Bali / Education / Family / Household / Indonesia / Personal / Travel

In my latest video, I wanted to give you a glimpse into our lifestyle while we travel. I share a sneak peak into our renovated Bali home while detailing some of the realities of how we live—both the good and the bad—to help you see what it’s like to travel long-term.

Hopefully this video will open your eyes to the reality of what’s possible and inspire you to take steps toward the life of your dreams while enjoying your life now.

Listen to the audio:

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Transcript

Hey, Brandon Pearce here. I’m standing in front of the house we’ve remodeled here in Bali, Indonesia. I wanted to give you a quick tour of the house and talk a little bit about our lifestyle and why we’ve chosen to live this way.

If you’ve been following our story or seen any of our other videos, you will know that our family sold our house back in Utah and pretty much everything we owned about seven years ago to travel the world. So far we’ve been to over 32 countries and have set up a home here, in Bali.

Today, I’ll talk a little bit more about how that has played out and why we have chosen to do that. Let’s go inside.

1happiness is a habit

Alright, here’s the front door. This is the entryway. Here you can see a lovely little fish pond with some koi down there. This is a lovely statue we had built for us for $350 and it’s already kind of broken, but she’s still lovely.  

Why did we chose Bali? There are so many reasons! We all kind of fell in love with the whole community here and the nature that’s outside – driving through town there are these beautiful trees with vines hanging down.

The cost of living is just super low. You can go out to an amazing restaurant and pay just $3 or $4 for a beautiful, healthy plate of food.  And there are restaurants from all over the world here.

Bali has an international community. There are so many great people here, including entrepreneurs and open-minded people. We’ve made so many great friends. Every time we come back, we feel so welcomed and meet new people. We really love it here.

Because the cost of living here is so low, we are able to hire staff who help take care of our property. Like Putu. She helps makes our meals for us and she just got back from doing some grocery shopping and now she’s going to cook our lunch. We’re having Vietnamese spring rolls today.

One of the reasons we decided to build in the first place was this: after 6 years of traveling and staying in other people’s houses—with other people’s furniture and other people’s artwork—we wanted to have a place that felt a little more like our home. A place where we could have some of things that are more our style and that make us feel comfortable. And we decided to do that here in Bali.

Here are the kids playing with friends. Marie has been so excited to see her friend Ayisha. They’ve been chatting through Skype and hanging out together online for the past 11 months while we’ve been away. She has just been counting the days and weeks until she can see her friend again.

Here is more of the house, including a lovely hand carved stone wall. It would probably cost a fortune in some parts of the world, but it was about $300 here, although they measured wrong—the tree was suppose to be in the middle, but when they came to install it they had a whole section that they realized that they mismeasured.

There’s our piano. This table here, the top comes off and turns into a pool table. These chairs are custom designed. In Bali, everything is custom made. They don’t have big box stores that you can go to where you can go buy a sofa, or a table, or anything like that that’s pre-manufactured. While stores do have some that have been pre-made, most of the time you specify what you want and they build it for you.

Of course, building this place hasn’t been without challenges. If you can hear all the construction noise right now, that is an example of the type of thing that goes on here in Bali.

In Bali, as a foreigner, you can’t own property, you can only rent through long-term leasing. We leased this place for 3 years initially, just thinking we were going to fix it up a little bit. It didn’t look anything like this when we started. It was two separate houses that had old pink tile. It was still three bedrooms with a pool and the lovely jungle view, but it looked nothing like this.

We decided to fix it up a little bit and have a place to store a few things when we’re traveling. But we ended up getting carried away with the creative process of remodeling and extended our lease for another 10 years, putting another $200,000 into building this beautiful place.

However, while we’ve been traveling the past few months I heard from one of our guests that there was a construction project going on right in front of our home where I had thought we had already leased the land. Nothing I can do about it, but now there’s going to be a house in front of our house where I was hoping to have a lovely river view. But it’s alright. It will work out and we’ll actually get more yard space. But in the meantime, we will have to put up with some noise over the next few months while we’re here.

If you’re wondering how we got it to look so beautiful, we hired a professional interior designer and architect from Belgium who happened to be living here. I am not a designer, even though I love designing and, having lived in so many places, I have a much better idea of what I like. The insight they brought was so fascinating. There were so many things that I never even thought of that are important and affect the quality of life—like how to think about different spaces in the house and where to put things practically.

3well-designed space

Let’s go in the guest room where I believe my wife, Jen is.

