Road Trips Off The Beaten Track

June 1, 2015
Bali Rice Paddies

As a family, we’ve had our fair share of global travel. Our three year old has been to something like 15 countries (at the last count), but having our feet on the ground at the moment for Green School and our Bambajam project means it has been easy to get into routine.

Scheduled classes, commutes to work and school, meetings, online working and errands – all packed into the week and it feels like Monday rolls around again too quickly. It’s wonderful to have a routine and flow, and our three year old (fpop) is totally thriving with the predictability of our weekly routine, but it’s also nice to disrupt that routine, do something different, especially to get your creative juices flowing.

We live in Bali, but live in the centre near Ubud with rice paddies and lots of traffic. We often forget just how close we are to the ocean.

Rock on beach time.  A long holiday weekend off school meant time for a family road trip adventure to the ocean.

So, we quickly packed a weekend bag, and took off in the car to the West of Bali – based on a friend’s recommendation of where to go ( I tried to resist my urge to research, research, research).

Balian Beach Bali

Unplanned Road Trips Disrupt the Routine and Help You Get Creative

I love researching and planning before travelling and visiting somewhere, mainly to find the best places to visit, where to eat, stay and of course find the bargains. It makes great sense to do the online legwork before you travel, but sometimes the over-analysis takes half the fun and adventure out of visiting somewhere.

Back when I was a travel writer around Southeast Asia in the late 90’s, most of the research for destinations was from (mostly outdated) travel guides like Lonely Planet and Foders, so there was always that personal motivation to find the ‘next best place’ in a destination by doing the legwork yourself.

Our unplanned adventure worked out just nicely. We scored a cliff-top shared villa with no other guest for less than USD 70 per night including breakfast. Check out our 3 year old, Finley hanging by the pool below. She loved it.

GCC Family RoadTrip Balian 02


We chilled, wrote, swam, danced, played, listened to music and hung out as a family. Duncan (my husband) went surfing, composed some music and we walked down to eat at the beach.

Balian Beach Beachside Dining It was the ultimate weekend recharger, not just because of the incredible accommodation, but also because of the adventure.

Balian Beach was a lovely quiet, off the beaten track visit – a lovely break from the motorbikes and noise of daily life in central Bali.

GCC Family RoadTrip Balian 04

Sometimes just jamming and getting creative can lead to some great results. We’ve done this many times and sometimes came up short on results, staying in divey or over-priced places. But when things go well, you really end up scoring an awesome adventure.

What do you think? Do you like unplanned vacations? Do you enjoy seeing where the road takes you, or do you prefer things to be totally mapped out. I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below.

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