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