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Posted on Nov 20, 2012

I Know Nothing (And 99 Other Things To Road Has Taught Me)

I Know Nothing (And 99 Other Things To Road Has Taught Me)

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I thought I would write something profound, deep, meaningful, something reflective, and ass-kicking that takes your breath away, and makes you stop, wide-eyed, and go, “woaaaaaah”. Something really, really mind-blowing should be coming up after almost two years on the road. But, that’s not what’ coming up. What’s coming up is a huge storm of sand specks, flying, blinding me. And like my dearest Dell in Boquete, Panama would say, “I’m standing naked in the sandstorm. Let’s see what sticks.” Yeah, that’s what I have to offer.

As I sit here in The Led Zephyr, officially the coolest guesthouse in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, watching Kobi and the kids play pool, blushing at the thought of the worst fool I made of myself on stage last night, and reflecting, what has the road taught me? I’m hungry, waiting for their garden salad with the mustard dressing. In these nearly two years,  I’ve had some amazing experiences that in my wettest, wildest, and most romantic and precious dreams, I would not have known to wish for. I’ve grown, touched light, and fallen really hard on my face, and learned again. As a family, we’ve stretched ourselves, blown up, and re-morphed, more bonded and wise, and respecting the very core fibers of who we are, as individuals, than ever before.

And so, here is my list. It’s just surging up from within in, all that I have learned from life on the road. So much of this, tons of that, and a heap of understanding how little I really know.

1. I know nothing. Everything I thought I knew, every prejudice and preconception about everyone and everything has been torn to shreds in nearly two years on the road.

2. There is kick-ass music in every language on this globe.

3. You don’t need words to say “I love you” .

4. You can deeply fall in love with people even though, and maybe because, it makes no sense to do so.

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5. Goodbye always hurts, even if you are joyful and appreciative of it all.

6. If you don’t check you crocs after the rains, you will most likely feel the swishy splosh of a frog between your toes.

7. “Best price for you” is never the best price.

8. Always check the actual price of border crossings, and note that where kids are free, you should not voluntarily pay $45 a kid out of the kindness of your ignorant heart.

9. I can’t sing. I thought I could, but I can’t.

10. We can live without a fridge, a table, a phone, a key, and obviously,  sanity.

11. I love laughing, also when it’s really not funny. Laughing keeps me sane, makes me nicer to my kids, looking much younger than I am, attracts people to me, and let’s me be free.

12. Huge tree bats, thousands of them, at dusk, dancing in their own magical flight of frenzy in the King’s Palace Park in Siem Reap, Cambodia are simply magnificent.

13. When they say, “not spicy,” they lie, and probably get a really good laugh out of it.

14. With a smile and a bit of pantomime, kids can make best friends in seven minutes flat.

15. Cambodian men giggle. They also wear pink flannel pj’s on their mopeds and look adorably perfect without all of that machismo we tend to attribute to a ‘real man’.

16. The fact that the waitress/sales person/taxi driver doesn’t speak a word of English does not make him or her stupid. It makes me ignorant of their language.

17. I’m the foreigner, not them, me.

 

18. If you can find a snickers bar for more than the cost of a meal, but you really want a snickers bar,  logic goes to hell.

19. Sex is one uncontainable, powerful force that drives/motivates/maddens/and moves people to rhythms they would otherwise, sanely, never dance to.

20. Costa Rica’s Coco Loco Coconut Lollipops should be illegal when you start eating a dozen at a time. I swear they put some addictive chemicals in there, it’s just that good. If you see the green wrapper, trust me, run! Don’t even try one. You’ll be so sorry.

21. Commercials and the consumerism giants will lie and try to sell people happiness/health/youth/intelligence even in the most rural corners of the globe, and people will believe them.

22. If my life depended on it, I still couldn’t even intellectually begin to explain how to flush the toilets in Japan. If my life depended on it, I still couldn’t even lie to you and bullshit some bogus answer on how to. Too many buttons and nozzles!

23. Night buses suck. They make you  feel like an 80 year old just put through the heavy duty load of an old washing machine. Oh, and every detail that made you buy the ticket is a lie, a lie, a lie!

