Settling Into Bali Bali

We’ve spent the past few weeks getting settled into our home in Bali, where we’ll be living for at least the next year or so. It’s so nice to be back here in the town of Ubud with the terraced rice fields and tropical climate, the low cost of living, the diverse and delicious food, and the community we’re getting to know. I think I could enjoy living here for a very long time.

The evening we came back to Bali, we were greeted with a beautiful sunset.

The rice fields have been turning from green to gold, and are now beginning to be harvested. They will soon be replanted for another season.

We’ve also put the kids in a local private school called Pelangi School for a month to give them the chance to see what school is like, to make some friends, and hopefully learn a little bit, too. They’ve been enjoying it so far, for the most part, and Jen and I have enjoyed a little more free time during the mornings. We’re all waking up a little earlier than we’d like to, though. Emily wrote about her first few days at Pelangi School on her blog.

For Mother’s Day, Jen went to a fancy salon and got a complete style and makeover. She even got highlights in her hair for the first time. Doesn’t she look lovely?

While she was there, I went with the kids (except Aysia who was being watched by our babysitter at the spa with Jen) to nearby Lollipop’s Playland and we had a blast together! The kids got to jump on bungee trampolines, we shot foam balls at each other, went down slides and climbed through obstacle courses, played air hockey and a basketball hoop game, caught some goldfish (they died a few days later), played on the playground in the water and had a fun time.

We also walked around the beach for a few minutes in Seminyak, but it was quite crowded, and not one of the nicest beaches in Bali, I’m told. I also noticed that no one was wearing a swimming suit. It appears that the locals often just swim in their clothes.

For exercise, besides taking almost daily dips into the pool, Jen and I are now going to yoga classes at The Yoga Barn, one of the most breathtaking yoga studios I’ve ever seen. It has numerous open air rooms surrounded by rice fields and gardens, separated by nature paths and even a nice café for healthy meals with friends. They have all types of classes running constantly throughout the day. And I like that no appointment is necessary. You can just show up to any class any time and all the equipment is provided for you, for about 60,000-110,000 IDR (roughly $8-12 USD) per class, depending on how many classes you purchase upfront.

Of course, I’ve also taken advantage of frequent massages here in Bali. When they only cost $6-15 for an hour and when they’re so well done, why not? We’ve also been out to lunch a few times with people we’ve met who are visiting Bali or moving here, and we’re making some new friends. This has also given us the chance to try a few of the many restaurants here in Ubud. They have everything — Indonesian, Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Turkish, Raw food, you name it. I love the variety.

We did make one major purchase indicative of “settling in” for our family. And that is a piano! We bought a new Yamaha CVP-501 digital piano (couldn’t find a used one) and it’s been really fun to have around. We all enjoy having so many instruments and sounds to experiment with, and I’ve been enjoying playing the piano for the first time in months, whether just playing from my imagination or following sheet music from some old favorites I have on my iPad. Jen and the kids are practicing too, using the very helpful and fun Piano Marvel software (well, except for Aysia).

Here’s a short video of some clips I’ve taken in the past few weeks of our time in Bali. Ahh… it’s nice to be back!

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


  1. Jennifer Pearce Says: May 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    It has been so fun to watch the changes in the rice fields.

    I’m so glad you and the girls could have such a fun time at Lollipops Playland while I was at the salon, and such a beautiful one it was too. It was fun to get so pampered. Thank you again. :) They did a great job, and I love my new highlights.

    I’m really enjoying the Yoga Barn too. Can’t imagine a Yoga place could get much better than that.

    It was so cute to see Savannah and Aysia playing on the piano together. They really seemed to enjoy each other’s company today. I’m glad they can be friends. :)

  2. Jen,
    I love the new look, beautiful!

    We are counting down the days to our own move to Bali. We are looking forward to seeing the rich culture and, like you, taking advantage of plenty of massages.

  3. Oh I so love the look of Bali! And those massages – so nice! Funny but I have been looking at Thailand and its so much cheaper over there for our family to live and travel :)

    Compared to travelling in Australia – we could live it up in Thailand and even have a maid. I so would love to travel overseas but our boys are keen to stay in Australia.

    Looking forward to reading more about your move to Bali. Will you stay in the one area, or move around? Its such a small world – we just put our boys back into school for the first time in over 18 months! They wanted to go back to meet friends and have fun. We are waiting for them to say they dont want to anymore and we will homeschool once again.

    Thanks for sharing your amazing photos! so jealous :)

    • Yes, it’s amazing how much cheaper it can be to live in a place like Bali or Thailand than in a more industrialized country. Being able to afford a maid, nanny, or a chef is a great advantage as well, and quality of life goes way up while cost goes down. We’ll mostly stay in Ubud, but will take some day trips to different parts of the island. We’ll also be doing a few visa runs this year (including to Thailand this Fall!) Thanks for chiming in. :)

  4. Love this update! You are bringing so many wonderful memories of our trip to Bali. The Yoga Barn is amazing. Keep the beautiful photos coming–yes, of Jenn! It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful year. Are you planning to visit Lombok or the Gili’s?

