How we get around the Gilis

My friend ran around the island yesterday in about 30 minutes. I wanted to explore it on foot, but with a 5 year old, that would take forever. So we splurged on a horse carriage. We looped the island (though I’m pretty sure he took a short cut down the middle through the kampung toward the end) in about 20-30 minutes.

Definitely accomplished one of Ellie’s Life List goals. Happy girl over here.








A New Year

I wanted to write a reflective piece on the year we’ve spent in Indonesia. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn’t interested in that year. I’m far more interested in this year.

Now don’t get me wrong, this past year has been one amazing, albeit challenging year for our family. But I really do think that all that hard work will pay off. We now have a car (Seth can fill you in with the details later on), a trip home next month to celebrate a family wedding, a savings plan, excellent professional opportunities and development, and new expat friends in the neighborhood. Things are looking up in this part of the world.

What’s next? We plan to enjoy the fruits of our labor for the next six months, and then we’ll need to make a decision. Stay? Go home? Whatever it will be; it will be extraordinary.



We are staying at a friend of a friends treehouse for the weekend in Amed, Bali.

While Seth is diving the Liberty shipwreck for his birthday, Ellie and I are eating, playing and swimming with friends. Amed is lovely. Quiet, beautiful, and just perfectly lovely.




Summer Break

We kicked off our one month (paid!) summer break. Without my maid the first day, I ended up cleaning and doing laundry all day, only to come to the realization that I am now domestically retarded. We survived. With the return of our pembantu, we got to fully bask in all that is summer break in Bogor. Or in other words… Hell.

Mad respect to stay at home moms and dads out there cause all I know is that this is HARD. And maybe I didn’t have post partum depression during my maternity leave 4 years ago. Maybe staying at home just sucks because I like to work. I like my kid, but I also like to work. Balance, you know?

These next few days will be filled with dance parties, nail painting, swimming, art projects, reading, and mini adventures until Sunday when we can get-the-hell-outta-here for a few weeks.

I’m looking at you, Bali.

Bali or Bust!




Indonesia Bonus #97264196

Did you know that Indonesia has 13 recognized national and religious holidays? (Today is Ascension Day, whatever that means.) That’s almost 2 weeks of PTO, not even counting the average 2 weeks of PTO a full-time employee gets, like Seth.

And teachers? We get 3 weeks in December, 1 week in March, 5 in June/July, 2 in August, and 1 in October. This totals 12 weeks of PTO!!

It’s important I remind myself of this amazing fact when I am cursing the country and its dysfunctions. Because back in the states… I had zero PTO as adjunct faculty. Zero.

Two Weeks in Bali

We’re going back. Some may ask, but aren’t you living in Bali? Oh no, my friend, we most certainly are not. We live in Bogor, West Java. We may be living in the same country as Bali, but on a completely different island, surrounded by a completely different religion and culture.

We love Bali. Love! Luuuuurve. And we are so beyond excited to return for two full and uninterrupted weeks of pure vacation. As a reminder, the last time we were in Bali, I worked the entire time (plus prepared my graduate portfolio for my master’s degree).  Albeit I had a few chances to get out and explore, I was most certainly not on vacation.

Now, back to these two beautiful weeks we have to look forward to… We’ve had thoughts about trying to make it over to the Gilis. We have talked about these islands non-stop for the past year, have great referrals on where to stay and how to get there, but haven’t made the jump quite yet in reserving anything. You see, it can add up a bit, island hopping. And we’re on a budget. But we like to go with the flow, so we’re open to whatever unfolds.

We want to spend more time in Ubud. We will be staying in Sanur again, but we’ve only had a couple of days in Ubud and it’s just magical there. I’m hoping to get in a Wayang puppet show and a legit Kecek dance. Any chance to hear more gamelan music, we’ll get. We also want to pick up some art in the traditional markets to help decorate our home in Bogor.

I’m sure there are more waterfalls to see. Food to taste. We definitely want to see more of the westside of the island, specifically Canggu and Seminyak. Seth hasn’t experienced the most southern tip of the Bukit (specifically Balangan Beach), so I’m excited to take him there.

Ellie’s priority is deciding which barbie to take and to be able to “swim all by myself”. Swimming has really become important to her, which is great, of course. We just need to squeeze in a few more lessons before she’s really able to jump in the deep end (without us scrambling and jumping in after her).

So get ready, friends and family, for a feast of the eyes. The fun starts Sunday!



The first vacation of the year is in August, for Idul Fitri. It may be a bit crowded as most Indonesians travel for the holiday, but we are determined to return to Bali. We’ll be staying in Sanur again, in or near the same bungalow we stayed at last year, and look forward to seeing friends! The biggest goal of the trip is to finally make it to the Gili Islands to do some scuba diving and snorkeling.