24. A private room for the parents, and a SEPARATE room for the kids, is brilliant!

 

25. [Directly related to number 24]. Sex is so much more enjoyable after you’ve had to share a room with your kids for months, and, for that next brief period of time, you can make as much noise as you want.

26. I don’t like whiny, complaining, unappreciative kids who think I owe them something and speak to me with attitude. I don’t like them AT ALL. I adore laughing, cuddling, smiling, singing, independent kids who listen, appreciate their lives, and are fun to be around. I like them A LOT.

 

27. You must be filthy rich to travel the world, as is evident from Dan and Mike from the US, Fiona from Scotland, Chris from Chile, Yuko the Factory Worker from Japan, and a few globetrotting families. So eat your hearts out, we’re rich and you are not!

28. Sweating ALL day is unromantic, not sexy,  smelly, earns you pimples in all sorts of nooks and crannies, and makes you able to kill someone who just looks at you funny. (And four cold showers a day offers very little relief.)

29. The Vippasana Ten-Day Silent Meditation outside of Battambang, Cambodia, for me, was the most powerful, soul-cleansing, empowering twelve days of my life.( Day before, ten days silence, day after= 12 life-changing, and long days)

30. Even if you are in a really safe corner of the globe, when you lose sight of your kid, there is that tiny split-second moment when your heart stops and fear chokes you.

31. In Huanchaco, Peru, camping on the beach is free; cold showers are 50 cents; sunsets are priceless.

32.  If I don’t sleep the night before, I am not nice to be around. Sorry kids, I suggest you stay far, far,far away from mommy.

33. It is precisely when you need to pantomime that you need vaginal yeast infection medication, that you feel most grateful for the spouse who is willing to go in there in, and quite hysterically, do it for you.

34. Everyone in the world just wants to raise their kids in peace and safety. Everyone just wants enough food to eat, a place to sleep, people who love him around, and maybe a few other little perks.

 

35. You see God when those street kids, through those layers of filth and torn unfairness, smile. You do.

36. Slooshing through muddy streets, in and out of pot holes, over ditches, being covered in warm rains, walking, in no particular hurry, to nowhere in particular, is enlightening.

37. You never get better at the jet lag thing. Actually, I’m finding I’m experiencing jet lag also from bus rides and boat rides that don’t even cross any time zones. I’m one  pitifully adjusted traveler, ain’t I?

38. Even when you travel with young children, you can do all the stupid, crazy, wild, irresponsible, delicious stuff you never did in your twenties (in my case), or that you haven’t done since your twenties (Kobi!), and then, still some new fun!

39. New York City is surprising green, clean, fun, family-friendly, safe, and awesome (even though we had a really shitty time!) . And even more surprising is that Houston is too!

40. Miles upon miles of virgin Colorado Rocky Mountain snow is breath-taking and incomparable to anything else I’ve experienced.

41. You can joyfully live in the jungles of Peru, in an indigenous village with the river as your laundry machine, shower, only form of entertainment, and private mediation retreat. You can, for six weeks, and you may spend the rest of your life wishing that little slice of your life never ended.

42.  Teaching spirituality classes, helping people around the globe find their light, relieve their pain, has been a huge blessing and a humbling honor.

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43. If we don’t drink enough water, we will get headaches, be dizzy, grumpy, and, if we’re lucky, throw up.

44. Everything passes. Everything. The greatest moments of joy, and the most painful heartaches, eventually, in their own time, pass.

45. Miraflores is the coolest little corner of Lima, Peru; sunset jogs and sunset with friends on the Malacon’s Pacific breezes fill the soul with quiet peacefulness.

46.   In Southeast Asia, bikes, cars, and motorcycles weave in and out in their own intricate, intuitive dance, and if you don’t catch onto the precise, unspoken tempo, you will find yourself smashed, scraped up, and shocked, face down in the middle of the road. (And consumed with guilt at putting your child in danger, afterwards.)

47. Street vendor booths and screaming crowd members will inevitably get burned by ricochet fireworks and paper lanterns tasseled by the changing winds in El Quinche, Peru’s Santa Maria Festival.

