The Covid-19 Expat

Possibly the Biggest Flight or Fight of Your Life…

Being newly expat and living in a foreign country during a time where the whole world has turned to complete chaos and tragedy is an extremely unsettling and scary time.

This current pandemic event can be unsettling and frightening for anyone, as each day you wake becomes priority one: ‘do not catch the coronavirus’.

It really is that simple. As communities unite around the globe with one primary goal, that is to contain and not spread a deadly and unknown disease that is slowly and surely impacting on the entire world as we know it.

However, when you have set up a life away from all that is trusted and familiar to you, in terms of government control and leadership, medical standards, health facilities and community ethical and cultural standards, the confidence that you place in all that filters down from these key core life elements becomes very murky, leaving the intensity of such uncertain times nothing short of unnerving.

So, what is life currently like on the small Indonesian island of Bali during the Coronavirus crisis?

As we see the extreme number of confirmed virus cases around the world constantly soaring, with terrible death rates also continuing upward, Bali is somewhat oddly not reporting extreme or high numbers, with confirmed cases only slowly rising. This is also true for Indonesia as a nation, though of course the numbers for the entire country are higher than that for Bali alone with hot spots reported such as Java and Jakarta.

Statistically, Indonesia is currently one of the lower South East Asian countries with confirmed cases. Very concerning however, the death rate percentage is one of the highest!

The Indonesian Government has slowly acted behind other countries, now enforcing tighter immigration restrictions, closing down boarders to overseas visitors, closing all schools and finally prohibiting all social and entertainment events and gatherings resulting in all large entertainment venues, social recreation and beach clubs closing until further notice.

Perhaps the most impacting and disappointing Bali restriction for our family is that local Banjar (community police) have now closed all beaches in support of social distancing measures.

The one fun outdoor activity where our family felt at ease keeping distanced from others, being active, taking deep breaths, washing away the daily stressors, while also gaining a sense of freedom from COVID-19.

The beach is our happy place… sun, sand, surfboards and salt water therapy at sunset or as an early morning walk it was a daily escape that has now been sadly removed from our world.

Government official media is now flowing to educate local communities about preventative social distancing recommendations, thorough hygiene measures and the direct encouragement from the President is where possible all people should, ‘stay at home, work from home and pray at home’.

The small tropical paradise island whose economy relies almost entirely on tourism is now extremely quiet. Most noticeably in prime tourist driven locations is the heavily reduced road traffic and the usually bustling streets of shoppers, diners, market sellers and clubs, cafes and restaurants with vibrant music, now feel silent as almost all non essential businesses are closed.

However, in larger cities and villages outside tourist areas many businesses, retail, cafes and local warungs are still operating, albeit most with reduced hours or services and minimal employees.

On some main roads the traffic is still relatively busy and so in some ways life still very much a contrasting ‘life as normal’ appearance in Bali.

For Little.Miss.IBU it is somewhat like living within a giant bubble of ambiguity, knowing full well the extent and rampant effects of the virus around the world when your own environment seems unmatched in its transparency and urgency to act.

Driving through small local villages especially, Balinese families and communities are clearly not masked or attempting any social distancing measures as kids play together along streets and adults congregate in groups going about their normal daily activities.

A recent annual Balinese cultural celebration just weeks ago saw a reported over 2,000 people gathered, unmasked and obviously without distance, in prayer and ceremonies along the very popular tourist destination beach of Seminyak!

On a supermarket trip home last week, I asked the GRAB driver of his views, did he feel that local Balinese were really aware of the serious danger and threat of Coronavirus and were they really hearing the messages: the importance to act strictly in regards to social distancing, hand washing and sanitisation practices?

Surprisingly my driver whose entire day is spent transporting numerous passengers within a confined airconditioned car space and with close personal contact to others, was not even protecting himself by the simple use of a mask or gloves. Proven measures or not, surely something is better than nothing!

His response was quite simply that “Bali was not like other countries, if Balinese do not work then they do not get money to live. Not everyone can work from home, like me I have to drive, and so I must still go out to work or there is no money”.

So, he did seem to realise one safety message, to stay at home if you can…

I reassure him that even in Australia, when losing your job the government does not automatically just hand out money to you! I encouraged him to try and be safe by wearing a mask to protect himself while he works in close contact with numerous groups of people every day!

A week later and a new driver was not only masked but was also equipped with sanitiser which he encouraged me to use!

During all of this uncertaintly and gloom perhaps the most heartwarming and humbling blessing to arise is the sense of community spirit amongst expats, and their strong willingness to help Bali survive this state of emergency.

