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Posted on Sep 5, 2012

Liquified Homelessness

Liquified Homelessness

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Yes, we’re officially homeless. Yup. By choice, I know; but homeless, all the same. Paul Young comes to mind: “For I’m the type of boy who is always on the roam. Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home.” That’s us- not the sleep with ‘em and break their hearts part; but where the backpack rests, tis home. Liquified Homelessness. I like the sound of that. It morphs, oozes, flows from one form to another; like us. We’ve stayed in shacks, RV‘s, tents, huts, a cabana, house-sat, host-homes, an attic with tarantulas, the occasional 5-star hotel (we’re connected), airport floors, and hostels.

So, liquified homelessness is a photo/video journal of all these cool places we’ve stayed in for the past 18 months throughout North, Central, and South America; and now, South East Asia. It also glimpses into what we haven’t done yet, and the potential of checking those off the bucket list: ship, cabin, igloo,  adobe village, under the stars at the beach, and under a bridge come to mind. Have I missed any?

We pride our ability (and our children’s undying patience) at recreating home each time anew. It’s not always easy and romantic being a traveler. Malleability, flexibility, and compromise become your basic fibers of existence. Sometimes, the road slaps you so far out of your comfort zone, you almost wish you could just morph into the mud you’ve gotten yourself into.

Now, people ask us a lot about sex. In the greater scheme of things, how important is it that our kids can hear every moan and groan in the middle of the night? (We’ve learned to be very quiet.) So, the sex thing was an almost-issue in many of our abodes, but as we get to taste paradise all over the globe, we also learned how to  face the hardships of muffled sex.

And so, let’s look at some of the dumps and foo-foo places we’ve stayed in over the last year and a half.

[Editor's note: The crappiest places  have often been the most meaningful, memorable ones. It's a weird, negative correlation curve.]

Rustic Ranch (La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica)

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So what if there’s no hot water? When the skies poured; we soared! It is hard to describe in words the feeling of raw freedom, of total aliveness when you stand under freezing cold rain for your shower. Invigorating, doesn’t even come close to covering it!

 

Tent on the Beach (Huanchaco, Peru)

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We fell in love with Huanchaco, a sleepy town off the Pacific Ocean in Northern Peru. Lots of hippie artisans, a long and winding beach-front promenade from one tip of town to the other, cool straw-like canoes, and tons of amazing energy. We fell in love, also, with our first time living in a tent on this voyage. Besides the sand in everything we wore, slept in, and ate; all the rest was heavenly.

Indigenous Village Cabins (Union Venecia, Ecuador)

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Is it really such a deal breaker than ever malaria-infested Amazonian mosquito comes through the  nets over our bed ? Considering this is still our all-time favorite, most meaningful place thus far; you can say we suffered quietly. No tourists, no internet, no television, no attractions, no corner store, no nothing. Kids in Quichway/Spanish school and playing with the village kids all day; we’re in the river, meditating, soul-searching, talking, reading, sleeping. Those 6 weeks of intense non-productive soul-ness changed us for life.

Questioning Our Parenting on Airport Floors (Narita, Japan)

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It was during these overnight, lay-over, economic decisions that we seriously wondered if this nomadic thing was going too far. Besides the mystery of those double-PhD-minimum-requirement-in-order-to-figure-out-how-to-flush-the-damn-toilets (which I admit, I couldn’t figure out so I left unflushed); we just ate and collapsed after our 20 hour flight from Houston to Japan, en route to Thailand.

Garden Village Guesthouse Hostel (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

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There are moments when we pinch ourselves and wonder how we got so lucky. Here, we were pinching ourselves from June 10- October 30ish (when we plan to leave). The Garden Village Guesthouse is THE PLACE to be in Cambodia. The staff is lovely, Owner Pohim and his family are warm and loving, the rooms are perfect. Lonely Planet did really well in recommending this place. We worked here for months, honored to be a part of the family and staff. With them, we experienced in ‘our family’ birth (Pohin’s first child), departure (many dear backpackers and staff who moved on), injury (our dearest Andrew got hurt so badly in a motorcycle accident at the end of August), fear (when I lost Solai and they all were there for me), and endless hours of joy and laughter (as the staff chased our kids, made Solai’s hair and begged for kissed, watched the kids play chess, and learned from their notebooks whatever we were studying that week). LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place.