48. On the River Napo, in Ecuador, while on white river rapids in that part where they say that no one ever falls out, I did. And in those first ten seconds, you really do lose all orientation of where and who you are.

49. White billowing clouds really do dance with Volcan Baru in Boquete, Panama, and the poor indigenous children living in their coffee fields mountain homes, with dirt floors, rusty metal walls, and clothing four sizes too big, are really, truly happy.

50. If I had known how joyful and free our souls would become while travel, I would have done this years and years earlier.


51. When you get really bored, and can’t play your guitar because Mr. Black from the bus company took it to “fix it” (or stole it, we’re not sure yet), you get out tweezers and creatively shave your legs, picking one hair at a time, for five days straight.

52. When you enter a beauty parlor in Lima, Peru and they promise you lusciously, silky purple hair, they speak the truth. They just forget to mention that it will all wash out within two weeks time.

53. When you enter a beauty parlor in Siem Reap, Cambodia and ask for a little trim (yes! yes! ) they will chop all your hair off, when you ask for all the other things ( bang, highlights, layered hair), they will say “yes! yes!” and do the exact opposite of what you requested.


54. When you stop stressing out and being consumed with constant tension about money, it just sort works itself out, and comes to you, out of love, and in the most creative, and beautiful forms.

55. The absolute, best things we ever gave our kids was Poverty for Christmas, An Uncensored World Education (“Mommy, why is the woman sucking that man’s penis?” Omg, can I die now?), and Lessons In How To Be A Decent Human Being.

56.  Tiger Balm is a God-sent blessing when you are covered in bites and itching hysterically. Likewise, tea tree oil is a miracle when your skin is freaking out over other, less obvious reasons.

57. When your son is attacked by poisonous citrus caterpillars in Panama, don’t let him wait it out at home (did that), take him to the nearest hospital (didn’t realize how serious it was at the time, so didn’t do this).

58. Not having a cell phone ring for two years is nothing short of heavenly.

59.  When your kids wash their own clothing against that huge flat rock in the river behind the village, you feel like you are doing something very right as a parent.

 

60. “Sometimes, I miss myself,” our youngest, Solai, wrote for her manta one week. For English, Dahnya wrote, “When I close my eyes, I see me.” Oh. I have much to learn from my kids.

61. Milking a cow looks so much easier than it is. In fact, everything that Don Jose Ramon and Sonia did on the ranch in La Lucha De La Tigra, Costa Rica, including making cheese, hitting fruits off the trees with a rock, and lassoing that colt, looked completely effortless, and yet took us hours of unsuccessful tries.

62. When you realize that you are just another butt in the wind, that no one cares that your butt has been all over the globe, or that your butt sat in university for thousands of hours to earn a Master’s , or that your butt farts in several languages, but that you are just a butt, like everyone else, you begin to be free.

63. Back  home in Israel, we ate out once a month, and ordered pizza only on special occasions. On the road, in most countries, we eat out every day, sometimes twice a day, and eat more pizza than I care to admit.

64. Flights with individualized screens make my life infinitely easier. Flights in which my kids are seated far away from me make me ridiculously happy.

65. Sometimes, the nomadic family does not want to be nomadic at all, but ‘normal‘ with a yard, kitchen counter, keys, and neighbors.

66. Nothing my precious, fully-animated seven year old can say for an entire hour is interesting, for an entire hour, or even a significant chunk of it.

67. I love the wind, sunsets, and the beach, anywhere. I love being alone and quiet in them, too.

69. No matter how far I go, I’m always still there, me and all my hang-ups, gremlins, and issues to work through, and the more I travel, the more time and blessed opportunities I have to really progress on the development of all the perfectly imperfect sides of who I am.

 

70. I love and deeply respect my husband. I am very grateful for him in my life (even though I often write about the opposite).

71. Watching young-twenties guys prey on shit-faced young ladies far beyond their ability to say ‘no’, and stick their tongues down the throats of girl after girl on the dance floor is sickening. Sorry, guys, it’s not studly, it’s cheaper than you can imagine.

