What brought us all the way across the world, flying over 8,000 miles, to Bali in Indonesia?
Besides our yearn to explore new places, the main reason we went to Bali was for the Family Adventure Summit (FAS), an annual meet up for Worldschoolers and traveling families. I had heard about FAS about a year ago, after we had just missed their meet up in Mexico, so we decided we would sign up for the next one held in Bali. A little far for us compared to Mexico, but hey, we’re not ones to say no to a traveling opportunity!
Worldschooling can feel lonely at times, because not many people understand our lifestyle. Even though Bridgette met one of her best friends while traveling, it’s still been challenging to meet up with other families on the road, because every family travels differently and have different agendas. So, we were all really excited at the thought of FAS bringing together hundreds of traveling families in one place!
Being the planner that I am, I wanted to be better prepared for the trip, as I knew how overwhelming it can get meeting so many new faces in one place. A few months prior, on the FAS Facebook page, I casually threw out the idea of coordinating a Balinese cooking class a few days before the summit to see if there were any interests. As it turns out, when you’re willing to take the lead to plan something, people are much more likely to jump on board. I received a ton of interests from that one post, and had to cap it off as the cooking school I was working with had a limit to how many people they could accommodate.
Upon our arrival to Bali, we settled into our hotel in Ubud– Element by Westin. It was a modern and stylish boutique hotel close to the center of Ubud. We loved the natural materials of the hotel, and our very comfy room with AIR CON (!) and a balcony overlooking the swimming pool.
Whenever we left our room, we were also greeted by this extraordinary view of Balinese houses and rice fields!
To get around Ubud, most people rent mopeds, and you’ll see 2, 3, or sometimes even 4 passengers to a moped on the streets! That’s just how things roll in Southeast Asia. Helmets are optional and there’s always a sense of chaos on the roads.
Since we’re big believers of “when in Rome, do as the Romans do,” the first thing we did was to rent a motorcycle to get around. A moped was too small for us now that Bridgette is as tall as I am, so we had to get a legit motorcycle to fit all 3 of us onto one bike. Luckily, Alan is a pro with motorcycles and have been riding for decades, so we felt completely safe with him behind the wheels. We abided to the safety standards of the U.S. and made sure we wore helmets at all times. I did whip out my GoPro every now and then to film some memories for us, which is something I probably won’t ever do if I was in the States. >_<
On our first night, we wandered around the center of Ubud and stumbled upon a cute restaurant + spa for our dinner. There were also a lot of little shops all around, but most of them sold pretty much the same type of clothing and souvenirs.
The next day, we woke up bright and early for the cooking class with Bali Farm Cooking School. We arrived at the designated parking lot in Ubud city center and introduced ourselves to all the other Worldschooling families that had signed up to be in the class with us. Everyone was super friendly, so it didn’t take too long for us to warm up as a group. Even Bridgette found herself being quickly surrounded by new friends!
The cooking school sent 3 cars for our group, and our first stop was a wet market that many locals patron. We walked around the market with our guide, who stopped frequently to show us special produce and fruits native to Indonesia, like the snake fruit which looks like a garlic and tastes like an apple, lol.
After the market tour, we drove a short distance and arrived to the cooking school. We got a tour of their property, which included their own farm where we pulled produce for our cooking class!
Finally, we were ready to get cooking! Because we had such a large group, we buddied up and had 2 to a station. Our menu was quite extensive, so we would cook a couple dishes, then sit down to eat together, and then continue to cook the next few dishes. A lot of chopping, slicing, and grating were involved with the prepping, but cooking is an excellent way to bond (especially with new friends), so there were no complaints!
My favorite part was to eating ofcourse. 🙂 We sat at one long table and exchanged dishes with one another so we could try each other’s cooking. The satay chicken was delicious, but the most popular dish was probably the salad and the curry.
Thank you to all the wonderful staff at Bali Farm Cooking School for such a fun and engaging cooking class!