Jen:
We just got back to Bali the day before yesterday and there’s a lot of construction noise and insect noise. Lots of stuff going on. The construction noise stops around 5pm, which is really nice to have it quiet. We really appreciate the quiet when the construction stops, but we still have the insect noises, which I don’t mind. The insect noises at night are actually more soothing at night than in the daytime.

It gets kind of sticky here in Bali compared to most other places we’ve been in the past year. We have a little pool and yesterday, Aysia wanted to go swimming. After lunch, I went in the pool with her and it just felt really, really refreshing. It’s not a big pool, so it’s easy for her to navigate.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t swim yet and yesterday she just slipped into the pool. She was underwater and I had to swim over and pull her out. That’s one of the dangers and one of the concerns that I have here: her not being able to swim yet. She trying to learn but it’s scary.

Since we’ve been here, I’m able to relax more because we have help. I’ve been able to read a lot and practice my voice lessons. I don’t have to worry about regular cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Although, I really should go through some of our storage, organize it, and put it away and unpack.

One of my favorite things about this house is just being in the nature. Our house is so surrounded by nature and you can hear the nature sounds. It just feels so alive— like an embrace from the normal surroundings we have in the city or in a regular neighborhood. It feels like, wow! you don’t even realize what you’ve been missing when you’re disconnected from nature. It’s like a warm embrace by nature. It feels like my body needs that so it feels really good to be back in Bali.

And it feels so nice to be here with so many connecting people. We have so many friends and there’s a lot of really open-hearted, warm-hearted, connecting people.

It’s nice to be in a beautiful place that we helped create. We don’t usually get to stay in such nice places when we’re traveling, places that really feed our soul as much as a place like this. So it’s really great to be here for a little while.

Although there are challenges, too. There are mosquitos, construction noise, and the upkeep of the house. When you own something, everything just becomes more of a nagging concern, even something little that needs to be fixed. Personally, I need to work on letting some of that go a little bit. That doesn’t mean I give up but I don’t need to make it such a big concern that it takes over so much of my thinking.

There are lots of little challenges here but a number of things that make Bali really amazing. And that’s the general feel that I have here is the amazingness.

Brandon:
I love this old Balinese woodwork that’s original to the house. This is one of two staircases that was in the original house. The other one was over in that corner, but we’ve combined these two houses together into one so we tore down one to make more room. Upstairs there’s a lovely little dance/yoga/exercise room that we built there.

Emily:
Bali is amazing! It has so many cool classes that you can’t find in many place—unique classes with different personalities and different teachers. It’s nice.

I’m really excited about being back in my room because I haven’t been in my own room for awhile. It’s great.

Yesterday we went to a little Vedic art workshop, where you draw your feelings. I drew this painting with sparkles all over it. I must have been feeling happy and sparkling.

Brandon:
There’s Aysia swinging on the swing.

This is the bathroom. It used to be a stairwell, but we put a tub in it’s place. These gorgeous stone sinks were only about $20, if you can believe that. These mirrors were maybe $70 or $80. It’s quite amazing what you can buy here for the price.

3time with friends

It’s evening now. We just got back from our friend’s house where we’ve been most of the day, from 2pm to a little after 9pm.

We love having that freedom and flexibility to spend that much time with friends. And have friends who have that much time to spend with us – and friends we enjoy being with. Our kids have a lot of fun together, doing all sorts of things. Tonight, we had great conversation and Indian food.

We love the atmosphere in this place at night. It just feels so cozy.

Jen:
The tuberose flowers are so beautiful. They call them “sedap malam” here in Indonesia, which translates to “yummy night” because they do smell yummy at night. They have a really amazing scent.

Brandon:
Last year we spent quite a bit of time here in this house while we were finishing up the remodel. This year, we’ll only be here for 7 weeks.

When we’re not here, we’re renting it out on Airnb. It’s more of an investment to us. I was expecting it to be a little bit more of a investment than it turned out to be due to the remodeling costs, but it’s good.

We’ve had all sorts of guests from all over the world here. Some stay for just a couple nights, some for a few weeks. We had one guest stay a little over a month. Our staff takes great care of guests when we’re not here.

Jen:
One thing we didn’t get with our house is a lot of yard space. That’s one thing we would really appreciate having more of here because we have a really tiny yard. We love badminton and we’d love to have space to play that.

Brandon:
Sometimes we do it upstairs in the yoga room, but if flies over the edge of the balcony.

