The Move To Bali
Mining employment and FIFO/DIDO (fly in, fly out/drive in, drive out) life have been a constant for our family for more than 20 years, way before we were even married!
Now we are a family of four and our two boys Hudson and Baxter have only ever known a Daddy that works away. Don’t worry… he does come back and frequently! And when he does, he is the most hands on and interactive, caring father that a boy could wish for.
Recently however, we had an opportunity to embark on an overseas FIFO role, resulting in our family relocating overseas from Australia to Bali, Indonesia.
The FIFO mining position however, is based in other parts of the world, Brazil and South Africa… meaning that Chris would now be two days travel away from our new Bali home, instead of the usual two-hour flight distance we were accustomed to in Australia.
We were now all also living in a foreign country and different countries for the first time!
We saw this opportunity as just that. An opportunity. To travel, to explore new cultures and immerse ourselves in a new world full of new sights and adventures. To live life a little differently, to show our boys a life more unpredictable, rather than travel in the known paths and routines of home in Australia.
On discussing our plans with friends and work colleagues, many comments were of how brave and bold we were. It was quite reassuring that many people were also quite envious of this novel life change, however there were many comments that struck me quite off guard as I never thought of taking this opportunity as being courageous or brave.
We certainly felt lucky to be able to have the choice to live overseas, however labeling us ‘brave’ really surprised and puzzled me at the time.
Now we are three months post move… and well, to be honest I’ve had many days where I’ve had to put my ‘big girl’ pants on and be brave!
Preparing to leave Australia was so emotionally and physically draining. Winthin two months we literally packed up our entire life as we knew it: arranged for our home contents to be moved into long term storage, engaged a real estate and for our family home to be leased, we advertised and sold our two cars, upgraded our driving licences enabling us to ride motor scooters, sought medical advice and underwent a series of vaccinations, finalized the school year, rehomed our beloved family dog Indii which was completely heartbreaking – however her new family are amazing, she is being totally loved and spoilt! And of course, we said very sad farewells to our family and friends.
Along with the departure preparations, we also were busily preparing for our relocation and arrival into Indonesia. Researching and enrolling into a new school, booking short term accommodation, researching where to live and long-term villa options, ensuring varied VISA requirements were met, investigating costs of living, medical insurance and long term transport options, arranging our flights, making connections with other Bali Expats… it was two months of constant adrenalin, excitement, exhaustion and people management!
The tasks, coordination and infinite details involved in any family move are huge. Moving overseas and me arranging this mostly solo with Chris already out of the country however, and well…Little.Miss.IBU was pretty emotionally frayed and often in short outbursts of tears from complete overwhelm prior to leaving Australia!
Organised by nature however, I was thorough and had all of my bases covered for a smooth transition into Bali. Utilising a business team management app that Chris also had access to, we had evolving checklists, tasks were assigned with due dates and we tracked well to coordinate our relocation by distance.
This systematic process combined with my endless internet researching filled me with the confidence that on arrival into Indonesia our family would be great!
Flying internationally by myself with two boys, twelve pieces of luggage and two surf boards, we were arriving full of hope, anticipation and a certain calmness and it was such a refreshing feeling of new freedoms!
This was also evident from the boy’s perspective as we frequently discussed in depth of our upcoming move; our thoughts, any worries, our feelings were all explored in the lead up to leaving Australia, which assisted to eleviate anxieties and create a positive moving experience.
On one of the last days we were driving in the car and Hudson just excitedly burst out with “I feel like I’m being reborn as a 10-year-old… like my whole life is about to start again!” And this pretty much summed up our families emotions of moving to a new country completely.
Who knew what our future would hold? Who knew where we would live, what our new settled Bali family life would look like, how the boys would adjust to their new school and environment… the list of ‘what ifs’ was endless, however the single most important element in this entire process was that we were all together. And this is what I told my gorgeous sons to reassure any of their reasonable uncertain thoughts and worries.
Our family, our home and our world is just that, “ours”. It will be what it is. Life is full of unknown twists and that is often the beauty of life. A strong believer in fate, I beleive facing adversity with a positive mindset is key.
Appreciating life as the journey, realising the small blessings that are filled in our worlds, knowing that nothing is ever perfect even when it seems it is… I just have a very strong underlying faith that as long as we are all still together and solid as a family unit, then everything else is just background noise and it will all simply fall into place.
I often wonder where this mindset and strong belief comes from and if I am being realistic of the bigger picture of life?
What is it that sees Little.Miss.IBU just flow through life and even with daily stressors and unexpected bumps in the road, know that in the end it will all be ok?
Dont get me wrong, I equally easily can let emotions get the better of me and have many moments of regret in how I reacted to a minor situation! Especially as a FIFO mum, it seems a common thread and trait amongst our tribe, that we can hang in there and keep that boat steady until one additional little curve ball arrises and in an instant the boat is sinking!
However, in general in regards to the ‘big stuff’ I seem to just glide through with an innate knowing and confidence. Its not a deliberate mindset, but I just hope that this natural ease and positive presence brings calm and encouragement to my family’s world!
Maybe it is them that gives me the calm and encouragement that I need. I often feel that, that my boys are absolutely my foundational strength and having them in my corner makes me a strong home life warrior! Moving your family and living alone in a foreign country with two kids is actually pretty courageous after all!