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72. No matter what I do, they won’t stop growing up, taller, wiser, smarter, away from me, slowly but surely, as they should. We’re giving them roots, and wings, and know they will soar when the time comes to leave the nest.

73. A 5-liter plastic water jug cut in half makes an excellent salad bowl, just as a cut-up milk carton makes the best marker holder, and a broken bicycle basket makes a kick-ass vegetable holder.

74. For me, no white couch, nice designer anything, or even my beloved radio show would bring me as much joy as having blessed time to live my life as I design, as I choose, precisely to the beat of my own drum, according to  my own rules and my own pleasing. Nothing compares to that true happiness.

75.  In Panama, if they throw eggs on your windshield, don’t stop, and whatever you do, do  not turn on the windshield wipers. (It will reduce you to close to zero visibility, which is what they want so that they can jump you).  In Peru, if they hold a thick rope across both sides of the road, don’t even slow down (even if your wife is screaming at you to do so!). Accelerate and ram their asses into next Tuesday.

76. Our kids have witnessed children working in fields, the streets, and sleeping in doorways; they have seen drunk  backpackers and drug-users get into accidents or otherwise ruin their lives; they have stood on ancient ruins across Latin America and South East Asia, have stood barefoot in pagodas, and have stood wobbly, yet with pride, on surf boards along the Pacific Coast. Their uncensored world experiences, street smarts, and character-development lessons far surpasses anything I believe they could learn regurgitating facts within the four walls of any classroom.

77. Whatever I’m freaking out about today, really, really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Really. I’d be better off just strumming a new song on the guitar about it.

78. Whenever I stop talking about myself and how amazing we are, and I start taking an interest in others, asking about others, listening to others share, magical kingdoms, hidden worlds, and fascinating histories unfold before me. I’m learning, slowly, to shut up and listen, humbly.


79. That your 15 minutes of fame ain’t all it’s racked up to be. We got on the front page of Ynet (Israel’s Number One Online Newspaper, read by 1.5 million a day!) and while we got tons of compliments, we also got 100 comments saying we were abusing our kids and how they should be taken away from us. And, our site crashed for those four days so we got close to zero traffic from it. The Universe does a marvelous job teaching us what we most need to learn. I bow to that.

80. Sweetened condensed milk should be illegal; marijuana, on the other hand, should be legal.

81. TMI! Way too much. There are some things I probably should not have allowed myself to write, but I did, and I’m glad for it.

82. We’ve risked our kids lives doing what we thought were (at the time) good enough choices. But also leaving the front door, morning traffic, and life itself is a huge risk, wouldn’t you agree?

83. When you put together 28 foreigners, a little bit of beach and fresh air, some amazing food, no alcohol or intoxicants whatsoever, and three adorable kids, you can have the most memorable, crazy International Dance Party ever imagined. (When the lights go out, we all started this huge, hysterical tickle-a-thon!)

84. When you’ve never professionally built a sand castle in your life, you may consider not entering a hard-core sand castle competition (go Team 14!) in Huanchaco, Peru. It’s fun, hot, exhausting, hysterical, and stressful when you realize everyone around you knows what they’re doing, and you don’t.

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85. I hate snakes, I fear snakes, and having four near-misses of stepping on one has not improved my affinity for them. Oh, and the fact that three were poisonous and the last one was the kind that jumps into your throat and houses himself in your intestines does not help our tumultuous love affair either.

86. Sometimes power outages are the best gift in the world.

87. Whole-wheat bread can be terribly hard to find, and when you do, you end up eating too much of it, especially if its the oven-fresh ones from Johnny’s Bakery in Bocas De Torro Island of Panama. We looked ridiculous taking the boat back to the mainland with 30 of his loaves in tow, and ended up feeding about 1/4 to the starving, black dog that our neighbor felt did not deserve to be fed.

88. When you live in tropical regions, you learn you art of cutting a coconut. I perfected it down to the Zen and Zena of Cutting A Coconut, and still, warn everyone to beware when mom has a huge machete in her hands.