Most visually obvious are baskets along roadsides within some villages, calling for donations of food and medicine for those in need. I have also passed a few private villas or businesses that have secured hand sanitiser to roadside stands, free to use for anyone passing by!

Expats and non Indonesian communities have also united online via social media, forming power groups to assist Balinese families direct with food donations.

Additionally small task groups are producing masks, fundraising for the procurement of PPE for hospitals and are arranging the design, print and erection of Covid-19 prevention signage in Bahasa, to educate local Balinese communities.

The fear of Bali being highly inadequate in terms of medical facilities, government transparency and the lack of education for Balinese to stop the spread is very evident amongst expat groups and so they are banding together to assist the island which they love and now call home.

In some ways being expat brings some small fortune as you have choices of where to best ride out the storm. Although with choice brings so many more questions and uncertainties that are impossible to answer or predict in a world that now continues to unfold and change in unknown proportions each day.

This is actually quite a distressing predicament as many elements you feel are choices to best position yourself and your family in this tragic event, are actually in fact not a choice and may well be a verdict that is imposed on you by government restrictions, whether it is suitable for your family and circumstances or not.

This is where your life is potentially out of your direct control, as the government who you now reside under can in fact at some point decide your fate via the immigration and VISA regulations that they enforce.

All countries globally are constantly updating travel, immigration and entry restrictions to best protect their own nation and the spread of the deadly virus to its citizens.

However, a huge primary unknown expat element is will you even be entitled to stay in your new home and environment that you have embraced and invested in financially and emotionally, if you choose to?

And if so, for how long… will unknown and constantly changing immigration restrictions or evolving government limitations impact on your future stay to reside?

Secondly, if after difficult and careful deliberation you do actually decide to return to your country of origin, will there even be flights available at that relevant time you wish to return?

Will your home country government continue to allow expats freedom of entry to return?

Another immense consideration which causes constraints over making future decisions of residency during a world crisis is personal financial position.

The Coronavirus has made a massive financial impact for all countries and people around the globe, however where this intensifies as expat, is the large upfront investment made to secure a life abroad; flights, immigration VISA’s, international schooling and home rental are all very large expenses which we have had to afford with payments required to be paid 12 months in advance!

Many Bali expats survive here via business opportunities and so have also invested heavily financially to create successful businesses, which may now be closed or running on reduced profits under new government Covid-19 restrictions.

Equally in reverse, personally in our home country of Australia we have relinquished numerous life conveniences in order to successfully move our family overseas. We no longer have a home to return easily to as it is currently tenanted, our cars were sold and our entire life is packed into boxes and annually stored within a storage unit.

To enable our overseas move we became almost nomadic, by travelling with personal belongings only that would fit into suitcases, so our return to Australia in some ways is easy as we currently live in a fully furnished villa with just essential items from ‘home’.

However, in other respects returning is not at all easy or encouraging due to the fact that other than family members, we have nothing usual to return to, as our life and home is now in Bali. And in assessing our personal finances, staying in Bali will actually benefit us best from an immediate financial aspect.

Being distant from close family, especially aging parents is probably the sole key drawback being expat, as we now build regular connections, see each other and communicate via electronic means only.

This separation element poses yet another unknown and distressing concern during such epidemic times as expat… the concern for your parents intensifies immensely with a new invisible and deadly threat lurking.

But where will you stand in terms of actually being able to get a flight, entry to your home nation and what self-isolation requirements will be imposed on your family at that time, if the dire need presents for you to return home quickly due to ill health of your loved ones?

And likewise, what medical, repatriate or survival options will you have available if someone from your immediate family becomes infected or seriously unwell while living overseas as expats?

How can you manage your home life with a seriously sick and potentially hospitalised member of your household, in times when social distancing is paramount for continued health, being expat the support to raise your family is already limited, and in current times some friends that have been made have already returned to their country of origin with the introduction of online schooling and the coronavirus threat?

Our families best defense and only way forward in my mind is quite simply to self isolate and remain positive but very proactive.

Staying in the safety of our home, away from confined spaces, away from other people and any crowded areas. This is followed strongly by good nutrition to build healthy immune systems, maintaining regular exercise and mental health protective measures!

Little.Miss.IBU and Co. do continue to go out daily in our quieter village and surrounding areas. Sometimes it’s a street walk or a jog, sometimes we take a ride on our motor scooters just to escape our small villa and slowly we are finding alternative recreational areas for us to be active outdoors and free away from others… with two active boys and a usually energetic family, we do need to get out!

However, we always go with PPE and have introduced new hygiene routines for our household.

