Life in Ubud – A Catch up

Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Asia, Bali

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Well despite my good intentions, I haven’t gotten around to writing on here yet! It is not that I havent had time I guess I have been trying to work out what it is that I want to say.

I am still not sure. So for now I will tell you about our life in Ubud. I will consider this post as a little catch up.

We have been here for nearly 4 months now and it is definitely taken some adjustments! Our first house that we rented didn’t work out so well for us as when we arrived we found the owners had started building another house in our backyard. I knew these kinds of people existed and I even made the owner promise he wasn’t dodgy when we first met, however, needless to say …. words in this case, meant nothing!

Our first house was also not that suitable, as much as we loved the views and gardens, the rooms (like most Balinese houses) were all separate,which meant that our boys would either have to be locked into their bedroom by themselves or sleep with us. The latter occured. So after much deliberation we moved into our new house which was a much better solution all round!

I love our home up here! It is open plan but we still have an enclosed living area, we have lots of space and the kids can climb the Frangipani tree in the backyard, we can play on our computers and still see and hear them running around through the big windows and doors and best of all …. we have views of the ocean! I know right? Who would have thought anyone in Ubud could have views of the ocean including beautiful rice fields and an infinity pool, however we seem to have found it!

We live a great life up here and have a fully-staffed house which certainly makes life very comfortable. I was very excited about having a housekeeper, nanny and cook and it has been wonderful, but it did make me wonder what it is that I am supposed to do with myself! I used to dream of time like this when we lived in Australia! None of the boring jobs need to be worried about anymore. I can spend more time with my kids, just playing. The kids go to school in the morning (Tom 5 days a week and Milo 2 days a week) and then I do some homeschooling with Tom in the afternoons a 3 – 4 days a week and we all usually have an hour or two in the pool each afternoon just playing and enjoying the views! I am not going to lie to you …. life is good!

We have rented a car and drive ourselves everywhere now. It seems strange that only a few months ago we thought of Bali traffic as unbearable and chaotic. Now it makes perfect sense …. most of the time. Driving certainly gives you freedom. The first few days we were here we relied on drivers and walking everywhere and the minute we hired our own car we were able to go wherever we wanted. It was fantastic! I love to go for long drives; it could be the scenery; it could be the notion of finding somewhere new and different; it could be the fact that Milo sleeps a lot in the car! Who knows, either way we have loved it and even managed to stay alive so far! The motorbikes are crazy and I am not too keen to put my precious family of four on one just yet and after hearing the other day that around 250 people die each MONTH in motocycle accidents on the island …. I think we will stick with the car!

There is lots to do up here, many art classes and courses, volunteer programs, spiritual courses, yoga classes and much more. I have tried my little heart out to love yoga but after attending to probably about 40 classes in my lifetime with maybe 12 – 14 teachers I have decided that it really isn’t for me! I came to this realisation half way through my last class and once I had decided … I got up out of my ridiculous pose and walked out. Very liberating I can tell you! Less than a minute later I was across the road in a coffee shop enjoying a lovely cup of tea and a bagel (still in my sweaty yoga gear LOL) It was there that I decided that life was too short to spend in classes I dont like and so … for now …. I am not going back!

One class I absolutely adore is my ceramics class. Every Wednesday I head off to the little studio in the leafy green hills north of the town and play till my hearts content with mountains of clay. We have a little group that all meet each week now and seem to work really well together. Everyone has come from different walks of life and has their own bit of experience to bring to the class. I am of course (like all of my ceramics classes over the last 15 years) the youngest by about 30 years. However I love it and love the vibrant and interesting women I get to spend my 3 hours with away from my family. I hope I am still taking classes when I get to their age!

Food, where do I start. I love the food up here! There is lots of different variety and it is not to hard to get a good mix of other cultures. Since we have arrived I have had some of the best Mexican I have ever eaten (including the best Margaritas – who would have thought?) and some beautiful Italian. The raw/vegetarian/vegan food movement is also alive and kicking and it seems every other restaurant is offering their part. I like raw food a lot but I need to mix it with ….. errr meat just to keep me happy! Naturally there are loads of Balinese and Indonesian Warungs around and you can get some fragrant and delicious meals for just a few dollars! Juices and cakes are everywhere and my favourites are Passionfruit and also a lime and mint! My husband and I love going out and trying new places. We have the added bonus of having one night a week (date-night) where we get to go out on our own and sit in peace for a few hours!

