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Posted on Jun 28, 2012

Question of the Week: Why Did You Choose This Radical Life Style?

Question of the Week: Why Did You Choose This Radical Life Style?

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Waaaaaay before we were a nomadic family, we were a non-nomadic family living in an apartment, paying bills, cleaning the house, working our asses off to afford our lives. We were truly happy in the most gloriously breath-taking, God-kissed nature of Israel’s Upper Galilee Valley. We unschooled for 2 1/2 years and had the kids attend my wet dream of education, a school that our ten visionary families formed right off the Jordan River. The kids and I did hikes, had lazy picnics with friends, and watched rain storms on a mountain of blankets and pillows on the living room floor. I was studying serious spirituality courses, talking on the radio, doing unreal group therapies, walking with friends, and creating inspirational products I believed in.  Life was really perfect for one mom and three kids living this picture-perfect fairy tale fantasy in Israel. But wait, aren’t you a family of five? Wasn’t there a man, a dad, a husband in this picture? That’s the little glitch in this tale. There wasn’t.

Kobi had to work his ass off so that we could afford to live like enlightened mountain nymphs. Kobi had to commute two and a half hours a day. Kobi worked as a project manager for a company much like PlayPoker which developed online gambling software. He was our bitch.  Kobi dealt with back-stabbing, thick-as-London-fog office politics so that we could go on another nature trail of the Israeli Nature Reserve. Kobi lost his hair (OK, so that was years before, but doesn’t it make it sound that much more dramatic?) so that we could be the most chill hippie family (minus husband) around. Like I said, Kobi was our bitch.

Isn’t that awful to say?

Now, we always liked crazy, cool ideas and thinking out of the box; so we liked this juicy story we made up of how we’d travel the globe. We thrived on facing impossible challenges; so, duh, family not having to work all day but travel made us drool. We no longer believed the lie that if we worked hard our entire lives, one day, one day, one day, somewhere over the retirement rainbow we’d get to travel the world, again. That was utter bullshit. No one, no one, no one guaranteed we would have the money or the health, that Kobi and I would still be together, or alive one day. So, we, in theory, knew that we wanted our lives to be different. But, when push came to shove and the proposed due date got closer; Kobi got more excited and I freaked out. Of course, he was ready to leave yesterday; of course, I could not imagine leaving my precious life behind. “But the kids’ school….. but my thriving practice…. but my life, eh, I mean our lives…”

So, I batted my eyes and promised him messages every night and we postponed the trip twice. One day, he cornered me. “Either we go or we don’t. You decide. If we don’t go, let’s spend all the money on an investment home. If we do go, let’s go for real.”

Mountains of crap, too many errands, and sleepless nights later; we hit the road. We did it. And besides those really shitty moments when we knew this was a huge mistake; we thank God, the stars, the Universe, each other, our kids, and our determination and good fate for letting this dream-come-true reality be ours. Now, in month 16 of our adventure we’ve settled down in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a good many months. We’re working for the awesomely awesome, Lonely Planet recommended Garden Village Resort; we’re loving the Cambodians, the backpackers, and the each other to death. We’ve come full circle.

Kobi no longer works for a gambling company; he’s living the gamble, out in the world, with his family, not apart from them. If I could cancel all the other unreal gifts and advantages our travel lifestyle gives us; this may be the one, the one I deem most precious. We, all five of us, are a family. We, all five of us, can cuddle in bed for hours. We, all five of us, enjoy the most lovable, involved, grateful dad in the world.

I’d ask Kobi to put in his two cents about how it feels to be with his family but he’s busy right now. He’s in the room with the kids doing their nightly routine. He reads to them in Hebrew stories and legends he loved as a child, right before he chants inspirational mantas that rock them into sweet slumber. It’s tough. I know. The gambler’s life sucks.

“You never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table. They’ll be time enough for countin, when the dealin’s done.”

Come on, I’m even singing for you. You’ve GOT to comment now! Ever felt you were gambling away what was most precious to me? Ever felt the cost of your lifestyle was not just not worth it? Ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? When was the last time you heard Kenny Rogers sing that one?

I’m waiting for you. We’re on a mission to gain 500 Facebook likes by the end of the summer. Can you help us out? twitter, facebook, the blog in your inbox, and our YouTube channel. We’d be honored to have you with us.




