As May comes around each year, excitement grows in the BATN household : it is time to pack our bags and get moving! What has become an almost annual pilgrimage to the island of Bali is once again upon us; with three trips there in the last four years its quickly becoming a second home. This time however was going to be different, we were no longer travelling as a careless, responsibility free twosome where the familiar combination of surfing, sunbathing and Bintang were the order of the day. We are now a family of four, with our namesake Bodie, leading the way as an already experienced jetsetter at just 3 years old and his little sister, India in tow. Our trips used to consist of a rucksack and a board each, now we were on the move with six bags, a pram and a board bag, along with a whole host of carry-ons. We had a seven hour flight to Doha, a few hours off, then back on for nine hours to get to our destination. For the man who doesn’t like to fly, the wife was going to have to pick up the slack!
We arrived happily in one piece and our trip could really begin. No matter what anyone tells you, in my experience, traveling with young kids is amazing and dare I say easy. Sure there are some testing times, but the forever changing look on their face; the constant fascination of a culture so far removed from their own is enough to see those tough times fade away with the evening sun. We initially stayed in a beautiful villa in Umalas, just north of Seminyak; the bustling hub where we would find many of our wares you see on the website today. We spent our days chilling on the beach eating watermelon and nasi-goreng, before heading to the markets and homeware shops in the early evenings. My wife has always been the creative side behind BATN, but even I was excited at the amazing, unseen products before me: added to this was the exciting challenge of bartering with the locals to achieve a good price! We bought lots and met some amazing faces along the way. For the next week our days followed a similar routine until it was time to move on.
As I said, we have been here before so we were looking for some place new, this came in the area of Canngu; a place we had heard of a lot but never ventured to. We loved it from the minute we got there. In my mind, I’m guessing it is what Kuta was like many years ago. Awash with great surf, amazing places to eat and enough yoga to keep even the keenest of Yogis busy, it was a little bit of paradise. Each morning Bodie would put his motorcycle helmet on and ask me to go get a smoothie; the roads were quiet and the two minute journey was ‘safe enough’ for him to have the time of his life. Here the family caught up with some close friends from back home and enjoyed a few Bintangs at Old Mans whilst watching the sun set over the peeling waves.
We finished our 3 week adventure with some time spent up near Uluwatu, a place we had been many times but never really stayed. Through some rugby contacts we managed to secure a week at Karma Kandara (if you have never heard of it, have a look!!), a place so beautiful it should be kept a secret. Amidst a colony of monkeys and only ten mins on the scooter from the surf at Dreamlands, we knew the week was going to be fun. The trip culminated with a big night out up at Single Fin, Uluwatu – the Sunday session; for those heading to Bali, this is definitely on the to-do list. A bar overlooking the surf at Ulus filled with surfers, travellers and just about everyone else under the sun. Needless to say, travelling with kids doesn’t forego you many opportunities to get on the beers, so I was excited! Fast forward two and a half hours and I was already tucked up in bed – the tequila got me!
As the sun set on our final night and the trip came to an end, we looked at all the unique and beautiful products we had found and couldn’t wait to get them back for you all to see. Until next time ……….