Always wearing masks especially in confined spaces or within close personal distance to others, like shops. Our personal hygiene is foremost when returning home and at any time we have near contact with others we are always immediately liberal with hand sanitiser on leaving…

Generally, outings are shorter and minimised simply to reduce our exposure and mostly we are just laying low at home.

So it’s with much gratitude and hope that Little.Miss.IBU publishes this post.

Feeling overwhelmed and weighed down, compromised, uncertain and sometimes anxious about our place in the world, I am equally so grateful that my boys and I are all currently healthy and safe.

We currently have all that we need accessible to us to live comfortably, without the panic buying, empty supermarket shelves and the media mayhem of the western world.

And although we are spending a great deal of time confined at home in our small villa, which is often very frustrating and causing much friction for a usually active and adventuring family…

We are all together and are where we need to be at this point in time, with much quality time to enjoy and share.

And this is very rare and unusual for our frequently separated, globally FIFO family!

Transportation of a Bali Expat

Do you remember the Savage Garden song ‘The Animal Song’? I don’t know where it comes from but that song comes into my mind almost daily, as I now transport my family around on a motor scooter. And I do sing it, out loud!

I want to live like animals

Careless and free like animals

I want to live

I want to run through the jungle

With the wind in my hair and the sand at my feet…

To be completely honest, I love riding my Scoopy motor scooter! Bali roads and traffic would make my world here much more restricted and stressful without her, yep she’s a girl, meet Ruby!

This single life change, going from a family car to motor scooter, has probably been one of the most impactful changes moving to Bali, however it does provide us a real sense of freedom and fun.

One surprising element of this transport switch that fills me with most gratitude is simply the time that I spend close to my sons when on a motor scooter.

As we travel, I have close contact with them both, I can hear them through our helmets frequently humming away to themselves, a cute and quirky trait which they both do at different times that I have never noticed them do before our move! We have brief conversations about our day and the environment that we pass by, but I think it is that basic human need of touch that gives me the greatest sense of warming as a mother, as I can easy give a little squeeze of an arm or a leg and also receive that same reassuring shoulder massage or tap of affection in return. Such fond moments which would rarely be experienced while driving a car, are now part of my daily blessings!

Living in Bali as a solo parent when Chris is away for work however, sees this transportation element needing much more logistical care and planning.

With Baxter sitting in front of me and Hudson behind, we are like three snug ‘peas in a pod’ who are becoming confident and cultured on how we best go about daily life.

School drop off certainly looks a lot different to our familiar car drops to school in Australia!

Our International School is a short 5-7minute journey on small village roads and scooter short cuts requiring minimal effort or planning… we are two boys, two school back packs, one Mumma and her handbag!

When it comes to attending other social events, going to recreational places and other basic life hacks like the weekly grocery shopping… and well, it can be a ‘little more effort required’ from Little.Miss.IBU!

My grocery shopping has become more of a weekly excursion than the adhoc Australian supermarket stop, which now sees me take a ‘motorbike taxi’ with my reusable bags in tow for a bigger weekly shop. A distance of around 7km from our villa, this costs a mere $1.50 – $2 AUD.

On return I engage a car to accommodate my shopping bags now full of groceries. This trip is a refreshing novelty, although frustratingly taking twice the travel time, but still a small cost of around $4 – $5 AUD. It does however see me happily sitting in air conditioning, out of the elements and listening to the radio. It’s funny how the simple little things can bring a smile to your day!

With two active outdoorsy boys, in Australia our most frequent social avenue was the beach for boarding and surfing and the skate park.

Bali being a similar climate and culture to our previous home, sees us embarking on the same joys… so it is with my ‘big girl pants’ on and some time to strategise and plan, that I am proud we have been successful in still doing these fun family activities, with our motor scooters as our trusty transport.

Carefully navigating my way to the beach in light early Sunday morning traffic, Little.Miss.IBU transports her two boys, a beach bag and one surf board secured to the surf rack attached to the left side of Chris’ motor scooter.

Using this same surf rack, I also strategically secure the two scooters that we brought with us in suitcases from Australia and safely take an afternoon outing to the very popular skate park near our home.

Grateful that both destinations do not require large busy roads, hectic traffic jammed with cars or long distances, we do a safety and stability check and take our time to arrive carefully and I’m actually surprised by how well this works without any hesitation or fears.

With my families safety always at the forefront, be reassured that if I had any doubts about these trips I would certainly not take any risks to get us there… there is always the option of taxi’s and drivers, however motor scooter logistics are common practice in Bali and is just one very stark difference that we encounter daily living as expats.

The single biggest element which can hinder life enormously with a motor scooter as your primary mode of transport is the weather!

When driving a car, it’s rare to give the weather conditions much thought, as it really does not impact on your journey considerably.