  1. Hiya Gabi – I searched, and found you again. I don’t get your blogs to my inbox anymore, and that is why I keep missing you 🙁
    I love the photo at the start of this blog. It is fantastic.
    Your story, I am guessing, will ring true with so many folk – the father working all hours God sends, the Mum working and trying to be there for the bairns – and all wanting more time together, but too tired to make it happen. You grabbed the bull by the horns and set off.
    That was such a HUGE thing to do, but now you are a seasoned traveller, and you paint wonderful pictures with your words. I could not do this, mainly because of health reasons, so I can travel vicariously through your blogs. I take lots of photos so I can capture special looks, times, places – and when I am too tired to go out I take a look and revisit them mentally. Your photos interest me greatly, and bring me pleasure too. Thanks you for sharing your life – and singing – though the lack of sound may have been a blessing 😉 hehehe
    Take care, stay strong and keep smiling
    Love Wendy xx

  2. Oh – I have shared this blog on facebook, so hopefully more folk will start following you. I also just found a check box for new posts via email – I AM BACK 😀 xx

  3. Just found your blog! I’m a travel blogger too. Not a nomadic one though. We’ve been doing it for four years and hope to do the nomadic thing when our kids are just a tiny bit older. Thanks for being so inspirational!

    • hi hilarye, i’m so happy that you found us. tell me how? i always love to hear those random, beautiful stardust stories. going to check out your site! travel is the bomb. seriously, the bomb. (does anyone still say that these days? you travel as you can now, and you’ll travel nomadic when the time is right. how old are you kids? you’re welcome. thanks for writing and telling me so. that makes my week! join us in facebook, twitter and youtube if you are into that… we’re all over the place. god!

  4. Gsbi, I’ve been stalking you for a while, we’ve come to that crossroads, I’m freaking out about selling everything AND the house. This is big. I don’t know if I can do it, but I can’t carry on being a hospitality widow, either. Big decisions. Reading your stuff to help me make them. Much thanks. A xx

    • Alyson, internet on the island tonight is really acting weird… i guess everyone wants to connect with home on christmas eve. you know it took us four years (or was it five in total?) between dream/decision/let’s do it and hitting the road and i freaked out beyond comprehension. i really didn’t want to go, i was scared shitless, i loved my life, and there was sooo much to do, to get rid of, to take care of, to decide. all sooo overwhelming. i remember.and you sit there, with your hat on your beautiful diva head with the heater on, and you say, ‘why the hell am i doing this? ” and you’ll say that on the road too, i promise. i’m with you, and i am beyond honored to be stalked by you love. i hope in your free time, escaping the realities of your life, that you’ll also visit my soul healing and self improvement site at gabi klaf (dot) com. then, you’ll totally be in love with me. i love you. and you and your comments alone, motivate me to keep sharing. thank YOU. gabi

  5. you guys are such an inspiration! i can’t stop reading you.

  6. Hi, I have been reading through your blog for a couple years now & enjoy it very much! I especially love your parenting posts and LOVE how you brought your wardrobe down to a few ziplock bags! On a related note to this posting, I am my family’s “bitch” haha….My husband has been staying home with our 3 boys for nearly 2 years now. I work in the lovely and glamorous (insert sarcasm here) industry which nearly sucks my soul out day after day but it takes care of our family very well–and is helping pave the path to saving up to fund RTW travel. Our goal is to get moving on the road in 2016, once my youngest is 6. I have traveled with our other 2 boys younger than this & it’s not really my idea of a grand time. I want them to be able to carry their own pack 🙂 I do want to *finally* post & tell you how much I enjoy your stories, though. After years trotting around the globe alone for companies, visiting factories over 3 continents and designing clothing I’d never wear myself, I’m ready to bring the family along on a whole different adventure. Much love to you & your family, Warm Regards,

    • D- thank you. thank you for reading. thank you for sharing after all this time and letting me know that you are there. i appreciate that. i’m sorry you are the bitch and that the industry is sucking your soul, but you won’t let it, for you see it as the means to getting to your own ziplock bag clothing set. i feel so honored that you have read so much and know us, rather intimately (oh god,what do you know?) after following and reading for so long. what an honor too that you are reading travel blogs and staying inspired and reminded that you have your dream and that you will make it come true. i can’t wait to see how things roll for you close and close to your goal, when the kids can carry their own pack. I would totally wait too for them to carry their own weight. if you ever feel like leaving more footprints, i’d be honored to know where you’ve been. enjoy the fashion world and never wearing it! hugs, gabi


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