The bright colours, the joyous smiles, the majestic blues of the beach and the floral injection are just some of what you will find shared on the Instagram account of Little Bali Love. I can’t help but smile each time I see a post and learn more about the dynamic and rich cultural history of this Indonesian Island.
I am thrilled to welcome Jemma and her family into this Heartfelt Series. Jemma’s love of travel and wanting to inspire more families to consider Bali as a travel destination lead her to form Little Bali Love, a website full of places to explore, shop and experience with you and your little ones. Thanks Jemma and I hope you all love this interview! xxx
Heartfelt Traveller – Jemma from Little Bali Love
Tell us a bit about you and your family
We are a family of four – Mum, Dad, and two girls, India aged 9 and Aurora aged 7.
Dad is Greek, Mum is a Kiwi but was born in America, and we are now based in Melbourne, Australia, but the island of Bali is our home sweet second home.
Where can we find you on socials
Insta & Facey for both:
You run Little Bali Love and you seem so passionate about sharing stories and culture for children in Bali to experience.
Can you tell me about how that came about?
We always loved travelling to Bali pre-kids, but when our first daughter India came along (now 9) we found we were seeking different things on our holiday. All of a sudden we were worried about staying in a villa with a pool and no pool fence, we needed restaurants with highchairs and kids menus, drivers with car seats, reputable babysitters, places to buy nappies etc. With time we developed a list of all our kid-friendly finds on the island which we were always sharing with friends, and so with previous knowledge of starting an online business Little Bali Love was born. We are also madly in love with the island of Bali and passionate about family travel, and love to guide, assist, encourage and inspire other families planning their holidays to Bali.
And now, as a result, we get to enjoy more frequent visits to our second home! It’s exciting that we have created a business out of something we simply love doing, and that it enables us to keep travelling together as a family, and for me to have the flexibility of working from home and having time to focus on my other important job – being a Mamma.
What is one thing that might surprise people about Bali they may not know?
There is SO much more to Bali than waterslides, Bintang singlets and knock-off designer bags. I think if people haven’t been to Bali before, or haven’t been for many years they have a pre-conceived opinion, often negative and incorrect, about what it is like.
Bali is a tiny little island of Indonesia – the main religion is Hindu, so it is very different to the rest of Indonesia. The religion and culture is so fascinating to us, and it has been delightful to see our girls grow up immersed in this beautiful, colourful, culture that is just brimming with traditions and rituals. The Balinese adore children, and our girls have always been welcomed with open arms – we now have lifelong friends who have become more like family.
It is also such a melting pot of people and cultures, and over the years has attracted a large crowd of expats seeking a new place that is creative and inspiring to call home. We have friends who live in Bali from Australia, Indonesia, Switzerland, Italy, France, Poland and beyond. This amazing mix of people has also influenced the restaurant scene… sure many of the well know Australian celebrity chefs have opened up here (Movida etc), but we can also eat sushi & sashimi in Bali that rivals the best restaurants in Japan, have the most amazing croissants & pastries that could be straight out of a boulangerie in Paris, or enjoy a smoothie bowl and coconut coffee for brekkie worthy of any trendy Byron Bay cafe.
So two things people may not know about Bali… the fact that whilst on a tropical beach holiday you can also immerse yourself in the beautiful and interesting Balinese Hindu culture, and the amazing foodie scene.
What does travel mean to you and your family?
Travel is very important to our family, and something we have chosen to heavily “invest” in over the last few years. We are building up the memory banks of our girls, showing them different countries and cultures, enjoying quality family time together just the four of us, and exposing them to new and different experiences and situations. Through the gift of travel, we are not only providing them with memories that will last a lifetime, we are hopefully helping them grow into compassionate, respectful, grateful, well balanced, adaptable, globally aware little people.
We are back and forth to Bali a few times a year and are committed to travelling to Europe every second year with a few weeks spent island-hopping in Greece each time. My husband is Greek and we have a lot of family over there, so we think it is important for our girls to stay in touch with the Greek culture as this is part of who they are. We also visited Paris on our last trip and will be enjoying a week in Barcelona this summer too. And in between a few other trips here and there that we squeeze in, eg: Byron Bay, Thailand last year and Vietnam coming up soon too.
What is your advice to families considering travel to destinations like Bali?
Travel with little peeps can be tricky and seem daunting at first, but my advice is “just do it!”. 🙂 And I think Bali is the perfect family holiday destination as it offers up the best of both worlds in terms of enjoying another country and culture, as well as being able to enjoy a resort or villa style holiday with all the creature comforts if you wish. The little travellers will be doted on by the Balinese and treated like little kings and queens, and there are so many fantastic family friendly places to stay and eat too.
Don’t stress about the plane ride or the mozzies, or the kids accidentally drinking the water… just go with the flow, relax and ENJOY! Oh and book a babysitter too for a romantic beachfront dinner sans enfants, or to indulge in a cheeky massage! 🙂