89. Even after losing 25 pounds and [I thought] totally changing my relationship with food, I still will turn to comfort food when I’m upset, overwhelmed, or too tired at night to put myself to sleep. Ugh.

90. Orgasmic food. Gabi’s Definition: Food in which the first bite is unreal, but the second and third and fourth are used to verify if your first impression is really what you thought it was, and when you find out that it was then you die right there, until that next bite. So far, three of them- the chocolate fudge/brownie balls from that little booth in Siem Reap, Cambodia, the club sandwhich at The Led Zephyr, and Oreos and peanuts on vanilla ice cream at Nice Cream in Tena, Ecuador. I miss some of those dearest friends who shared those very treats with us. Miss them very much. (Is that what made the food orgasmic?)

91.  Soap is so overrated.

92. Once you figure out how to clean yourself with that vegetable sprayer and NOT walk out looking like you severely lost a water war, squat toilets rock. Oh, and, when possible, face the door so that if (when) someone walks in on you, they see your smiling face and not your other smiling side.

93. The things I most profusely said I’m sorry for, I would do again in a heartbeat. Especially, the time I ditched the internet for almost three months cuz we were too busy fully living an unplugged, exhilarating life in that river-side indigenous village, and later off the beach in a tent.

94. Running on the beach of Sihanoukville, Cambodia in total “Chariots of Fire” fury and grace is beyond exhilerating. Running with those five pre-teen locals boys is beyond, beyond fun. When they all start grabbing and feeling your ass, and no matter what you do (accelerate, stop, tell them to stop, yell “NO!”, punch one) they don’t stop, that is not fun, at all.

95. Reading aloud to my kids D’Aulaires Greek Myths and The Gammage Cup (Carol Kendall) is only out-shined by the pure joy of hearing my Kobi read aloud to them, in cool voices,  The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum), Holes (Louis Sachar), and A Wrinkle In Time (Madeleine L’Engle).

96. Our family is crazy in general, and music-crazy in specific. We love dancing to it (like mad-men in our underwear), creating it (with real instruments or whatever we can bang on near us), and singing it (usually into a broom stick) . I like us that way.

97. Volunteering as a family is the most rewarding thing on this planet.

98. We now have friends from Chile, Peru, Cambodia, USA, Spain, Italy, Japan, The Soviet Union, Estonia (did not know there was such a country previously), Costa Rica, Panama, the Philippines, Canada, Greece, Honduras, France, Portugal, Ecuador, The Netherlands, Turkey, Thailand, Colombia, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Iran, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Israel.(I may have missed a few.) Talk about educating my kids to be world citizens!

99. When a kindly Korean man from the gym at the hotel in Bangkok gives your kids a huge, totally-irrational-and-impractical-for-backpackers Ikea stuffed dog and your kids fall in love with it, you will lug that thing around the globe. And though the dog is half the size of your children and takes more volume than all of their clothing combined, you like him.

100. Being covered in foam and dancing hysterically in the streets with our kids in the Reina Festivals in Cartegena, Colombia 11.11.11 was unreal, and as I write number 100, I realize that I have another 100 lessons, easily, the road has taught me.

I would be honored to hear which of my lessons vibrate in your frequency the best, and which lessons you learned, so unique and beautiful and different, on your travels through life.

And we’re really working on up-ing our google plus one ranking, so if you read this and like it, please give us a plus one. (All you need to do is have your gmail open to get it.) Thank you!

OH, and read below…….

I am beyond honored to be a part of a priceless community of traveling families, moms and dads, like me, who are growing and learning with their families, as they globe-trot as well. I recommend, with all of my heart, that you read their articles and be inspired by their unique style, flavor, and flair as they share what their world travel experiences have given them.

Bohemian Travelers: Travel Lessons: Can You Embrace the Unknown

Pearce On Earth: 5 Life Lessons Learned from Traveling

Travel with Bender: So it’s been 6 Months – You won’t believe what we have learnt!

Life Changing Year: Life Lessons From The Road – A Little Bit Of Planning Goes A Loooong Way!