Cabin Off the Pacific Ocean (Las Lajas, Panama)

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 Host-Home of THE Family (Los Alimos, Panama)

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It is my fifth time in Panama. One summer, my brother and I came to live in David, Panama for two months. I signed up for aerobics three times a week, and Spanish with a tutor four times a week. It was cool. This family, all those really tall people, Kobi and I played with in our young twenties, when they were still in wee ones. Staying with them was like staying ‘at home’ again.

Room 102 Of the Coolest Hostel (Lima, Peru)

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We worked there (sort of) for a bit and they were just unreal. No compromises there. Unless you count being asked repeatedly for the kids not to steal all the sheets to make life-sized scarecrow men of Kobi whom they missed so much, or to sometimes let other backpackers use the one computer in the lobby, or to clean the floor of the full-size kitchen after they’re done creating their five-course meals. (I kid you not, they are amazing chefs; but the hurricane left behind understandably would urk the staff!)

 

Big Mama 30-Foot RV

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This is a dream, inside of a dream, inside of a dream for us. In Kobi’s top five bucket list was driving one o f those huge monster rv’s on the road. And so, when in Houston, we found a $12 a night Cruise America special. All we had to do was deliver the RV from point A to point B within the pre-determined dates, and we’ve got an rv dream in a dream in a dream for $12, instead of the $50- $170 a night normal price. Cramped, yes; but sooo cool. Soooo cool. Favorite built in entertainment for all of those hours on the road: singing, having truck drivers honk, and looking out the window. Life is good!

And, as I write this, I realize there were so many other living arrangements, so, so many that it’s a bit illogical to put them all. And so, this is a glimpse into our liquified homelessness.  It’s not all-encompassing. I guess when you hit this magnitude, it can’t be.

We are homeless, and love that that requires of us to re-find ourselves each time anew. At the same time, we do have a home back in the Upper Galilee Valley in Northern Israel. We don’t intend to ever sell it, even if we don’t end up living in our mountain-side light-filled home again. We are currently renting it and enjoying the side-money it generates for us. If you do decide to go hit the world; you may also consider renting your home, RV, cottage, or apartment for the insured income. We know several families who have done so and that has enabled them to fund part of their travels. We’ve also heard of people using services that rent out their cottage  and help people figure out how to maximize income from their equity.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our pictures. I worked really hard and loved every second of taking normal photos and turning them into art. We’d love to hear what dumps you’ve lived in, and how the experience was. And we’ve love to just hear ‘hello’.

Either way, namaste, peace to you and yours. We’ll keep listening to the Cambodia sky boom and roar, as it blesses the land with monsoon  rains.

 

Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Orazi, and Dahnya

Siem Reap, Cambodia

19 Comments

  1. I love this post Gabi! Sometimes it’s the accommodation that really makes a place special. He had a great guesthouse in Kanchanaburi with a wonderful pool, play area and lots of creatures to inspect. It was the cheapest place we stayed in our whole trip but definitely the best.

    Tell me how you got onto the RV idea. What’s the name of the company you used? Did you stay in RV parks because I heard this is expensive.

    • Hi Bethaney,
      This is Kobi. i was glad to read your comments. thanks.
      as for the RV deal we got, it was Cruise America. they send and receive RV’s from the west area of the continent to and from Mesa, Arizona. they charge only $12/night for you to take the RV from one point to the other. you have to pay for gas and campsites. some campsites are expensive so since these RV’s are self contained, you can stay anywhere but keep in mind that National and State parks are much cheaper to stay compare to campsite such KOA (we found their prices outrages). and sometimes just park at Wall-mart super stores parking lot. free and safe. and they actually encourage that so you will see many RV’s there at night.
      Hope this is helpful
      Kobi

  2. My best memories traveling are from the places that I have stayed at. More often its the cheapest and most homely of the options that prove to be the best. My personal favourite was in a beach hut in Malaysia, and just hearing the ocean as I slept – nice!

