Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Oct 7, 2012

Just A Butt In The Wind- What Travel Can Do To Your Ego

Just A Butt In The Wind- What Travel Can Do To Your Ego

family travel blog, life on the road with kids, travel with kids, world travel with kids, world travel with children, the nomadic family, budget world travel, framily travel tips, RTW family travel, 2012 best travel blogs, family travel southeast asia with kids, famiy travel central america with children, family travel south america with kids, annapurna circuit with children, life on the road malaysia, rtw family travel, rtw family travel peru, rtw family travel cambodia, rtw family travel ecuador, rtw family travel panama, rtw family travel costa rica, rtw family travel colombia, rtw family travel vietnam, rtw family travel thailand, rtw family travel south east asia, life on the road RV, philippines, malaysia, rtw family travel nepal, rtw family travel india, ups and down on the road, spiritual travel, meditation and parenting, on the spiritual journey around the world, the nomadic family project documentary movie

Hey, remember me? It’s Gabi. We used to be friends, you and I. We used to talk a lot, share a lot. Laugh and cry until the coca cola came up your nose (burns so badly) from the unreal, and overly embarrassing things I shared. Let’s see, we’ve talked about my kids knowing too much about sex, shitting in nature, and that famous entry that should never have been written (some say) fuck, fuck, fuck. Like any amazing friendship; we walk together, until it no longer meets both of our needs, and then we lovingly part ways, grateful for what we both gained from that precious time when we walked hand in hand.

Now, I’m not gone. I’m not. I just don’t walk anymore here. I skip, I think.  I’m in a different phase/dimension/passion than I was then.  I’m still around, and still write here and there, but not like before. The Nomadic Family has shifted to reflect the changes in our lives too. So, what happened to Gabi? What’s happening in our lives? What’s going on here? Someone tell me WHAT HAPPENED? And what is ‘the butt in the wind’. Oh, that’s me, but I’ll explain. Read on…

family travel blog, life on the road with kids, travel with kids, world travel with kids, world travel with children, the nomadic family, budget world travel, framily travel tips, RTW family travel, 2012 best travel blogs, family travel southeast asia with kids, famiy travel central america with children, family travel south america with kids, annapurna circuit with children, life on the road malaysia, rtw family travel, rtw family travel peru, rtw family travel cambodia, rtw family travel ecuador, rtw family travel panama, rtw family travel costa rica, rtw family travel colombia, rtw family travel vietnam, rtw family travel thailand, rtw family travel south east asia, life on the road RV, philippines, malaysia, rtw family travel nepal, rtw family travel india, ups and down on the road, spiritual travel, meditation and parenting, on the spiritual journey around the world, the nomadic family project documentary movie

And so, what happened to Gabi? These days, we call me, “Buddhalala” jokingly in our family. I’ve gone to my first Vipassana  Meditation (kicked my spiritual ass beyond belief) and came back not caring so much anymore. Not that I don’t care, I’ve let go. I’m developing  anicca (‘impermanence’ in Pali) and therefore, don’t get as stuck with stuff anymore. Far from enlightened but a few huge leaps further on my way; I got over fighting with Kobi over The Nomadic Family. I got over controlling, keeping things “the way they were”, clinging to it being just so. I just got awakened to the fact that if I let it go, and accept change; it will bring such peace to my soul. And, it has.

The Nomadic Family was everything, but everything for me. It was where I expressed myself, where I recorded our journey, my thoughts, my emotions. It was a huge source of ego. (I write a lot about my ego) eWe’ve won this award; we have this many fans on Facebook; this major newspaper wrote about us or this cool blog interviewed us; we’ve made a millionaire’s dream come true on a pauper’s salary. God we’re amazing, right?

The Nomadic Family was my shield to the world, “Look! Look! Look! Look! Look at me!”  Kobi and I have always loved the stage. We’ve always been the center of the party; we both tell stories, Kobi tells jokes that make people pee.

I love the spotlight. As the regional president of my high school youth group, covering three states, just give me the mic. Give me a live audience and I’ll mesmerize them.  As the executive director of a non-profit improving the life conditions of low socioeconomic Latinos, just let me speak at a live event. Always, always, I’ve loved television (live is better! I think from my childhood modeling days), radio (had a live show in Israel), and live audiences (around the world). And so, The Nomadic Family became my stage. And what a stage it was! You couldn’t even throw tomatoes on me from how high I was on that stage!