Living Outside of the Box – 6 Life Lessons From the Road

A King’s Life:  Two things I know for sure

Flashpacker Family – http://flashpackerfamily.com/lessons-from-the-road-of-life/

Family on Bikes: Complaining won’t change a gosh-darn thing

Family Travel Bucket List: 3 Things We’ve Learned While Living Outside of the USA

RambleCrunch: 15 Lessons Travel has Taught Me

Growing Grace Life: By Any Road- Lessons from The Journey

Our Travel Lifestyle – Travel: Teaching us about ourselves

The Lovely Travel of a Nomadic Dad -The 10 Things I Learned on the Road That I Did Not Want To

 

 

49 Comments

  1. Gabbi, your lessons are hilarious. After reading them I feel like I’ve been traveling with your family for 2 years. Kobi is one fantastically good sport to go get that yeast-infection cream. I’ve got that type of husband too. The best! :-)

    • somehow, i knew that you had that kind of husband too. it’s good to have that kind of husband around, otherwise, asking for vaginal yeast infection medication with no common language could get a bit out of even my comfort zone. :-) i love laughing and sharing that joyous light with others. and, if you found it funny, then that means i’m doing something right in my light-sharing. thank you renee. i can’t wait to read your post already. i’m allowing myself only 3 at a time so that i really read them as i should.

  2. Hysterical, enlightening, and so so true! Nice job Gabi, you show all sides of travel:)

    • hey mary. you know me, i show ALL the sides, always, even the ones that may be better off not shown, right? thank you for filling us with so much light. you and jeff are both alive in our thoughts and our writing (i thought you in particular would like number 34 and the attached video “Goodby Muslim Mother” said the Jewish Girl). we love you

  3. I love laughing too, but I need to relearn to laugh like I did as a kid. So thank you for your great sense of humor to help me along. :)

    How is it I lived in Costa Rica for a year and a half and never heard of those lollipops? I must go back now.

    I am also very happy not to have a cell phone to ring and answer anymore. Bliss.

    I still haven’t learned how to use those toilet vegetable sprayers properly, and thanks for the tip about which direction to face too. I’ll make sure to change my habits! I still don’t know how to flush toilets in Japan either, by the way. :)

    • jennifer. so nice to see you here, i thought your hubby was making it up when we talked about his amazing wife! just like people wouldn’t believe that kobi existed if i didn’t make annoying videos of him all the time. i love seeing you here. i really, really do. laughing does my soul so good, and i forget too. that’s why tracey pederson and other backpackers we’ve met that laughed a lot, i carry them with me. sometimes i pretend they are in the room with us, and then i know they would laugh, so i do too. i stay ever-bittersweet that way.

      good things you didn’t find the coco loco lollipops. beyond addictive. be grateful. trust me. don’t go back! SAVE YOURSELF!

      no phone. bliss. i agree. you will love the toilets here- direction will save you much embarrassment! trust me. japan- no comment. i’m clueless. can’t wait to continue this discussion with you dear. i, by the way, loved your post. thank you for sharing your truth like that. i like, a lot.

  4. Whoa–that is quite the list! I agree that the more we travel…the more we realize we know nothing! There is such a GIGANTIC world out there, and everything gets thrown on its head when you give it a chance!

    Also, my kids are the same way…no matter the language or culture, they can make friends STAT. I’m kind of jealous :-)

    • hey! so cool to see you hear again dear. i feel like it’s been months. (or maybe it has). yes, i get jealous too sometimes how effortlessly they make new friends while playing in the sand, or in the dirt, or with anything, and then, i realize, that we do it too, so it’s cool. we all learn. and yes, i really, really, really know nothing. :-) happy to acknowledge that!

  5. Beautiful Gabby. We’ve done it before, can’t wait to do it with the kids and really start appreciating life and love. 5 months to go.

