My husband Rob and I fell in love with Bali in 2004. From then on, we’d take a trip to the island every year, sometimes twice. Our children travelled with us, as did most of our family at different times. It was an easy holiday, sightseeing—if we felt like it—or lazing by the pool. Most of the time we stayed in Sanur, but explored other spots like Candidasa, Ubud and Legian.
We grew to love the island, its culture fascinated me and the people were always so welcoming. We always dreamt of living here and we always thought we’d do it later in life. But one day it dawned on us that the hamster wheel of working life back home wasn’t going to slow down. It was time to get off.
We knew we wanted to relocate to Bali and we knew Sanur was the spot for us. Too young to retire, we still needed an income, just not one that would rule our lives. We hit the jackpot when we came across a waterfront restaurant in Sanur that was coming up for lease. It needed some TLC but we knew it was the key to making our Bali dreams a reality.
Back on the Gold Coast we set about putting our plan into action. We resigned from our jobs, sold our home and shared our plans with friends and family. Most people were excited for us, although some didn’t understand. At times we even questioned our decision, but when we laid out the pros and cons of a life in Australia against what we wanted in Bali, making the move always won out. Our children have always been very supportive of our decision, pleased we were living our dream…and allowing them cheap holidays of course!
Reality hit the day the plane took off for Bali… What had we done…? Thankfully any misgivings disappeared the moment I landed in Bali.
Progress on the restaurant, Stiff Chilli (since renamed Beach House Sanur), had been made—tiles were laid, paintwork updated, dead trees cut down, the trunks even formed a fabulous new table! I knew we were going to be okay.
Sixteen months on, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we love our new life here. Previously our life was waking at 6 a.m. and returning home 12 hours later. We hardly saw each other. Here there’s so much less stress. We wake at a reasonable hour, walk or ride our bikes from our quaint little villa to our restaurant where we’ll have brekkie and check in with the staff. If there’s paperwork to be done our ‘office’ looks out to the Bali Sea. The ever-changing tides provide a mesmerising vista.
We make time to discover new places and there is never a month when we don’t have family or friends in town. We’ve made new friends locally too—Sanur has a big expat community and people have been so helpful.
On Bali, we make time for the little things we never had the chance to do previously. And it’s the little things which mean so much. We read, we talk, we relax… Our life is much simpler and far less cluttered. In fact, running away from home was the best decision we could have made!