My ego, my identity, my very definition of self became that. Traveling is this unreal, never-ending, therapeutic renunciation process. Nekkhamma (“renunciation” in Pali) is the process of letting go to all the things we hold onto- material possesses, roles, traditions, ideas of how the world or I am supposed to be. And I am, in that order, actually, letting go. I left my world as a spiritual family therapist and became “just a butt in the wind”.

You can follow my process here from what I used to call it before I left which was “naked and free” (scroll down) in the beginning, to the way we started to see ourselves relative to the people we met in the world which was “perpetually barefoot”, and now “just a butt in the wind.

In Huanchaco, Peru, when I shit in the sand dunes, out there, I was “just a butt in the wind,” no prettier, more special, unique, exotic than the next butt. I was just another human flesh-bound soul with her butt in the air, taking a shit. No one cared that I had had a radio show, that I had this or that degree, that I had dragged my butt (and the butts of my entire family) half way across the globe, that my butt had had some unreal, unearthly amazing experiences. No one gave a shit, literally. (How often do you get to say that, with ‘literally’ behind it, right?)

family travel blog, life on the road with kids, travel with kids, world travel with kids, world travel with children, the nomadic family, budget world travel, framily travel tips, RTW family travel, 2012 best travel blogs, family travel southeast asia with kids, famiy travel central america with children, family travel south america with kids, annapurna circuit with children, life on the road malaysia, rtw family travel, rtw family travel peru, rtw family travel cambodia, rtw family travel ecuador, rtw family travel panama, rtw family travel costa rica, rtw family travel colombia, rtw family travel vietnam, rtw family travel thailand, rtw family travel south east asia, life on the road RV, philippines, malaysia, rtw family travel nepal, rtw family travel india, ups and down on the road, spiritual travel, meditation and parenting, on the spiritual journey around the world, the nomadic family project documentary movie

So, I’m just a butt, and so is The Nomadic Family. I love The Nomadic Family, I do, I do, I do; but ego-aside, it is simply another butt in the air. A nice butt, a lovely butt, a butt that farts with the smell of tropical roses on a Pacific Ocean breeze. A butt about one cool family doing one stupid, crazy, awesome decision to live their lives with intention and passion and adventure; but, still just a butt.

When I went silent for ten days, and then stayed away from my family for 16 days total; I realized some things. The main one is that very little matters. One day, I was in the hostel in Battambang, four hours south of my family in Siem Reap (Cambodia), and I was checking my email for my allotted hour a day online. I really just wanted to read my mail from Kobi and the kids, and close the computer. There was nothing there.

What? They can live without me? What? I can die tomorrow, and they will go on and lead a happy, fulfilled life. And online, what happened? I was on Facebook for hours a day, forums, groups, emails, stats, posts, keep that social marketing alive. Hours a day. I would connect to the internet before I connected with my family, or myself. I’d roll out of bed and onto the computer, much like my greatest travel mistake over a year ago (I’m a slow learner). And now, two weeks with zero online contact, and, dear Lord on High, nothing happened. Nothing. The world went on without me, without me, without me. How liberating was that. A sickening, lonely knot in my stomach, at first, helping me realize that with all my ego, how insignificant I really am; and still, liberating.

family travel blog, life on the road with kids, travel with kids, world travel with kids, world travel with children, the nomadic family, budget world travel, framily travel tips, RTW family travel, 2012 best travel blogs, family travel southeast asia with kids, famiy travel central america with children, family travel south america with kids, annapurna circuit with children, life on the road malaysia, rtw family travel, rtw family travel peru, rtw family travel cambodia, rtw family travel ecuador, rtw family travel panama, rtw family travel costa rica, rtw family travel colombia, rtw family travel vietnam, rtw family travel thailand, rtw family travel south east asia, life on the road RV, philippines, malaysia, rtw family travel nepal, rtw family travel india, ups and down on the road, spiritual travel, meditation and parenting, on the spiritual journey around the world, the nomadic family project documentary movie

So, we are still friends friends. I will still write for The Nomadic Family for I love our adventure, our lives, and sharing that. But, Kobi writes a great deal now, and I’ve released the ego that went with being sure he did it in a way that reflected MY LIGHT just the way I like it. I now put a great deal of my soul to my spiritually site Gabi Klaf: Towards Enlightenment, One Step At A Time, and into my family. I realized that “I’m making this The Nomadic Family blog so that one day my kids can look back and have a living record of our adventures” can only hold weight so long. I could even see through my own lie. Pushing them away, constantly, so that I could work online, is not worth any recorded history. “Oh, yeah, I remember these times when Mom was so possessed in recording our memories that she stopped seeing us. Ah, those were the days…”  Eh-hem.

