In the last few months of living in Bali, I have been privileged enough to have the opportunity to witness and be part of the crazy, chaotic Swan Lifestyle.
I first met the Swans when I was invited to a pool party by my friend one Sunday afternoon as I lay sunbathing on the beach in Bingin, Bali. Expecting to be led up the steps in the cliff to some 20 odd year old dude’s party, I was a little surprised to find that the hosts of the pool party were actually 30-something year old parents in a luxury villa overlooking the ocean.
Do not be fooled though, as this family is no ordinary family.
Little did I know at the time that this would be the beginning of the famous ‘Swan Sunday Sessions’ and a beautiful friendship with the Swan Family. Without a doubt the Swans are generous people inviting tourists, friends and people living in Bali into their home for the Sunday pool parties. I’ve also seen their open and easy going nature with their staff, the Balinese people and everyone that they meet and their optimistic and relaxed attitude towards life. I am endlessly entertained by the comedy dynamic between the pair and the chaos that seems to surround them. Power cuts, motorbike accidents, parties, fire hooping….every time I visit the Swans I am guaranteed to have a great time and a lot of fun.
The Life of a Travelling Rock Star Family
The Swans are anything but the normal nuclear family. As I have spent the last few weeks and months observing them on a day-to-day basis, their life is deserving of a TV show; they’re the rock star family, the Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne of travelling. Brian and Rhonda are polar opposites. Brian’s a relaxed go-with-the flow, hippy kind of guy and for Rhonda her idea of relaxing is running around in circles; she’s someone that makes coffee nervous. But they have a unique formula as a couple and an adorable little girl with doe-like eyes and a comedic personality.
Rhonda and Brian Swan have been travelling around the world for last year with their two year old daughter Hanalei, who can throw a few Bahasa Indonesian words into her sentences and thinks it is quite normal to get from A to B on a motorbike with her mother wearing her little baby pink custom helmet. A monkey next to the swimming pool? Oh that’s just a normal occurrence.
From Hawaii to Mexico to Costa Rica and Nicaragua and now to Bali, the Swans are literally seeking an Endless Summer Journey. As Brian always says, ‘this travelling lifestyle is normal to us but to the outside world we are freaks’.
The difference is, unlike most travellers who are on a bit of a budget, the Swans are living the ultimate luxury lifestyle. Their home for their stay in Bali was an oracle-shaped 12-bed house complete with kitchen staff, infinity pool, stunning yoga area and a panoramic view of the Bukit peninsula from Dreamland to Uluwatu.
How do they live this amazing life?
The Swans used to work in the corporate world wearing suits and earning six figure salaries back in San Diego. Rhonda was a sales executive for GlaxoSmithKline and Brian was an engineer- they were driving a Mercedes and an Escalade and buying and selling million dollar homes. They had the house, the car and the lifestyle that most people dream of and aspire to.
But five years ago Rhonda assessed her life and decided that she couldn’t face putting her child through daycare. They quit their jobs and started a home business working in personal development for a lifestyle company, Life Path Unlimited, teaching people how to create wealth and live the lifestyle of their dreams.
Things haven’t been all roses for the Swan family though. As they began to buy and sell more properties they invested money in a golf course and property development, but the money disappeared and the golf course was never built, resulting in an expensive court battle. The Swans lost a lot of money, sold their homes and decided that they could either stay and rebuild their lives in San Diego, or pursue their dream to travel the world and let go of their material things.
When Brian’s father had found out that he was dying of AIDS, he decided to use the time that he had left to show Brian the world and to take him to countries across the globe. Now Brian is fulfilling his dream of surfing the best waves in the world and showing his own daughter different cultures and ways of life. Rhonda is enjoying watching her daughter grow up and being around her every day without having to put her child through daycare.
The Swan Life
No day is the same in the Swan household, but a usual working day involves taking business calls in and meetings over Skype in the Bale overlooking the swimming pool and the Indian Ocean. You might hear a sudden shriek of panic from the pair as if an apocalypse is coming, but don’t be alarmed, it’s just that the internet has cut out in the middle of an important business call! The Swans live an amazing life being able to have the free time to meditate, surf, play with their little girl and experience different cultures and all the exciting things the world have to offer.
Here is a video I created for The Swans.