    • alyson, i know all of this just gives you the appetite to hit the road again. and in the meantime, i am loving reading all of your updates of what you do with the kids. i love the reflecting part, as do you. thank you for the comments. i appreciate that with all of my heart. gabi

  6. Phew! That’s a lot of lessons! I love reading everything that goes on in the brain of Gabi and how it just pours out onto the page and somehow ends up making complete sense. x

    • bethaney- i love that you are my witness dear. i am honored that you see my work as a an artist throwing paint in every direction, letting it lash and slash through the air, and onto the canvas, and that, in the end, something comes out of it. i love that you see me that way. makes me feel like a creative genius whose work is being acknowledged, or at least, like a young 15 year old with so much energy and thoughts bombarding her all at once, and her wiser friend, bethaney, comes by and laughs at how cute she is. thank you for always hugging me for being exactly who i am. i love you bethaney. gabi

  7. Wow,there’s some work gone into this! My head is all over the place,as per usual after reading one of your posts-I was peeing myself laughing at the hairstyle,but I think you were a bit harsh on yourself, not so much poodle but one of Charlie’s Angels!

    You are soooooooooo honest I love it-I was balling my eyes out at the friends you all miss(boy have I got issues).

    I must read this again, thank you thank you The Family Klaf I loved all of it. The Family Murrish.x

    • melanie. have i told you in the last two days that i love you? and remind me again and again how you came into our lives. i’m so honored i can make you pee laughing. i love that. i love it when i laugh so hard my stomach hurts. did you like me barking? growling? tell i’m not one sexy, ferocious furry poodle. tell me. i can handle it.

      you have issues? you and me friend. at least you have the good sense not to hang all , but all , of your laundry out for the world to see? hu? you win in the sanity race love.

      when you read it again, comment, ok? i want to hear what sticks to you (like in the sand storm) on your next read. I’ve read it like ten times (god, i love this post!) and every time, i get stuck loving different parts. right now what sticks is the twenty-something year old studs and falling in love because it doesn’t make sense. i love you mrs. murrish and family.

  8. Great list Gabi! This is the part I loved the bestest: I’m the foreigner, not them, me.

    Why is that so hard to remember?

    • nancy. i agree. those (and sometimes us) who walk around thinking that those ‘foreigners’ owe us something need to be constantly reminded that even though i may bring my dollars, does not mean i am anything less than a guest all the same. please watch the video below that point. i believe you will love it. it shows me with those ‘annoying’ street vendor kids- showing them as the beautiful, colorful souls that they are.

  9. BEST LIST EVER!! I love all of these! And they gave me a giggle thinking of the experience that must have happened to teach you each lesson! Hilarious!!

    • tracey, i thought of you while writing it. seriously, i knew you would laugh and take the time to stop and think what mad crazy things we went through to reach these conclusions.thanks for adding so much color to my life, and for constantly reminding me to laugh my ass off every chance i get. makes life so much more fun. i take that gift from you and your family. thank you. and jono is mine! give it up already.

  10. You are SO funny and amazing. I love this and honor your honesty. Do not stop now please!

    • hi lauren. and i am officially your newest, biggest fan as well. the life in goa seems unreal, unreal! i love the honesty and openness part- the blogs have become my own personal journal, and yeah, sharing it all, sometimes too much maybe, does my heart well. it brings me intimate friends like you, so quickly, and for that, i am so grateful.

  11. I started to pick out my favorites: #1 I know nothing..I always say that too #11.Laughing.. it’s like detoxing! #12.The bat dance sounds amazing #32 No sleep..in concur! #34 so true #35 I love to see God through His creation #49 what a blessing to witness happiness and joy in the less fortunate.It’s humbling to me 350 I ma really ready to know that freedom that you have #56.Tiger Balm is the best! #60 love what your kids say #62 FUNNY! Love that you are so honest and raw in your life..an open book #69 good advice #76 your kids are getting the most important lessons in life.Much greater than any education sitting in a desk for 7 hours five days a week!
    Thanks for such a good read. I really want to meet you and your family in person some day!
    Susan

    • susan, your comment has forced me, joyfully, to go back and reread the post. i wanted to know each and every one of the points that you enjoyed. i love the ones you picked- about what my kids said, and seeing god in the street kids and in the poor kids on the coffee fields mountain side of volcan baru in panama, and in the raw, honesty that makes you and i love each other. i love you susan, and i love sharing my journey with you, this one and the one at gabiklaf (dot) com, which i believe you may even love more than the world adventure one. i’m just guessing here.

