A couple who quit their stressful jobs, sold all of their possessions and fled to Bali have opened up about their journey from escaping the 9-5 rat race to living their dream on the island paradise.
Australian-raised Alika Barnsley, 32, and her Canadian husband Kieran Parkinson, 28, haven’t looked back since making the 12,972km move from Vancouver to Bali in September.
‘During Covid we started thinking about our futures and what we really wanted our lives to be like,’ Ms Barnsley told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We both were tired of the 9-5 jobs that we weren’t passionate about and talked about what we really wanted to do to make money.
‘Kieran wanted to become a Forex trader and I wanted to pursue my dreams of being a travel blogger and influencer – and finding a job online in the meantime.
Alika Barnsley and her Canadian husband (pictured) made the move from Vancouver to Bali
‘We knew that we could not pursue our dreams while we were both still working full time jobs so we thought “how about we save up for the next couple of years, live somewhere cheap and beautiful so that we have the time to work on what we really want to do in life”.’
Ms Barnsley, who details the couple’s adventures on her travel blog Alika in Wonderlust, previously worked as a legal assistant for a government department while her husband was a pipe insulator.
Cheaper living costs was a big drawcard in the couple’s decision to move to Bali.
They spend one third of what they previously did in Canada on rent, groceries and dining out – but finding work is proving a challenge.
Alika and her husband are now living their dream of travelling around Bali and enjoying unforgettable experiences such as breakfast in a rooftop pool
‘We saved hard for two years during Covid. Money goes a long way in Bali so we will be able to live here for a while without having to work but hopefully we find a way to make money online soon,’ Ms Barnsley said.
It cost $2,800 for the pair move to Bali, including flights, visas, Covid tests, airport transfers and quarantine accommodation for seven nights.
A B211A Visa to stay in Bali for six months costs $350 per person, $200 for Covid tests and $800 for quarantine accommodation.
The couple spend about $140-a-month on groceries and are currently renting a in Ubud – which costs $600-a-month including all utilities and cleaning once a week.
‘In Canada we were paying $1,450 a month, not including utilities or cleaning,’ Ms Barnsley said.
‘Our money goes a long way here and the locals love tourists.
‘I really hope that I can continue travelling and living the world and sustaining that life by working online no matter what it ends up being.’
Alika Barnsley, 32, and husband Kieran Parkinson, 28, were desperate to get out of Canada
It cost the couple $2,800 to move to Bali, which included flights, visas, Covid tests, airport transfers and quarantine accommodation for seven nights (pictured is Alika)
It’s still early days but the couple have no regrets about the life-changing move.
‘Life in Bali has been absolutely amazing,’ Ms Barnsley told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The first month we arrived we travelled around Bali because it was our second year anniversary and what was meant to be our honeymoon.
‘The second month we lived in a gorgeous villa with a private pool in Jimbaran Bay and now we are in our third month where we are living in a cute wooden hut in the middle of the jungle in Ubud. It’s so peaceful here.
‘I can’t believe how lucky we are to experience this. We have really enjoyed having this time to invest in ourselves not just in our futures but also eating healthy, working out, enjoying living and being better emotionally, mentally and physically as we didn’t have the time to do this before with our full-time jobs.
Kieran and Alika (pictured together) are currently staying at a bamboo villa surrounded by rice field
‘Our money goes a long way here and the locals love tourists!’ Alika Barnsley (pictured) told Daily Mail Australia
Alika and her husband (pictured) recently relocated to Bali to be closer to her family
‘The food is amazing here not just Indonesian but all types of food, the weather is always warm, the cost of living is low and the island is so beautiful with its tropical beaches, waterfalls, rice terraces and jungle,’ she added.
Born in England and raised on the NSW Central Coast, Ms Barnsley quit her nine-to-five job working for the government in 2017 and left Australia to travel the world for six months.
She moved to Vancouver on a two year International Experience Canada work permit, where she met her husband within four months.
While she’s been in Bali before, this is her husband’s first time.
‘Kieran desperately wanted to get out of the routine of waking up at six in the morning to go to a construction job and he also wanted to escape the cold weather in Canada,’ Ms Barnsley said.
‘He has an adventurous spirit and that is one of the reasons why I married him. On our first date I told him “If you want to live in Canada your whole life I am not the girl for you because I view Canada as just a temporary home”. His answer was that he wanted to travel the world and live in different countries which is exactly what I wanted.’
She urged others pondering a Bali sea change to pursue their plans, even if the decision doesn’t work out.
Pictured is Alika in Alas Harum, Ubud
‘You only have one life so let there be no regrets and don’t let the fear hold you back from living your best life,’ Ms Barnsley said.
‘Even if it fails it will be an experience that will change you forever.
‘That job, that house, that car will always be there but time and health will not always be there. You can always go back to that life if you decide to.
‘Balinese locals will welcome you with open arms I know this because every single local I have spoken to miss foreigners and want them to come back to Bali.
Kieren and Alika (pictured staying at a ‘bubble hotel’) detail their adventures travelling around the island hotspot on travel blog Alika in Wanderlust