So, these days, I’m online an hour- an hour and a half a day. I give three hours+ to their studies and am not multi-tasking (except to make them us a luscious breakfast). I meditate two hours a day, exercise about an hour and a half (back to running and toning, every other day), two hour lunches (in which we play games, talk, or I read aloud). I am writing, reading, listening to audio books by Ekhart Tolle and Jack Kronfield, and loving my kids, my husband, my life, my body, my health, my spirituality, my writing, my good fortune.

We’ll be leaving Siem Reap, Cambodia in a month. We’ve lavished this quiet time. As the skies keep pouring, my family keeps singing along to my very-limited guitar repertoire and enjoying reading, cuddling, and chilling. Sooner than we’ll know it, we’ll be on the road again.  We plan to spend November – February-ish exploring Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Northern Thailand. And then, India and Nepal, or so we think. We’ll see.

Have you missed me? We’ve changed a lot of things in the energy around here, things I like. One is that the kids write a mantra for themselves each week and say it twice a day. Solai’s this week is: I love myself. I miss myself. I am special. Oh, so have you missed yourself? Ever been a butt in the wind? Ever felt so liberated that you were no one and owed nobody nothing? Ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? ( I know I already used it. I like it so much!) Ever walked with a friend, and then let it go?

I love you,

Come visit me at www.gabiklaf.com Towards Enlightenment, One Step At A Time. I’ll be dancing there , dancing to a tune playing ever so softly in my soul. Good night.

Gabi

 

Comments

comments

15 Comments

  1. Nice one Gabi.

    • you liked the cursing one too, right? thank you alyson. i love when you read, and share your thoughts. i love and appreciate that so so much. hugs to you, gabi

  2. Thanks for this Gabi. I’m in the process of overcoming some of my own attachments and dealing with my own monstrous ego. It’s nice to see a seeker on the path and remember the path exists. Blessings and love. ~Vago

    • vago, vago, vago. i can’t believe you commented BEFORE i even wrote to you that you will love this post. you are AWESOME, take that in all it’s contexts. 🙂 yes, we create things/groups/sites/stages and then get stuck defending them with ego. i know. i like writing about it, as it reminds me that the path does exist. blessings and love to you vago. gabi

  3. You is important. Others will indeed move on with their lives, with our without you. At least they will remember you and call you when they really need you. But for you, at this moment in time, the only thing that matters is you and your butt.

    I recognize what you are saying: you spend so much time working on your ‘brand’, your ego, your name but it falls like sand through your fingers. People get stressed today wanting to stay on that speedy train….they have no time to realize what really matters. You have that time…and you used it well 🙂
    Please don’t stop caring (I’m afraid imagining a world where people stop caring) but, as you wrote, let go. We returned home from our trip to India and Thailand with so much left behind. We let go and didn’t want to return home…home to routines and obligations. Where letting go is being considered rude and not caring. Is it Asia? I think it is….maybe we should return to Asia again next year. And I will be following you dear friend Gabi, to see how you travel your own road.

    • if i’m going to care about my ‘online’ life, then you will be the reason my dear emiel. through my ‘the nomadic family’ butt and its stage, i have found dear and precious friends, like you and the original gang who still bring me such love and support. i love sharing these kinds of deeper reflections with you. i have just let go in so many ways, and find life is so much freer this way. easy to say when life is so nice (and i don’t have those obligations, routines, and stress that you speak of), but still, it’s amazing, how stressed out a person can be from just whatever her minds decides to be stressed about. i like being a butt in the wind. feels divine.

      i’m reading the dalai lama’s the art of happiness. in it he talks a great deal about using our time well to gain the happiness we wish to in life. i am using that time well. thank you emiel. thank you for being my witness. i plan to still be in asia next year, and hope this time that i get to see you. and i’ll be following your journies, outside and in, as well. thank you emiel. thank you my friend.

  4. Shit Gabi-I can’t believe I have just realised that I am spending way too much time reading about other peoples travelling lives,home-ed lives, spiritual lives etc. while neglecting my own!

