“The Gu”

*Sighs* Bali…… I can’t help but feel super relaxed and uber happy every time I’m there. Sure, the excellent yoga studios, multitude of day spas, and overwhelming choice of high calibre restaurants, help. But of course, it all depends on where you go.

Kuta springs to a lot of people’s minds when you mention Bali. A tourist mecca that’s over run in every way. It can get a bad wrap and for good reason. Obviously, I’m not a fan. I bring it up because sadly, some people never get to see past all that. When in fact, it’s such a tiny area of a large and beautiful island. There are soooooooo many other places in Bali I’d rather be! But then again, some people are into that sort of thing – whatever floats your boat.

So I guess when you’re choosing what part of the island to live on, you want somewhere that’s conducive to the kind of life you want to live. Is it a sleepy seaside village you’re after? Or a bustling city filled with tourists (and traffic galore) with endless entertainment for young and old? How about living in the cultural heart and immersing yourself in endless green? Or do you want a hipster hub that offers everything on trend? Bali can cater to those who want the simplest (and cheapest!) of lifestyles, right through to the total luxe lovers amongst us. Then again why stay put? You can always sample a bit of everything. It’s a place that has something for everyone.

For me and my family we have always favoured the coastal area of Canggu (pronounced Chang-goo and referred to by the locals as “The Gu”). Dubbed Seminyak’s relaxed, trendier young cousin. Canggu is less crowded with more space and has a real focus on healthy living. Yoga, whole food dinning, and surfing are the daily order. It’s a digital nomad’s paradise, a favourite with expat families, has a strong surf culture, with an abundance of hip restaurants and beach clubs. Not to mention the number of gyms that are now popping up everywhere. There’s also a great choice of schools in the vicinity! Canggu pretty much embodies what my family is all about. It offers the life we try to lead in Oz, but on steroids. Bali in general gives us way more bang for our buck, allowing us to live a more luxury lifestyle, without the Oz price tag.

Organising a new home and new school are always challenging when you’re in a different country. As you don’t usually get to inspect these things in person, you’re left to scourer the net and rely mostly on stranger’s reviews. We know a couple of people currently living in Bali, so being able to talk to people who have first hand experience is a bonus. I’ve spent hours on my laptop researching local schools and contacting local real estate agents to find the best fit for our family. Surprisingly, renting property and international school were more expensive than I’d hoped. Renting a fully furnished 3 bedroom villa with a pool is costing us the same as what we would spend on renting a 3 bedroom house in Sydney. Although we’re not comparing apples with apples here. It’s more like apples to……. Dragon fruit. We’re getting something exotic, with more benefits for our money. In regards to international school in Bali, you can easily spend as much as private school in Sydney (not something we’ve ever paid for). However, some of the international schools in Bali go above and beyond that of any school I’ve seen in Oz. So for me, spending that kind of money on an educational experience that my son wouldn’t get at home, is totally worth it. 

So with suburb, home and school sorted, all that’s left now is to get amongst it. Look out Canggu, we’re coming for you! 

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