Riding a motor scooter however, we currently have poncho’s that are almost a permanent fixture in Ruby’s boot at the moment as being rainy season, tropical storms brew quickly most afternoons with heavy down pours… and let me tell you, being stuck out and about when on your Scoopy, in heavy rain, is never fun!

You have two choices: pull up, seek shelter and wait it out, and who knows how long the down pour can last… or ‘poncho up’ and head home ‘Hati Hati’! (slowly)

The sun and wind are also weather considerations which can impede on a planned outing. Sitting in between cars and traffic in the searing sun and heat can be very taxing and oppressive, as can the wind as it requires more concentration but also the pollution and dust experienced can be more extreme in such conditions.

Talking poncho’s, who would have thought that an overseas move to Bali would also heavily impact on one Little.Miss.IBU’s daily fashion?

Yes, I do my best to be a stylish fashionista in a plastic poncho, however I have never had to give so much thought to my daily clothing selection as I do now, with my legs required to be splade apart on Ruby several times a day so that my youngest son can travel in front of me. #Modesty.Alert!

And don’t get me started on hairstyling… if it’s not from the heat and humidity preventing modern sleek long hair styling options, it’s the constant kink of ‘helmet hair’ that sees me in defeat and most often just pull it all back in a simple pony tail!

I want to run through the jungle, with the wind in my hair and the sand at my feet… yep, wild and free, that’s more my fashion style these days!

From Fly In Fly Out to Stay at Home

Like a circling plane in a holding pattern… we are destination unknown!

Magical Mt Batur at sunrise

As a FIFO (fly in fly out) family who is usually separated by work, this current global crisis has perhaps impacted our family dynamic more so than most.

With one partner (& parent) usually routinely away for regular periods of time, many FIFO families have now found themselves in one of two very unappealing scenarios:

The work away partner may now be a permanent resident forced at home and likely without employment due to the fact that with current travel restrictions they cannot fly for work and are unable to continue to work remotely from home. This may or may not see them continuing to earn financially for their family, which is an extremely tough situation.

Alternatively the work away partner may actually not have been able to return home since the beginning of COVID-19 travel lock downs, for an unforeseen period of time. To remain in the workforce, they wait it out at work locations so that they can continue usual employment, in hope that they can fly home to be reunited with family soon. Sadly, for many families I know of this has actually been the case and for more than 2 months they have not seen their much-loved partner, Daddy / Mummy… another extremely tough situation for all.

FIFO life is already a unique situation with families often dealt with a few extra layers of ‘delicate’ circumstances and challenges, especially where parenting, kids and relationships are concerned, as usual family issues are often exacerbated by the frequent absence of a partner and parent from the home.

Fly Out Day: Often the toughest & saddest day for FIFO families

This is not a lifestyle of choice suiting everyone and definitely not for the faint hearted! It is well documented that the frequent separation of families can induce negative pressure on all family members; with potential detrimental effects on mental and emotional health, often imposing feelings of loneliness, overwhelm, high pressure and the distance can often result in communication problems with feelings of disconnect a real consequence.

However, being separated by work can be a prosperous, exciting and balanced lifestyle that many families do embrace and can manage well to their best advantage.

Although today, many FIFO families now find themselves in very new and uncertain territory regardless of the altered scenario they find themselves in.

Normally in a constant mode of adjustment as life routinely flips between united coliving and coparenting, then conversely navigating life independantly, many whilst solo parenting, it is now a different challenge that is quite possibly the hardest and most frustrating aspect to really come to terms with. That is the instant onset of this new forced ‘normal family dynamic’ is completely out of your control, with an end date still unknown.

You know that old saying ‘be careful what you wish for’… well I find it a little ironic that when we made this decision to relocate our family to Indonesia from Australia with MR.IBU working in overseas FIFO roles, one big element for this decision was that it would allow us much more valuable family time together! Now here we are, in the midst of a global pandemic and we have never been together in the same household for this longest time… EVER!

To be honest I’m tiring of hearing and talking about this once in a lifetime disastrous world event. Instead I reflect that for quite some time as a couple after more than 20 years of living a working away lifestyle, we have been discussing strategies and possible ways in which we can continue adventuring and living our way of life, but move toward a lifestyle where we are more united at home, with Chris more present than he is away.

Living in Bali we are fortunate in many ways that this tragic event has actually not largely negatively impacted on our lives, as is the case for citizens of many other countries. See my last blog The Covid19 Expat for more insight into real life in Bali during the Corona Virus.

In Bali we are not policed into a ‘lockdown’ state where strict regulations are imposed forbidding outings outside the home. However, mandatory face mask use when outside and social distance regulations are enforced, with many large venues, social attractions, beaches, schools and retail precincts completely closed… we are simply encouraged to stay at home where possible and are not given many enticing avenues to lure us out!