  5. Jen looks gorgeous!! I love the hilights! I’m glad she could get pampered for a bit :)
    Lollipops Playland sounds/looks like such a fun place to go. That trampoline thing looks like a blast!

    Glad you’re back “home” in Bali. It seems like it would be an amazing place to settle down for a while! Love you guys :)

  6. OK, I want to come back!

    Very cool to be able to watch the entire life cycle of the rice… weren’t they just planting it when you first arrived in February?

    Jen – gorgeous. Love the highlights. And the spa/salon looks beautiful as well.

    Playland looks like a blast… loved hearing Marie’s squeals as she bounced up and down. And Ayasia has a friend! Looks like they’re making beautiful music together :)

  7. Hi there Pearce family

    Just wanted to drop in to say I’ve been following your blog etc for sometime (but never had time to post!) as we are planning a similar adventure to Bali (from Europe) this winter with a view to staying.

    Our two kids, 3 and 4 have been at home with us and we’re unschooling our eldest, which is highly controversial where we live so we’ve already hit the road and are currently in sunny Ibiza which is utterly lovely. We have looked on the net at Pelangi school to see if it might be a good place for the kids to connect with others and have some fun. Wondering how ‘the curriculum’ comes across and whether it’s very strictly adhered to or if there is some room for freedom (we’re a fan of the democratic school model but haven’t found one in Bali). I shall stay connected to your blog and read with interest…
    My partner is a programmer (apps and the like) so we’re hoping to make it all work from the laptop but it does seem more pricey in Ubud than other places. Curious to know if there are others that make it work this way. I’m a yoga/pilates trainer and whilst I wouldn’t be looking to work in Ubud, opportunity for group practice is important to me, so it’s good to read that the Yoga Barn is as good as it looks.

    Anyway, it’s much fun reading your inspiration and we’d love to meet up when we arrive (October/Nov) if you guys would like that?

    Happy times to you all in Ubud.


    • Hi Sophie, thanks for chiming in. :) From what I’ve seen so far, Pelangi’s curriculum is fairly standard British curriculum, with some extra classes thrown in like yoga, music, and meditation. I prefer unschooling, myself, but we wanted to give the kids a “school” experience for a month or so, and there are positives and negatives to it for sure.

      As for the Internet, it’s certainly fast enough for programming. If you want to download a lot of video you’ll be waiting a while, but I’ve been surprised how sufficient 768kb is for my Internet needs, and I spend a LOT of time online.

      You’ll definitely be in your own element with all the yogis down here. Keep in touch and let us know when you arrive. We have a visa run planned Oct/Nov but will be back mid-Nov. Best wishes!

  8. I’m almost too timid to chime in with all the world travelers and I’m actually kind of speechless. I’m so happy for the experiences you and your family are sharing. It’s all so incredibly awesome.

  9. Hi Brandon,
    I’ve been following you for a while now and thought I’d comment about the new piano! We would love to travel long-term like your family. For now my husband is focused on his business, which just happens to be apps like the commenter above… but his first love is the piano. We only have a keyboard now, and our toddler loves to play. I think it would be hard for him to be without one for an extended period of time! Thanks for sharing and I enjoy seeing what you guys are doing in Bali.


    • Yes, I do miss the piano when we’re away from it for months at a time. I like it when we’re able to settle into a place for a year or more and just make shorter trips from there. There are some nice keyboards you can fold up and take with you on an airplane (the Vax77, for example), but it’s still a lot to lug around. I’ve even found myself using piano apps on my iPad while traveling when nothing else was available. Best of luck with your business and your travel dreams.

  10. GREAT update! I love following your blog/life over there!

  11. Looks like the girls had a great time with you at the playland. :) I’m happy you could get them into school for a month or so; I imagine its nice for you & Jen to have a little time while they are engaged in other activities, and hopefully the are enjoying their experience. Jen – you are beautiful (with a make over or without!)

    • Jennifer Pearce Says: May 30, 2012 at 9:10 am

      Thank you Kristin. :) It had been a while since I’d been to any type of salon. I was joking with Brandon afterwards by saying, If you can’t turn heads going into the salon for the opposite reasons of why you turn heads when you leave the salon, you probably didn’t get your money’s worth out of the deal. I think we got our money’s worth. Haha.

  12. Hello Brandon,

    Glad to hear your enjoying your time in Bali and the weather sounds much nicer than Penang or Singapore. It has been a treat to read all of the comments from your family and the massages, culture and food make it one of our top spots to visit. Our young daughter has her bags packed and is ready to go!

    Have you had a chance to visit any of the beaches on the north side yet? They sound wonderful, but there is only so much time in the day. I’ve heard great things about nearby Lombok island and if you ever get over there it would be great to read your thoughts.

    As it is we are still planning on coming through on our way to Fiji or on the return. Enjoy your time there and we look forward to your posts.

    • Yes, the weather is great. Sometimes it’s even cool in the evenings and mornings, but never cold. No, we haven’t visited the North side yet, but we do plan to. Looking forward to meeting you when you make your way over here.

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