Okay, admittedly we were expats living in Bali for only 3 1/2 weeks…but it was a lovely 3 1/2 weeks!  When people ask us where our favorite place has been in our travels thus far, Jared and I always answer, “Bali!”

Since most things are best shared with photos…I will share our life through a photographic essay.

For starters…motorbikes were our preferred mode of transportation. Jared took two of the kids on his bike, and I took one. Balinese traffic can be a little daunting if it’s your first motorbike experience, but by this point in our travels we were pros!

Many of the homes in the Ubud area are inaccessible by cars because they are surrounded by rice patties, or what used to be rice patties (before farmers started selling off their land).

I assure you that driving motorbikes down a 3 foot wide path with drop-offs on each side is very precarious and is enough to get your heart racing each and every time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We went down this path at least every few days to visit our friends, the Kings. To the left of this photo you can see the entry ways to each home’s front yard:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A little uneven ground sometimes, too! Ack!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is particularly precarious when you have to share that walkway with locals pushing wheelbarrows or carrying other construction materials!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One thing is for sure…it’s hard to beat their street view!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(random sign on path)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You may also be lucky enough to see the locals harvesting rice.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They harvest the rice by cutting it in the fields, and then beat the rice loose onto tarps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The tarps are then transferred to a location where the rice can continue to dry in the sun. Oftentimes, the largest uninterrupted space for drying rice is in the streets. You might literally run across a tarp covered in rice when out on your motorbike or in a car!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While there are gas stations in the area, your best bang for your buck is found at any roadside joint that has some fuel bottles on display. Pull up and a friendly person will fill up your tank for a whopping $1.

IMG_0236.JPG (2)

And now, here are some of the luxuries of being a foreigner in Bali:

We hired a cook to prepare dinner for us each night. After traveling full time for nearly a year, I had certainly hit a cooking rut (and we do prefer to cook at home vs. eating out with a family our size). Hiring a cook was a splurge that I thoroughly enjoyed for 2 1/2 weeks.

You might be jealous to learn that a full-time cook that prepares/cooks 3 meals a day, 6 days a week—may cost only $200/month (plus ~$50 for food groceries). This includes grocery shopping, food prep, serving, AND cleanup!  We were more generous in our payment, because we only required short-term service and had a particular cook we wanted (who was already cooking an early dinner for our friends each night). We paid approximately $7 per meal, plus a small amount more for the actual groceries. Let’s be honest, folks…where in the Western world could you expect to get a home cooked meal (all vegan for us, BTW!) for less than $10 for a family of 5?

IMG_0230.JPG (2)

I also thoroughly enjoyed some early morning yoga classes available at The Yoga Barn in Ubud. Apparently a lot of other people enjoyed it too…it was usually packed, albeit not cheap ($10—but well worth it)!IMG_0231.JPG (2)

After doing yoga, Sabina and I would always hit up a local joint for a delicious breakfast. I fell in love with salads topped in grilled vegetables, as well as enjoyed access to raw meals such as the raw burrito pictured below (to DIE for)!  IMG_0232.JPG (2)

One morning after breakfast Sabina and I decided to get foot massages. After one hour of the most heavenly foot massage ever, I was not ready to return home. We decided to stay and get a full body massage while we were at it! $25 was well worth 2 hours of relaxation—and they were my first massages after 5 months in Southeast Asia!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just before we left Bali, I decided to treat Ella and Maiya to a girl’s day out. We went to a local spa where I received a pedicure, and the girls got manicures ($20 total)!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maiya took about 15 minutes to select her nail polish. Wow—her decision making can be as slow as mine, sometimes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can honestly say I have never received a manicure in my life. These girls have had one by age 8 and 5! One thing is for sure…it is a luxury they will likely only enjoy while abroad!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While I was out having a bit of fun, Ethan made best buddies with our Ubud rental host, and his family!  Ethan would sit with our host’s brother and watch him cut up endless coconuts. Ethan didn’t speak much at that point…but he quickly learned the word CO-CO-NUT!

IMG_0262.JPG (2)

Overall, the large majority of our time was simply spent in our beautiful rental—relaxing, working online, and enjoying life in a beautiful place location.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coming soon…many more photos of Balinese life!

5 Responses to “Our Expat life in Bali”

  1. Hi,

    I randomly came across your site while searching for cruises on Google.

    I saw your post about Ubud and the photo of the sign:

    If you want something more
    You must do something more
    And always believe in yourself

    I was just living down that side street! I just moved back to Chiang Mai from Bali this week. I wonder if we ever walked past each other or stopped to let each other past on our scooters!

    It’s a small world.

    Happy travels.

  2. Hi! Love the blog! Can you pass along the cooks information. I am looking to hire someone as well for my trip with the family. I’m staying in Ubud.

  3. Awesome info! this article is very helpful for everyone who plan to stay longer in Bali.
    Just want to add a little more, if you want to search for Bali long term rental for weekly/monthly/yearly there is a local site Bali Budget Housing they list house, villa and apartment.
    Hope this help! 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Balinese Life | Living Outside of the Box - [...] were simply enjoyed in the moment…but I tried to snap some photos here and there while dashing around Ubud…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.