RainOnTheWindshieldWesternAustralia

The future. Much is unclear.

We have just arrived in Bali and I've broken a thong. That's a "flip flop" for you americans and a "jandal" for you New Zealanders. This may not seem important but my faithful double pluggers have been with me for many years and have accompanied me on many an international adventure. Their demise on our very first day here is not an auspicious start to our time in Bali.

Approximately three months ago we arrived back in Australia wanting to spend time with our families and to be tourists in our own country. We succeeded at one goal. Three months ago I was also the proud owner of two thongs. Happy days.

When you are from a place its easy to overlook whatever attractions it has. They're right in front of you but you don't see them. We know someone who grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland but who didn't visit Edinburgh castle until they were well into their twenties. This is despite the castle towering over the city and being clearly visible from absolutely everywhere. In Australia the big attractions are beaches, wildlife and climate rather than castles. Having grown up with them we probably don't appreciate them as much as we should.

Why yes the sun reflecting off the pristine ocean and the white sand beach is a bit tough on the eyes. If you need me I'll be inside with the curtains closed.

This time we said it would be different. We would look upon our home country with fresh eyes and explore it as we have done so many other places.

And then we didn't. In reality three months flew by and we filled it entirely with family and work and never quite got around to doing touristy stuff. Here are some pictures just to prove that we did actually go at all.

A tanned relative on a West Australian beach

A tanned relative on a West Australian beach

Sunset over a farm dam

Sunset over a farm dam

After three months of failing at being tourists and we have once again headed overseas. This time we haven't gone quite so far afield and have set aside two months to get to know Bali.


Both Tanya and I have visited Bali multiple times before. We've had mixed experiences. The climate is pleasant, the scenery is beautiful in parts and the food is good and cheap. On the downside the visa situation is a drag if you want to stay long term, Internet access isn't fantastic and this place certainly isn't short of Australians. It's never really been a favourite place for either of us. We don't hate it but we don't love it either. There is however one big thing in Bali's favour.

Bali is just so damned convenient from Perth. If we could find a way to make Bali work for us it would be wonderfully convenient and cheap to pop home regularly. That's becoming increasingly important to us so we would love to love Bali.

So here we are on Indonesia's most famous island. We have 60 days in Bali to see if we can find somewhere we'd like to come back to repeatedly. Right now we're in Legian trying to cope with the loss of my beloved left flip flop. In a few days we'll move on to Sanur. After that Bali is our oyster. Ubud, Candidasa and Lovina may feature in our future but nothing is set in stone.

This Bali trip is all part of a grand experiment. We're juggling family, career and financial obligations in a way that must seem "ambitious" from the outside looking in. I'm not sure what the outcome will be. We won't really know until we try but we're willing to give it a go. You know. For science.

13 comments

  1. Travel with Bender (Erin) 30 January, 2013 at 10:44 Reply

    I broke my trust Havianas in Asia too… All I could get was some crazy Flippers in Penang. I miss my Haviana thongs. Just found out they have them here in Mexico… for nearly double the price! Anyway you are right when I see the beaches of mexico I realise I had those at home and I took Australia for granted. Never toured Australia. Enjoy Bali, I hated my first time there, but 8 times later it’s been growing on me haha

    • Tanya 30 January, 2013 at 11:31 Reply

      Yes! We ended up spending around fifteen dollars for a pair of new thongs / flip flops / whatever :D. More than what we could get them for in Kmart!
      Note to self: go to Carrefour first. They had pairs to size 44 (or more) for under $3.

      Loving Bali now. This is my sixth time, Andrew’s third. It is amazing how wonderful this place is once you travel long term. When you are just here for 10 days you can’t help but be sucked into buying all the crap and doing everything touristy… which reminds me, we must book that volcano tour… now or never!

      • Dan Kipper 30 January, 2013 at 12:19 Reply

        Hi Tanya & Andrew,

        Nice to see and hear you are back onto your travels. My wife and I are headed off to Thailand from Canada for a short trip in a few days time. We have used some of the information on your blog to plan our trip. This information will come in handy. Take care happy travels.

      • gwencallies@yahoo.fr 31 January, 2013 at 21:46 Reply

        http://www.ailleursenfamille.com

        we are following you since we searched details of what to do in Battabang Cambodia. Love your website and your travel tips.

        we are traveling long term also… we loved all the countries we have been to… NOT BALI! we were there a few days ago, beaches are disgusting, we have been all sick, do not swim in the water, you will be ill very quickly… only enjoyed Ubud and around…
        We did a great painting class in a small village around Ubud…
        Hope you will like it, we have been there several times but we were very disappointed this last time… What happened to Bali????

        Gwen

        • Andrew 1 February, 2013 at 07:41 Reply

          Hi Gwen πŸ™‚ Bali is definitely a mixed bag. The beaches around Kuta in particular can be… less than pristine. Around Sanur however they’re lovely.

          We’re still undecided on whether we want to spend much more time here. Luckily we have another 5 or 6 weeks to make up our mind.

  2. Manfred 30 January, 2013 at 12:04 Reply

    We’re setting off on our travels in 6 weeks time, and Bali is one of the places on your list. We’ll probably get there around Aug/Sep, so looking forward to what you have to say about. As you’ve been there lots of times, do you have any tips about finding a condo to stay for a month. We’d prefer to be in a condo/apartment than a hotel. Also, any first-hand info in the island would be good.

    • Andrew 1 February, 2013 at 07:48 Reply

      There will certainly be plenty of stuff about Bali coming up. Regarding a condo the best options seem to be airbnb.com or one of the expat newspapers. There’s one called the “Bali Advertiser” that has lots of ads in it. Do some googling as it seems to be online. It doesnt have any pictures in it though, just a brief summary and the owner’s phone number, so you’ll need to ring a bunch of people and spend a few days running around looking at places.

  3. Mellisa Turner 22 February, 2013 at 18:26 Reply

    Money is always an issue with travel no matter where you go. I always end up going far out of my planned budget all the time. I went to Bali last time and on my return I was just left with 100 dollars. ;/

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