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