Monday, 25 June 2012

Holiday is over - but the travel has just begun.

After 13 fun filled days in Legian, we said goodbye to our friends who unfortunately were headed back to the cold winter in Australia. It seemed surreal that we were continuing and that this journey of ours is about to begin.

This is honestly the first time I have felt anxious about what we are doing. Like the penny just dropped about the enormity of what we are doing. This feeling was mainly because the children did not handle leaving their friends well. Morgan wanted to go home too, Hamish is still asking when are we going back to Villa Asih to see his friends again.

Their behaviour has been horrid. Both Joel and I feel like we are constantly playing referee and chastising them. Conflict of any kind is something we try to avoid given our past but at the moment we are surrounded by it. I feel like a ticking timebomb and I sense Joel is not much better.

Today I felt like going home. I really did. But there are lessons to learn and by quiting would not allow the growth and transition that we hoped this trip would bring. So I'll allow myself, Joel and the boys to have a few rough days and try to keep my head above water in the meantime.

There have been a couple of positive things over the past few days though. We met up with three other travelling families. The inspiring Going Anywhere, Travel with Bender and A King's Life. All three families are committed to long-term if not indefinate travel with their children.

Going Anywhere's, Chris and Jill ( were absolutely awe inspiring. They are an Aussie couple traveling with there 5 children, one of which requires a wheelchair. Personally I found Jill to be the zen type of mother that I strive to be. Our time with Chris and Jill was also a great source of info as they have just completed travels thru most of the countries on our list.

Travel with Bender's ( Erin and Josh are also a aussie couple traveling with their two toddlers. Similarly, they have a 16 month age gap between their two children. There are also just beginning their family adventure and Bali was the obvious starting point for them too. I'm sure our paths will cross again along the ways.

Sabina and Keith of A King's Life ( have been traveling for a massive, 785 days and do not plan to stop anytime soon. They have two gorgeous children who enjoy traveling with mum and dad. We have been fortunate enough to rent a villa within walking distance of this lovely family and we plan to meet again before we leave Bali.

So although the holiday is over......... the travel has just begun !

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Highlights of Bali - Week One

Bali may be small in size - you can drive around the entire coast in one long day - but its prominence as a destination is huge, and rightfully so.

Ask travellers what Bali means to them and you'll get as many answers as there are flowers on a frangipani tree. Virescent rice terraces, pulse-pounding surf, enchanting temple ceremonies, mesmerising dance performances and ribbons of beaches are just some of the images people cherish.

Small obviously doesn't mean limited. The manic whirl of Kuta segues into the luxury of Seminyak. The artistic swirl of Ubud is a counterpoint to misty treks amid the volcanoes. Mellow beach towns like Amed, Lovina and Pemuteran can be found right round the coast and just offshore is the laid-back idyll of Nusa Lembongan.

A visit to Bali means that you are in the most visitor-friendly island of Indonesia. There are pleasures of the body, whether a massage on the beach or a hedonistic interlude in a sybaritic spa. Shopping that will put 'extra bag' at the top of your list. Food and drink ranging from the freshest local cuisine bursting with the flavours of the markets to food from around the globe, often prepared by chefs and served in restaurants that are world class. From a cold Bintang at sunset to an epic night clubbing in Kuta, your social whirl is limited only by your own fortitude.
  • Jimbaran Bay is fringed by one of the best beaches in Bali. The sand is fine and white, and the calm waters make it very suitable for swimming, children and adults alike. The southern end of the beach close to the Four Seasons Resort is the quietest but the whole stretch is very pleasant indeed.
    Best to arrive at around 5PM, take a seat in one of the restaurants located on the beach, order food drink, and enjoy the romantic sunset while waiting for your orders. The sunsets in Jimbaran are very beautiful.

  • Turtle Island is just off the coast of Nusa Dua. We enjoyed a glass-bottom boat ride from the shores of Nusa Dua to the nearby reef where the kids got to feed to local black fish some bread. The traffic (on the water) was insane. Parasailing, jetski and a multitude of other water sports all mushed into together. How there were no accidents is beyond me.  Anyway, after feeding the fish, we traveled approximately 15 mins to the nearby Turtle Island. Here we met our lovely guide, Akmed. He showed us around the island and took time to explain to us and the kids how the turtle conservation program works. This month alone they have successful released 28 turtle. They hatch and care for the turtles until around 8 months old and return them to their natural surroundings. The kids enjoyed holding the turtles and some of the other animals on display. While lunching at the island, the boys we 'invaded' by locals. It is school holidays here in Bali, so lots of balinese families are during family friendly activities also. Our kids soon became the centre of attention. Not that they complained

  • To be continued with Waterbomb Park and Safari and Marine Park visits.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Preparation paid dividends while flying with our trio

To say we were apprehensive about our first flight with our three young children would be an understand.  Our sons are typical boys, full of energy and mischief. In preparation we spoke to them often about what it would be like to fly and what noises they might hear etc. The night before our scheduled flight we opted to stay at the Holiday Inn near Sydney airport to ensure the kids could stick to their normal bedtime routine and not have to be woken early to travel the 2 hours to Sydney in the wee hours of the morning.

This worked out great. After a full night sleep, we had a quick breakfast before heading to the airport. Our day started afresh. While J checked in our backpack, I amused the boys by walking around looking at the sights, but we quickly became a sight ourselves. Many a person stopped to wish me luck or tell me I was crazy or braver then they. I was loaded up I guess, Phoenix in his kelty child carrier on my back and Morgan and Hamish holding a hand each. I'm sure some thought I was traveling alone with the trio.

We breezed through customs without any problems, settled in the departure area long enough for the kids to burn off any last minute energy at the McDonald's playground, then boarded our flight.

Phoenix was alseep before we took off. Both Morgan and Hamish scored a window seat so had a great time experiencing their first take off. The smiles on their faces was priceless. They both dived into the oversized snack bag I bought along. After munching on a quarter of the supplies in the first 10 minutes they settled down into flight mode. Morgan fell asleep on my lap. Awesome, 2 out of 3 asleep. At this point we thought it timely to surprise Hamish with his new 'holiday' toy. An apple iTouch. He was over the moon and sat quietly playing games and watched a new movie on his new best friend.

This allowed mum and dad some very unexpected rest time for which I was very grateful.

Once Morgan woke we gave him his iTouch and he took no time at all to master the games section. Kids these days are techno wizards I tell you.

The remainder of the flight went by so fast. The 6 hour flight truly felt like 3. About an hour out from landing, I changed the children into some cooler clothing, feed them some sandwiches and fruit and made them use the bathroom. All these things were in the hope that I could quell any whinging of 'Im hot, I'm hungry or I need to go to the toilet' while we were transiting through the Denpasar airport. Again this preparation worked well. The process was fast and easy. We were on our way to our villa before we knew it.

Here's hoping that our next flight is just as enjoyable for all.