  3. This is a wonderful post! I’ve been ‘officially’ homeless for the past 7 years and wouldn’t have it any other way :)

    • Hello Samuel,
      I am glad to see you read our stuff. thanks.
      some say “there is no place like home” but you know what? home is whenever we put our head down.
      It is amazing to meet travelers that made traveling a way of living. good for you! i will make sure to view your blog….
      cheers,
      Kobi

    • how so very cool nomadicsamuel. homelessness is pretty unreal. i can’t wait to visit your site and see your adventures around the world. thanks so much for commenting. we love having you here, with us. hugs from a fellow hobo, gabi

  4. I love your pictures and I have to say that my favorite part is how happy everyone looks. Goes to show that you don’t have to stay at a fiver star hotel to have a great time!

    • hey paz. i totally think, for us, the five star hotel takes out the experience. we’re too wrapped in plastic perfection to experience what’s out there. oh paz, you reminded me that i wrote a post waaaaay back ‘why i hate hotels’. i need to find it and publish it! when the accommodations are simple, i feel. we have to face each other and the world more. that interaction sort of throws us out there (out of comfort zones) and into real experiences….

  5. I feel weird writing this, seeing that I have a mortgage and 2 kids in a suburban private school, but this part resonated especially:
    “We pride our ability (and our children’s undying patience) at recreating home each time anew. It’s not always easy and romantic being a traveler. Malleability, flexibility, and compromise become your basic fibers of existence. Sometimes, the road slaps you so far out of your comfort zone, you almost wish you could just morph into the mud you’ve gotten yourself into.”

    So beautifully written, Gabi!

    • jennifer. what a joy to sit here with ‘some nights’ by fun blasting in my headphones, two and a half kids asleep and to read your comment. thank you. i like it when it comes out nicely, and i like it even more that you cared to visit, comment, and be your true self and allow things to resonate even though you ‘have a mortgage and 2 kids in suburban private school’. and that is weird because… you are you, living your life as is right for you right now, and you read something a perfect stranger now in dalat vietnam read and it resonated… i love you jennifer. already. i do.

  6. Love this – and what flexible travelers on the road of life you all are! brava!

  7. Love it! You guys have stayed in some beautiful places Gabi! May your homelessness continue :) (by choice).

  8. What a fab post Gabi! I love that you’ve experienced so many different things and not just hotels. I also love that you managed to RV in the US so cheap too. Must remember that, if we survive our own campervan plans! Mind you, an american RV would be palatial compared to what we have!

    • thank you dj. i thought is was crazy looking back at all the ‘homes’ we’ve had. just crazy. thank you for commenting!

  9. Gabi, we so have to be in the same corner of the world sometime soon. I just love your spirit – so open and accepting of what life throws your way.

    Love the pics, too!

    • micki, i love reading your comments. you look at me the way i want to see myself, even when i’m freaking out, scared, or yelling at the kids. we sooooooo have to be in the same corner of the globe sometime soon. remind me where you are again. i’d love to hang out with your. oh, the laughs we’d have. i think you give me credit for being more ‘open and accepting’ than i am, but thanks, again, you help me see me in my highest light. hugs to you and your constant efforts to comments with such encouragement. thanks micki. gabi

  10. I love it, what an awesome adventure! One of the best things I love about all of this is that you are doing it with a family in full support of the idea that anything is possible. If anyone doesn’t believe that they can quit what they’re doing and live a life more fulfilled, they should look at this perfect example. When questioned, I often say I am homeless and unemployed, but as I am often alone, they write it off as young folly. Keep going guys, this is brilliant.

  11. Hi Gabi! You are very open minded person I have to say! adapting well in almost every places you have been! So, you all never been homeless because everywhere is your home right now, haha! :)

    Keep it up! Cheer!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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