Friday, December 20, 2013

So, how do we afford to travel?

So, how do we afford to travel?

A question we seemed to asked most when announcing any travel plans is “How can you afford it?!”
It's true as parents our budgets are a little stretched at the best of time, we live off two incomes, but Aaron's is the only regular income.

I think the way we afford to travel is living simply. I know it sounds cliché, but it's probably the main reason we can go overseas so often, we don't need new TV'S (or really one at all...) we buy op shop for majority of our clothes (I'm opshop obsessed!), we shop smart, we reuse, repair and recycle.

That's not to say we don't spend our money on frivolous items (I honestly own so many Kikki.K notebooks and stationary, I can't even pretend it's a work related expense anymore...) but we try and keep our needs and wants separate. 

As well as minimizing our spending, we have also spent the last year cutting out expenses. We bought the bus, so we wouldn't have rent. With that we are going to be fitting it out with solar so as not to pay electricity bills and water tanks under the bed to be semi self sufficient. It's not for everyone, but it works for us.

For us, travelling is a really important part of our lives. It's something Aaron and I are so passionate about, we even hope to make a living off it one day. Because of that, we do everything possible to ensure we can; we work hard at a regular job and make sure that we budget to reach our goals.

It might sound overly simple, but to be honest, we aren't complicated people. We love seeing the world, so we make sure we do, even if it means forgoing that pretty new dress or firsthand book.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our time in Bali

Bali, what a truly amazing place. 
I honestly went there with a bit of a low expectation, having always heard of what a bogan infested, westernised and dirty island it was(and I'm sure the more mainstream places such as Kuta are definently like that.)
 For Aaron and I though, we we're lucky enough to experience Ubud: beautiful, alluring and filled with delicious food and wonderful friends. (Seriously, we're generally are both so introverted and socially awkward that friend making is a bit of a chore, but over there we made friends everyday!)
I don't really know what to write that doesn't sound incredibly cliche' but I'm so incredibly happy we went. It's not that we did much or even had a lot of money, it was just the fact that for once we really felt at home. We could picture our future there; working, living and helping.

While over there a few of the girls, Aaron and I (plus Lilly Bear) visited an orphan centre. These children (one as young as 3!) generally had families, but their families are often struggling to survive, let alone send their kids to school. It's sad to think that there are people in that situation, unable to care for those they loved the most, but it was also painfully common and all too easy to become numb to. I would see woman and children far too small for their age begging and animals starving in the streets, and as much as I love Bali and it's splendour, I can see the everyday struggle some of the locals went through. A balinesse friend spoke to us for hours, discussing life on the picturesque island, and the shock Aaron and I felt when he said their monthly income was $300. It really put perspective into our lives, and how truly lucky we are.

On a lighter note, Lilly really blossomed in Bali! She started uttering her first few words (the typical mumma and dadda <3) and even began crawling (more on that later...) She adored all the attention people showered on her and loved all the friends we made at the villa. She devoured the fruit and pancakes and became so independent, so quickly, I was often left wondering where my baby went. We never let having a little one stop us from doing anything, including climbing a volcano! She went to dinner, temples, through rice paddies and beautiful beaches just to name a few and I feel so lucky to have given her these memories.
The flight home was fairly uneventful, with Lilly sleeping the entire trip again like it was just her normal routine. Soon we were back on home soil, watching the Australian sunrise and as much as I miss Bali, I'm rather excited to start working on the bus again.

P.S. I'll be blogging an update on the bus in the next few weeks, big changes are about to occur! :D
P.P.S. You can see some of my photography from Bali HERE.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Week 13

Week 13

I can't believe how big my baby has became, that a little over 8 months ago she was this defenseless, tiny human and now she's this sassy, adventurous pre toddler who can crawl, stand and is becoming a little chatter box. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for us and the little girl she will become <3

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A little catch up: Weeks 9+10+11

Weeks 9+10+11
Week 9
Lilly-Bear and her buddy Bella 

 Week 10
Bahli and Lilly bonding over their love for food.

Week 11
Sleeping on the beaches of Bali 

Friday, November 15, 2013



One of the biggest culture shocks for me in Bali so far has been the immense sense of community I feel here. Living in a villa with so many other people is amazing, but watching and talking to the Balinese about family is truly an experience. They're so affectionate and understanding towards little ones, and after trying to research why (and battling to find answers) I asked our taxi driver (who had two kids of his own, a 14 year old son and 11 year old girl). 

He said that in their religion it was believed, babies were reincarnation of an ancestor and are seen as gods, and because of that they are treated so highly. For me it seemed so bizarre, I have always been around multitudes of religions, but to see my little Lilly-Mary as a god just seemed so foreign and unbelievable. After watching our driver play with her though, I could see his conviction.

It's shameful to admit, but when I watch the men of Bali play with Lilly-Mary, my mind would automatically jump to whether he was gay or not. A terrible stereotype but one that is really portrayed in western culture, that men who care for children are either gay or have another agenda.

It was such a sad realisation. Men are demonized so much in western culture, they are almost too scared to be seen as kind to children (especially if they're not related)but here in Bali, men are very, very affectionate to kids, they will happily hold babies and coo cheerfully. 
I'm often told how lucky I am to have a husband who is so hands on with his child, and I truly am! But watching the men here, it just seems so very normal.

In addition to that, I love how welcoming Bali is. I love that I can now walk down the street and know our neighbors. I love that despite the language barrier, I can bond with other parents here as our babies play. 

A lovely little family just down the road from us, I love how big their little boys eyes are!

Alba's little legs

The villa where we are staying



52 Week Project (18) Australia (11) Bali (8) Birth (2) Borneo (1) Bus (6) Films (1) Food (1) Fremantle (1) Indonesia (1) Life (35) Lilly-Mary (37) Malaysia (1) Margaret River (1) Melaka (1) Penguin Island (1) Perth (3) Tips (9) Travel (25)