Emily:
It flies into the pool! It always ends in tragedy.

[laughter]

Jen:
I just love the lighting here at night and the temperature. It feels magical.

Brandon:
It’s so great to be back here. We are looking forward to spending many more months here over the course of the next several years until our lease is up.

Unfortunately, the climate here really takes a toll on everything. The houses wear down very quickly. If you store any stuff over any period of time, it will collect mold. It gets ruined.

Emily:
Like the old drawings that I made. When I came back from a trip they biodegraded so much that they have mold all over them, and have brown edges. They look like old pieces of paper from a thousand years ago.

Brandon:
There’s a lot of humidity. The temperature is really nice right now though. It’s a good cool night.

Emily:
In Bali, be prepared to be sticky all day, everyday.

Jen:
We usually take a couple of showers throughout the day, a dip in the pool in the afternoon, which helps.

Brandon:
Some nights in Bali, there’s music and noise all over the place, whether it’s gamelan music or –

Jen:
Chanting, singing.

Brandon:
As a family we tend to have our own schedule. Our kids don’t have to go to school and we don’t have to go to work, so we are pretty flexible about when we wake up and when we go to bed.

In some parts in the world that means we all stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning, or later, and get up at 10 or 11 in the morning. Barcelona is a good example, as we stayed up really late there. Even in New Zealand, where we just came from, we would often stay up past midnight as a family.

But now that we are here in Bali, the sun rises around 6 a.m. in the morning at sets at 6 p.m. in the evening. So we tend to follow the sun a little bit more. We go to bed earlier here and it’s easier to do so as Bali has a culture that tends to operate more in the morning.

Jen:
We don’t have Marie with us tonight. Aysia is upstairs. Marie is sleeping over at her friend’s house again tonight. Her friend slept over here last night, and they’re pretty much inseparable.

Emily:
She hasn’t seen her in almost a year. They have been chatting with each other on Skype and they finally got to see each other now. They’re inseparable and they’re going to spend every moment that they have together until we leave.

I don’t want to leave.

Brandon:
I thought you wanted to go back to Victoria?

Emily:
I also want to go back to Victoria. Victoria is awesome.

Brandon:
We love both of these places a lot, don’t we?

Emily:
Well, they’re like my two favorites to live.

Jen:
And Japan and France!

Emily:
I like Japan. Japan is more like a fun place to go every once in awhile. It’s a good country to experience the culture and then leave. I mean, if you want to stay more, it would be great to live there for a year and get really deep into it. You could learn some cool stuff that way.

Brandon:
And what about France? You were saying you wanted to go to France and stay there for a year or so.

Emily:
Yeah, because I also have a friend in France that I’ve been chatting with. The only way we can chat with friends now is online. We have virtual friends now.

[laughter]

Jen:
That’s a good way to put it. We are always in a place where we can connect with people in person, too—although we can’t always connect to everyone all at once with people all over the world.

Brandon:
This is my office. This is where I spend a lot of my day as I work a lot on the computer.

You probably heard in my other videos, I work maybe an hour a day on my main business, which is generally true. Sometimes I’ll do several hours if I’m working on some creative aspect of it.

But I still spend a lot of time on the computer working on other projects. Like this video! It’s taken me several hours to to shoot, edit, publish, and everything that goes along with that.

I just love the creative process. I do a lot of photography, as well, and spend time processing photos, working on other content, writing for conference speeches I’m giving, and things like that. I love having my own space to do that.

There are lot of places when I travel where I’m working on the bed in the bedroom or out in the living room because there is no other space to do it. It’s so nice to come to a place where I have my own office and my own place where I can shut the door and have everybody leave me alone for a little while so I can focus.

3life still goes on

I just wanted to give you a glimpse into our lifestyle and the realities of how we live – both the good and the bad – to help you see what it’s like.

I think it is easy to idealize a life of long-term world travel, or living in Bali or whatever. But just like life anywhere, just like any situation, no matter how much money you have, no matter how many possessions you have, no matter what kind of power and influence you have, we still have our mind, psychology, challenges, and relationships and things to work through. Life still goes on.

As I’ve said in my other videos, happiness is a habit that needs to be cultivated every step of the way. It’s not something that comes automatically with goal achievement. But if this kind of lifestyle appeals to you, it is a lifestyle that is possible for a person to achieve if they are willing to put in the effort and the work to get there and they have the support system in place for that.