I know this all sounds lovely but there are also the pit-falls. We have to get our post sent to the local post office opposed to our home, which means that when we are expecting a document or parcel we have to check it everyday but most days there is nothing there!  This is incredibly frustrating. You have to personally pay for your internet bill each month at the Telcom, we also have to individually take our phones in and buy credit each month from a different shop. Likewise when it comes to shopping. If you want to buy some gourmet Western food, a cooked chicken (BBQ rotisserie style) or normal groceries (such as vegetables, uncooked meat and dry goods) they come from three different shopping areas (not shops, but AREAS). Everything takes a LONG time! Nothing in Bali is fast. There is a good, local saying that I have to remind myself of at least 3 times a week “Don’t be in a hurry in Bali; No one else is!” It is a good thing I have more time up here …. I definitely need it!

My plan is to start writing a little more often, maybe a few times a week and to try and record our daily life. We have had so many interesting and hilarious experiences and if you combine that with raising two little boys it is definitely rolling out an amusing life. I am very new to this blogging world and my next movement is to try and work out how to upload photos! Until then we are off to the beach tomorrow night to bask under the light of the SUPER MOON I can’t wait! It is the closest the moon will have gotten to Earth in 19 years! It should be beautiful! Fingers crossed the weather is clear.

I have added some photos of our first few months. If anyone wants to leave a comment or has any questions, feel free to ask. I will endeavour to work out how to reply! Until then …

Selamat Malam

Tom - Earth Day at Kindy

Tom – Earth Day at Kindy

Tom and Milo - School Photo Day

Tom and Milo – School Photo Day

Milo  performing before the Kecap Dance at Pelangi School

Milo performing before the Kecap Dance at Pelangi School

Milo - School photo day

Milo – School photo day

Tom -  in the Kecap Dance concert at Pelangi School

Tom – in the Kecap Dance concert at Pelangi School

Milo and Me

Milo and Me

Tom ans classmates and teachers - Pelangi School

Tom ans classmates and teachers – Pelangi School

Climbing the Frangipani tree - in the nude!

Climbing the Frangipani tree – in the nude!

This is our pet frog who lives in our ensuite. The boys called him 'Bintang'

This is our pet frog who lives in our ensuite. The boys called him ‘Bintang’

Breakfast time is the same everywhere in the world!

Breakfast time is the same everywhere in the world!

Unpacking the kids toys with our new neighbours.

Unpacking the kids toys with our new neighbours.

Ogah Ogah Ceremony

Ogah Ogah Ceremony

Beautiful Boys

Beautiful Boys

Milo on Earth day at Tiny Tots

Milo on Earth day at Tiny Tots

Breakfast outside

Breakfast outside

View from our verandah and pool. You can't quite see the beach in this photo because of the clouds.

View from our verandah and pool. You can’t quite see the beach in this photo because of the clouds.

My two happy boys 'fishing' before school

My two happy boys ‘fishing’ before school


Share and Enjoy


  1. Loved reading your blog Jen and hearing about everything you have all been up to and life in Bali. It sounds amazing. I can’t believe how big and gorgeous the boys are! Looking forward to reading more about all of your exciting adventures to come. Shannon x

  2. Thanks Shannon. Life is pretty good up here! Hope all is going well x

  3. A great read Jen and I love the photos, the boys look so gorgeous at their little school. Milo looks so grown up! Hopefully we will see you very soon xx

  4. Hey Jen! i Can’t wait to read more! look how big the boys are. Beautiful! such a lucky opportunity for you and the family! keep safe and i look forward to reading more. :o) Jess,Taylor and Campbell xoxo

  5. Hi there!
    Im an Aussie married to a pomm and living in Europe and we are considering leaving here, dropping out of society and moving to Bali for a year. I was hoping to communicate with you via private email as im weary of being too public at this stage!
    not sure how to achieve this…? but please let me know if I can ask you some pertinent questions about living there with our kids…thanks for your time…L

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