Hey! I’m Kirsty! If we’re gonna be friends, you should know, I’m a long story long kinda girl, so bear with me…
I’m originally from the west of Scotland but home is the beautiful tropical island of Bali, Indonesia. My husband, Hardin, is Indonesian born and raised, but moved to Scotland in 1998. Seven years later in 2005, we met and quickly began travelling the world together, climbing and backpacking and living in various countries. In 2017, Arlo (the boy) made us parents and in 2019 while I was pregnant with Eia (the girl) we decided to move to Indonesia for a couple of years for Hardin’s work. It wasn’t a particularly long conversation. It went a bit like this…
Hardin: “There’s business opportunities for me in Asia. Wanna move to Bali?”
Me: (already pregnant with Eia): “fck yeh I do!”
Hardin began to organise our new home out here, flew back every month to see us in Scotland and be with me for Eia’s birth. He had to leave for a conference in Jakarta when she was 2 weeks old but I waited in Scotland with both kids until Eia had her TB shot and first round of vaccinations and then we made the move in September 2019, when Arlo was 18 months, Eia was just 10 weeks old and I still felt vaguely like I’d been kicked in the lady garden by an angry horse!
I’m a stay at home mum that’s always been incapable of staying at home! Since Hardin works away, I’m home alone a lot with the kids (and our beautiful, but batshit crazy golden retriever, Marley) and being outside is what’s always calmed my heart and mind. I was raised with the outdoors and my whole life has been lived exploring and adventuring in the natural world – walking, hiking, climbing – and nowadays I love taking the kids and Marley with me on hiking adventures off the beaten path to explore our island home while Hardin earns the crust. Also, days spent exhausting ourselves in the heat helps everyone – children, dog and me – sleep better, so there’s that!
The thing that sets my soul on fire in this world is climbing. My heart is in the mountains. I started climbing when I was 17 and have spent all of my adult life on the rock. But theres a shortage of big walls in Bali and since covid shelved our plans to travel and climb more in Indonesia and SE Asia, we’ve settled in to a different (temporary) way of outdoor life for now.
We live right on the beach and when I’m not mummying or hiking with the kids, I’m surfing. I’m your proper Bali expat stereotype! I’m not really a stuff person or excessive toy buying parent – I’m trying to avoid that 21st century parental dick measuring contest 😉 Seeing the world & living out of a backpack with only 20 bucks in our bank account at one point (which led to 6 weeks of back breaking apple picking in New Zealand but that’s another story!) & now living in Indonesia has taught me whats most valuable in my life & it’s how I want the kids to measure life’s and their value too.
So we hike, explore & enjoy nature & the experiences it has to offer for them to grow as little people but also as a close family since it’s just us here! One of the things I struggled with at first after moving to Bali was how busy and touristy it is. I was desperate for that wild, one with nature feeling I need so much and I really wanted us to experience as much of “real” Bali as possible. So I started researching hikes off the beaten path in Bali but found there wasn’t a huge amount of info online, its mostly local knowledge, and theres even less info specifically for families with young kids. I gleaned what information I could from the internet and locals and then just started getting out there myself with the kids to see what we could find. And every single one of our adventures have been insane! Bali is out of this world stunning. And long story not short, I’ve been sarcastically oversharing all about the ups and downs of our outdoor adventures, trips and tips here since then in the hope it might offer a useful resource for other adventure families visiting Bali, inspire other expats or holidaying families visiting Bali to get off the beaten path and see the wild side of the island and maybe even encourage some mums elsewhere in the world to get out there and explore the wild with their kids.