Village signs line streets reminding all of the constant fight against COVID-19

Taking health precautions to self-guard ourselves very seriously, the situation in Bali has however enabled us flexibility to enjoy the most incredible time together as a family, as we can continue to take short outings and adventures; experiencing beautiful Bali sights without the crowds, pollution and hectic streets. Quiet Bali is reveling being tourist free and we are certainly benefiting! Blessed to enjoy Bali’s many rewards we often find ourselves in usually heavily populated tourist destinations, yet we are the only ones there, which is a truly magical experience!

But what next for Little.Miss.IBU?

Mindfulness matters in times of uncertainty!

With a more thoughtful and contemplated character we are not usually ones to over react in situations, but more often act after much consideration. Sometimes, as is in this case, it can go against the best well thought out plans! However, my instinct tells me that in this current unknown situation that this is all we can do… that often with uncertainty and change brings new hope and possible opportunities.

Individual mindsets and ideals can be reset with personal priorities and goals changing, so too can the environments outside of your own home and world. Sometimes it is a matter of just letting go, holding on and hoping the world catches up with all your stars aligning.

Having spent more time at home than away for the past 6 months has seen much reflection for Chris especially, as he now spends most weekdays helping solve complex year 5 Math problems, encouraging story writing ideas or engaging in year 4 Inquiry experiments! MR.IBU has lost his PC (lifeline) thanks to more than 8 weeks of home schooling, and continuing… he has read more books, taken more naps and is more bored than ever before!

This has no doubt had him reflecting on ‘his’ career and life big picture, as currently he is in the very unusual place of simply being a full-time parent and teacher, 24/7.

Going outside each sunset, we watch the beautiful varying colors in the sky across rice fields from our villa. Currently in Bali it is ‘windy season’ which sees many very large kites flying around each village, we observe the kites flying so high with their different designs, flying in varied patterns in different wind streams. It’s a short but calming ritual we can both enjoy together which allows for reflection and future hopes to be expressed.

Sunset views from our villa, the perfect view for self reflection

I know he’s bored; I know he’s not motivated and he is really missing the mental stimulation, interaction with colleagues, challenges and rewards of his work. He watches infrequent planes fly over our villa and tracks their flight paths for his own knowledge and interest. The other night watching a plane fly over he confides of how he really misses travelling for his work, being up there flying above the clouds and working in overseas locations. And I get it… this is not a choice for him, but a forced stay at home without employment disaster. Until now, we chose this lifestyle, we had our flow and we made it work for our family.

More than anything Little.Miss.IBU longs for her family to remain in Bali, since our time living here has been so short and under such irregular norms. Many Bali dreams and hopes are still to be lived and it would feel completely unjust to not tick some family adventures off our evolving Bali Bucket List!

What next is still very uncertain and unknown for our family. Somewhat like a plane circling in the sky we currently are in a steady holding pattern, destination unknown. For now my focus is to simply make the most of our current world; acknowledge and appreciate MR.IBU’s constant family presence which we may never have like this again, to strive to keep my family healthy and safe, project optimism that new opportunities will arise for us and hope that our new future path soon becomes known… and that this future is indeed a bright, engaging and stable one!

Exploring now tourist free attractions: Tegalalang Rice Terraces

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!

Leaving Australia at 4am, but we were rearing to go!

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.

Appreciating the small blessings on our first day of our new Bali life!

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!

The Home Life Warrior

Little.Miss.IBU is a home life warrior!

Often flying solo with a partner who works abroad, she is also tasked with parenting and doing life in a land foreign from her own family support and from secure known, familiar origins.

With two very energetic, sporty and divine boys under her wing, she is the glue that binds their family. The happiness, health and safety of her ‘three boys’ is of the utmost importance to Little.Miss.IBU.

Daily life can be tricky to manage at times, as Little.Miss.IBU faces many challenges attempting to keep an even keel on her family’s world.

Juggling an intermittent long-distance relationship, global time zone differences, living an expat life and regularly living solo abroad with two boys, the everchanging stresses, emotions and behaviors that family separation through work can bring, general parenting issues, cyclical reunification and the reconnection as a family unit, managing household affairs in multiple continents… this is a unique family environment with everchanging foundations!

Follow Little.Miss.IBU for an insightful, raw and realistic view into one family’s world; separated by work and frequently living in different parts of the world…yet they could never be closer as a family unit.

M Y   F A M I L Y  ▪︎ M Y W O R L D

▪︎ M Y   E V E R Y T H I N G !