    Thanks sooooooo much.x

    • Melanie, I love you! You are so right. It’s a great inspiration to read about others, it’s an amazing way to connect deeply to people and their journey, people you may never meet face to face, but all the same, love, like i love you. but, alas, it is also a great time sucker to be so involved in ‘getting lost’ in the lives of others/online/career/whatever that we lose and neglect, like you said, our own precious soil of life that is just waiting for us to tend to. i’m hugging you, and hoping, you find that balance, until it gets off again, of course, and that part of your online time, limited all the same, will be reading/sharing/growing with me. i’m so honored to have you as a friend. hugs to you, cheers to your travel/home-ed/spiritual life. from your friend, just a butt in the wind gabi

  5. Hi dear,
    what an awesome post! I love you you back to write on the blog. The blog misses you a lot and I am sure all the reader. As for the part that we can live without you and be happy…. think again. we were ok knowing you are coming back to us soon. and the sooner the better. It is one thing to give you your time and your space and it is different thing to live without you. don’t confuse the two dear. Your family love you, I love you and we all (including Moshi up in heaven) that are back to us…
    Husbi

    • dear dear husbi,
      how did i get so lucky to have you in my life, again? where do i know you from, again? oh, yes, you are the man who is the dearest to me on this globe. i thought you sounded familiar from somewhere. 🙂 you, you, you make me want to cry. not only do you stand me all day, and talk to me at every moment i have something to share, but, you also actually take the time to read my work from time to time. thank you love. thank you for missing me, and wanting me back, and thank you for being who you are, so that if i don’t show up one day, i still know that you guys, and moshie will be fine without me. after all, i’m still just a butt in the wind. one that you and the kids, no doubt, adore, but still a butt. i love you love. wifee

  6. Gabi, great to read about the place you’ve arrived at — for now. I look forward to following your continuing journey of the soul

  7. A couple of things came to mind when I read what you had written Gabi,
    The first being due to your connection and kindness of words I would miss you and notice in my small way – when you are not there. 🙂
    Secondly the ego – your words reminded me of a point of breakdown in my marriage when I was treated exactly the same as everyone else – not special, not exclusive, not the one… that hurt – a healthy hurt and I find it worse when i get caught up in society’s ego – my own i’m becoming ok with.
    and lastly – having always been numerically challenged I always look at these little calculations above and it takes me straight back to my ineptness in maths at school. Needless to say i’ve done fine but it always reminds me!!!! 🙂
    Great to hear your words 🙂

    • and you continue to be beautiful and so full of light. what a joy that you and i can talk about ego, pain, math, and words. i am joyful that i would be missed, for that is a kind stroke of meaning. i’m honored to be missed and already, dear janice, i love you dearly. several have told me the math here sucks in my captcha. one day soon i will sit down and learn how to change the damn thing. what matters, is math and ego and all you got through it to me like a super star. thank you for taking the time to comment and share. it means the world to me.

  8. Oh, Gabi, this couldn’t have come at a better time. I so needed to read this, and I love your way with words. Thank you, thank you!! xoxo

    • my love valen. i am always honored when your frequency and mine vibrate momentarily on the same chord. i’m so glad my words, as yours have been so many times before, have come at the right time. i love you. and using words! yours, gabi

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Know Nothing (And 99 Other Things To Road Has Taught Me) Nomadic Family Travel Blog, World Travel with Kids | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog - [...] When you realize that you are just another butt in the wind, that no one cares that your butt…
  2. The Best Video About Peru Nomadic Family Travel Blog, World Travel with Kids | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog - [...] Just A Butt In The Wind- What Travel Can Do To Your Ego [...]
  3. 2222 Likes for 2-2! Somebody Pinch Me! Fart. – The Nomadic Family Travel Blog, Budget World Trravel with Kids Nomadic Family Travel Blog, World Travel with Kids | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog - [...] family as “The Fart.” And, for the record, we have talked about farts before, and being a butt in…
  4. The Most Illogical, Unreasonable, and Absurd Things We Pack- Life on the Road Tips | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog - [...] would still lovingly recognize that I’m Just A Butt In The Wind [...]
  5. The Nomadic Family- The Sky, Cysts, Silence, Mangled Cats & Daughter Heroes- Returning Home- Israel | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] Everything has a season. Our travel lifestyle, our life back home [wings and roots], feeling on top of the…
  6. Why Traveling with My Family Again Scares the Shit Out of Me- Why Not to Family World Travel | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] When you realize that you are just another butt in the wind, that no one cares that your butt…

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.