breakfast but this was a hit-and-miss affair depending on if the hotel guys could be bothered to turn up or not. We had a fridge but no hob or kettle, and a bit of an ant problem so buying food was difficult.
Here in Sanur we got fairly lucky with the homestay that we booked for our first four nights. We could walk to the local shop and stock up on bread, fruit and snacks so we could take sandwiches out with us and have snacks ready rather than buying them out. Here in our new place we have a kitchenette and the local market is a ten minute walk away so we’ve been honing our skills in haggling as well as balancing bags of pineapples and melons and mangoes and bananas. We have booked a month here, as we really like and it we are in no rush to move anywhere else.
Life in Bali: Taking it slowly
None of us like moving days, or feeling unsettled in our accommodation. The worst bit of travel is the actual travel! A month is a nice chunk of time to settle somewhere, establish the local (read: cheap) places to eat and find the most budget accommodation in the best location. I think generally that’s what we’ll try and do in each location, it lets the kids relax and it takes the pressure of us constantly looking to ‘the next thing’. We want to be present in each moment and not always wondering what our next move will be.
We have been loving watching the kids develop some new skills now we’re at the coast. In Ubud, Esmae, Eira and Elfie tried out snorkelling for the first time, and the two older girls practised in the swimming pool. Now that we’re by the ocean, they are getting to experience the magic of underwater life for the first time. I remember the first time I snorkelled, my first try-dive at a swimming pool in Turkey, and my first scuba dive. I really can’t believe that our kids are getting to have such wonderful experiences at such a young age. We are incredibly lucky and I really have to pinch myself daily! One of the great things about living in a warmer climate is that the best activities are free- we got our snorkel gear from a cheap outlet in the UK and brought it with us so we don’t need to rent stuff or go on expensive day trips. We just wander down to the beach, pop our gear on and dive into the ocean.
We also found a local church that we attended yesterday. The kids had the most fantastic time in Sunday school, and it always amazes me how they have never been to school or nursery but can fit right in and have a great time in a totally new environment. One of the mums from the church turned out to be a lady that we had spoken to at the beach the other day as our kids were playing together- cool coincidence! After church we joined in their potluck lunch, went snorkelling and watched the evening music entertainment by the beach, it was just a wonderful day.
Mum and I are attending a ladies’ bible study this week with the women we met at church, and Patrick is going on a men’s evening out with the guys. I love how no matter where we are in the world, we have a ready-made family in church. It’s awesome.
I’m almost done on some more in-depth posts for our Bali travel blog about a couple of day trips we’ve been on, our accommodation both in Ubud and Sanur, and my experience of yoga in Bali (think fish out of water times a million).
If you haven’t caught up on our other posts check out how our first few days in Ubud, Bali went or click on our logo to go back to all blog posts.
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Peace and love x