Hopefully this video has opened your eyes to the reality of that possibility and inspired you to take steps if that’s what you feel good about doing. I hope to share more in future videos, not just about what we’re doing but also how you can take the same steps in your life.

If you’d like to hear more, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and newsletter.

Have a great day. Remember to live well and enjoy life NOW.


Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, traveler, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in every moment while inspiring others to do the same.


Comments

  1. Jennifer Pearce Says: April 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    I absolutely love that we have this video to enjoy and look back on as a family. Thank you for doing this! So many thoughts, feelings, and experiences were shared. What a nice way to remember and honor this season of our lives.

  2. Joerg Nawrocki Says: April 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Love it. Every emotion and thought. Just the mosquitos… I’m in trouble if there is only one in my room.

    • Brandon Pearce Says: April 22, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Yeah, they’re not so fun. It’s been dry enough lately that there aren’t very many right now. And we have a bug zapper and coils and nets, but somehow I’ve still managed to get a bite or two…

  3. Irene Curtis Says: April 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Love the peek into the life you have chosen

  4. I want more! That’s really an awesome video! Very inspiring! I love how you just shared on your couch what you had in mind ;) I’d love to see what it’s like to go in town or around in Bali. I appreciate the effort for putting this video together ;) I would love to see some foods that your cook prepare as well.

  5. This is a wonderful video. My wife recently introduced me to your site which I look forward to exploring as I have many questions. We want our family to experience all the world has to offer and so I wanted to reach out, say hello and thank you for taking the time to share a glimpse into your beautiful home. It is inspiring, indeed.

    incidentally, I am from Victoria originally but we now live in St Louis where I work as a consultant. That being said, the wheels in my head are now turning as I try to think through the logistics of making our family dreams a reality.

    Cheers,
    scotty

    • Thanks for the comment, Scott. It’s exciting for me to see people making their dreams a reality. Not sure if your consultant work is the kind that can be done remotely, but there are a world of options open to you. Best wishes!

  6. I’m just wondering a couple of things. If you’re only leasing the house why do you put so much money into it. It’s a shame you can’t purchase it. The other question would be you mentioned insects but your home looks like it’s open to the outside. How do you keep insects out of your home? And to close, your daughters singing was amazing, I loved her voice.

    • There are a couple reasons we spent a lot on the remodel.
      – First, I didn’t expect it to cost so much! lol. The project grew as we became clearer about what we wanted, and many costs were not clear from the beginning.
      – Second, we’re able to rent it out for enough on Airbnb that we should make back everything we’ve put in within 6 or 7 years, and the rest will be profit. So it’s still a decent investment.

      As for insects, they’re not that bad, really. The geckos eat a lot of them, and the staff do a thorough cleaning every day. Some mornings we’ll wake up to a big dead bug on the floor if the ants didn’t have time to carry it away during the night. But it’s all cleaned up pretty early. Mosquitos are more prevalent around sunset, but we have a mosquito zapper, coils, and nets, and can close up some rooms of the house.

      Glad you liked Emily’s music. She loves singing and songwriting and is now selling her music on iTunes! (She’s on Spotify and other networks, too). You can find her here:
      https://itun.es/us/OS1Vbb

  7. Thank you for this, I felt like I was in Bali again and could feel the stickiness but also imagine the wonderful smells of the flowers. My girls often talk about the fantastic food we had in Ubud and every pizza is compared to the wood fire ones we had there!!! It has been a beautiful spring this year on Vancouver Island and I can definitely understand why Bali and Victoria are at the top of your list of great places to live. We would love to meet up the next time you are in Victoria. Cheers from “The Island”:)

  8. That was cool. I feel like I just got my own private tour. I liked your pool table/kitchen table. Glad to see you are still playing pool. We just got one in our basement a few weeks ago and I was reminiscing over our old yellow one at work we used to play on every day.

    • Yeah, those were fun times. :) I still enjoy a good game, but don’t think I’m any better at it than I used to be. That’s cool you have you have one now. We’ll have to have a match sometime.

  9. Hi Pearce Family,
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful bali home and a glimpse into your daily routine. The building project must have been quite an undertaking but the finished result is outstanding. The subtle touches of artwork mixed with the paint scheme and tile color really brings out the detail of your home.

    Your filming technique and quality look good and I am sure it took some time to create such a nice video. Even with the construction everyone seems comfortable and peaceful.
    We look forward to meeting you guys again in September and spending a little more time getting to know each other better.
    All the best
    Peter, Rita, Dylan and Christian

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