Moving to Bali
I am always asked "Why did you leave Australia to move to Bali"
We just thought why not!
We have never aspired to living the normal suburban life and have always travelled and did things outside the square.
My husband Shayne worked all over the world as an offshore saturation oilfield diver and paramedic and did lots of travel.
We have always believed that life is for living and not looking. We are both at the pointy end of life, I am 62 and my husband is 68 and we won't run out of money but we will surely run out of time.
So, the journey started 4 years ago when I met a lady at a fashion event and she told me that she lived in Indonesia for 9 months of the year and then travelled to Europe for the rest.
I was basically sold at that moment and thought "why can't we do that"
I told my husband on the way home and we decided in 10 minutes "let's do it"
We also decided we were going to sell everything and be nomadic and see where life takes us.
I had a fashion business with over 4000 pieces of stock as well.
This was late August and we decided to do it in November which gave us a few months to get ourselves organised.
In early September a friend suggested at a dinner party that we should look at house sitting.
Please make a mental note to yourself never go online at 2am after lots of cocktails!
I went online and saw a housesit in Bali for a couple of months, the next day when we woke up we had got the housesit and had to be there in 3 weeks!
Not people to panic easily again we thought "why not and accepted"
Next came the most intense 3 weeks of our lives.
In that 3 weeks we managed to sell all our possessions and walk out of Australia with a 30kg suitcase each.
We were totally exhausted at the end of it.
Once your mind is made up the task of giving away and selling possessions is quite easy but you had to be ruthless.
I gave all my fashion stock to a friend as she was raising money for scouts and the journey was about to begin.
We decided on Bali being our base for a few months and then headed to Thailand for a month, then to Europe.
We only ever buy one way tickets to anywhere and that way you can be spontaneous with plans. All I can tell you when you travel you meet the most amazing people from all walks of life.
We have made some lifelong friends and we make a point of catching up when we are in Europe or they come to Bali.
We were at a restaurant in the South of Italy and just chatting to a group next to us. They were travelling the next day to Greece to pick up a luxury yacht and said come and join us for a few days! That was pretty cool.
We never stay in hotels and much prefer something like airbnb.
I find 5 star hotels nice for a night but pretty boring after that and you meet much more interesting people in a 3 or 4 star hotels.
We were originally planning to be in Europe for about 3 months but that turned into 7.5 months. We planned to go to Crete for 1 week but ended up staying 9 weeks as we were having a fabulous time. Really what's not to like about inexpensive accommodation across the road from the beach, lazy lunches and dinners and swimming in the most beautiful water you've ever seen. One day just seemed to go into the next and it was like living on a movie set.
We have travelled to so many countries now and never stay anywhere less than 2 weeks as that way you get a feel for the place and we like to try to live like a local.
My bestie was going on a med cruise with her hubby and suggested that we join them and again we thought "why not"
So, after 7.5 months living out of a suitcase we headed back to Bali to find a place to live and settle for 8 months until we were off again.
We were able to get a retirement visa called a Kitas as we are both over 55 and not working. It costs roughly about $600 USD per year each and that means we don't have to leave every 30 days. Being a Kitas holder entitles you to discounts on lots of things and you can use local hospitals for free that are very good.
We just love living here as my husband surfs and Bali has some amazing waves. I think he is the oldest person that surfs here but we don't care.
I just love the health and fitness side of Bali. There are some amazing gyms and yoga studios here.
Our plan was this year to check out Vietnam , as we were thinking of living there for maybe 6 weeks a year, Bali about 8 months and Spain and Portugal the rest.
For those of you thinking how can they afford that lifestyle, it could be actually a case of not having the best of everything but making the best of everything that you have.
It is actually much cheaper to live overseas than in Australia.
We just have the best lifestyle and stay in the most amazing villas.
Can you imagine from a female point of view that you never have to do housework of any kind again?
With just about all villas in Bali the deal is that you get a housekeeper for 6 days per week that comes in makes beds, changes sheets and towels, does the washing, cleans bathrooms, floors etc and will also cook if you wish.
We eat out most nights and so many restaurants to choose from at such reasonable prices.
Do I miss all my worldly possessions?
Not one bit! I think back and think of all the stuff that we accumulated, the expense plus the maintenance of it all.
Now, we have a carefree lifestyle that we can move villas when we like, the upkeep is not our responsibility and we can try different areas to live.
We have especially enjoyed it during C-19 as there was zero panic here and the rest of the world seemed to have gone mad.
We will work out old age at a later date but I can tell you it won't be sitting in a retirement or nursing home.
I can't tell you how grateful I am for our lifestyle. I know it may not suit everyone but for us it is just perfect.
So our travel journey is never over and that's why my friends it's so important to keep fit and healthy so you can live the retirement that you have dreamed of.
I can honestly say hand on heart that being in your 60s is the best time of your life.
Yours in travel, fashion and fitness.