Family, Relationships

A trip that reconnected Chrissie Swan with her sister

Chrissie Swan by Chrissie Swan
October 8th, 2016

I have actually lost count of the times I have been to Bali. I think it might be ten times but it may be more. I’m actually not much of a traveller and I am terrible tourist so Bali, for me and my kids and my fella, has become our annual raison d’être.

Every time we get home from a blissful week or two of sun and snuggles and swimming, we literally count down the days until the next time we can go. And until now, our holidays have been just for us, but in September we mixed things up a bit and our time away ended up becoming the most magical holiday of all. The reason for this? Because my sister came along too.


Can you see why I didn’t want to leave..?

Growing up I totally took for granted the sheer volume of time I had with her. It’s not that I didn’t take our time together for granted… it’s that I never even considered the alternative; that one day we would be grown up and living our separate and busy lives. I say to my kid when they’re fighting “don’t fight with each other! one day you’ll be trying to find a time that suits you to catch u and it will be 4 months down the track!” But, like me when I was little, it just doesn’t register.

We stayed in a huge villa in Seminyak. And I mean huge. Set on over 2000 sq metres of gardens and pools and separate villas it became the perfect venue to reconnect and spend days and days of easy time with my sister… just like we used to do after school in the 80’s. I can’t t tell you how wonderful it was to wake up in the morning, mosey out of the bedroom I shared with my 3 year old daughter (does anyone sleep in the same bed as their partner on holidays?!? Mine was shacked up with our five year old!) and see my gorgeous sister walking down the path to the main house ready to share a fresh coffee and fun stuff she’d found that morning on Google. Happiness to us was 8 days of side-by-side pool lounges, a shared can of cold diet coke from Bintang supermarket, good wifi and uninterrupted time to trawl facebook, pinterest and Instagram.

Growing up I totally took for granted the sheer volume of time I had with her.

Her kids are a bit older than mine and we’d never been on holiday together before but we needn’t have been worried. The villa was big enough for all of us to find something to do from endless swimming to hide ’n’ seek in one of the 7 bedrooms.


The ‘fam’.

Our daily ritual included a 5 minute walk up to the Cornerhouse for a round of take away flat whites and bacon and egg rolls for everyone. Breakfast: sorted. We also organised dinner from there for the kids if the grown ups wanted something else later from one of the bazillion delicious places in Seminyak.

Within a day we all felt as if this villa was our home. Our pool toys were in the water, our Havaiinas were at the door and we’d even worked out how to use the DVD player. My sister would pop over the road for a massage and come back looking 25 years younger every few days. And I even caught her busting a few yoga moves in the dedicated yoga pavilion. She’s a yoga teacher so it looked way cool – the rest of the time the kids used the yoga pavilion as a shady rumpus room for building forts and doing the chicken dance. I used it as a shortcut across the garden. Shrug.

When we made the plan to find a huge private villa and fly all our kids and significant others all the way to Bali with the dream of some time together, it seemed like a giant leap of faith. But I’m pleased to say it worked. And it worked so brilliantly that we all will never forget it.

New bonds were forged between cousins that will never be broken. And there hasn’t been a single hour since we returned that I haven’t wanted to be back there, revelling in all that easy, laid-back time with my sister. Just like it used to be when we were kids.

* Chrissie stayed at Villa Yoga, you can find out more about it here. You can also find loads more great villas at Villa-Bali.