  12. Every bit of it Gabi. Laughter keeping you younger. Being terrible after no sleep the night before. Not liking demanding kids but loving giggling ones. This, like all your posts make me look forward more to the day when we meet up with our Moroccan spouses and our kids that have such rich heritage and we can all laugh and giggle like purple haired cambodian men on beauty parlor scooters. :)

    • Vago,what fun we will all have sitting with our moroccan spouses. what fun we will have laughing all night. laughter and too much of it, not sleeping-ugh, nice kids (i want to murder ours as i write this! going to bed seems a hysterical joke to them. not funny for mom. not a bit.) so we can giggle like the purple-haired beauty parlor scootered cambodian men. i would be honored. we’ll make some cool video while we’re at it! love you vago! gabi

  13. Great list…I loved the “Best price for you is never the best price.” Even after haggling, I still always wonder if I got ripped off:)

    • you probably did but everyone has to make money right? and, actually, sometimes kobi haggles so low, they tell him i only made like twenty five cents on this sale, and considering every neighboring vendor selling the same thing wouldn’t even consider it, i believe them. :-) you’ve never been screwed, you’ve just sometimes generously funded some family event.

  14. Fantastic list, Gabi! And the Coco Loco Coconut Lollipops in Costa Rica – how is it that I missed them? Though we did discover Trits ice cream sandwiches – beyond amazing!

    • micki, thank god you missed them. you are not alone in telling me that- left more for me to wolf down like a druggie. did not, thank God, find the trits ice cream. god is kind that way…. thanks… by the way, i LOVED making this list. loved it!

  15. Hi Gaby,

    You are wise, funny and utterly inspirational. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to want to be normal – but thankfully there’s no chance of that happening to you.

    PS. I find that those big cuddly toys make an excellent pillow on long journeys…

    • annabel. i’m so honored and touched when you take the time to visit and read, AND COMMENT. you are such a dear and i just want you to know that i appreciate your attention and love. ‘wise, funny, and inspirational’ i’ll remember that on my less beautiful moments. yeah, i guess normal ain’t one of the traits i was given when they put me together. thank god. :-) really? he’s a totally adorable pain in the ass this huge dog. as i write, he’s wearing kobi’s t-shirt (the kids dressed him up cuz they miss kobi who’s gone for a week or so), and he’s smiling at me. ok, you can stay!!!! as if i have the right to any other opinion. i love you annabel. oh, and i remember your hysterical post about the japanese toilets. i thought you would like that one too. and the studly guys preying on girls as not studly…

  16. fantastic set of lessons here Gabi! Aww to #65 though. And I *need* to go to a foam party one day!

    :)

    • hey kirsty, thanks love. i love these lessons, i do, but, of course, they are mine. i read them over and over again and each time am surprised anew. 65- did you see the video… i know… awwwww… and foam parties are the bomb! only been to them in cartagena colombia and they were unreal fun. maybe we can meet somewhere in the world and have one together! ?

  17. So sorry you had a bad time in New York City (even if it greener than you expected). It’s a great place. Think about giving it another try sometime!

    • terry, we loved new york to pieces. it wasn’t new york, it was us. we were scared and confused- just left our lives for the big unknown nomadic life. we were emotional and exhausted- we had worked 90 hour weeks those last four weeks. we were jet lagged really badly. and kobi got sick. a sucky combination. it would have happened anywhere we landed. it happened to be new york. check out the post “Our Big Rotten Apple” – i write more about it. we actually have great memories between all of our emotional/physical layers of yuck. will definitely check it out again, and again. thanks for commenting.

  18. Hahaha! I really like the list! But sorry to hear that your experience in South East Asia, I hope there will get better…

  19. Simply amazing post!

    And you are doing wonders for your kids….they are probably learning 10 times what kids are learning from textbooks in regular schools.

  20. Awesome post, Gabi. Every time I thought I had read my favorite, I liked the next one just as much :)

    • nancie, you are too sweet. thank you. i do really truly adore this post. it is such a taste of everything neurotic, gross, and beautiful in us and in the world. thank you for taking the time to share with me that you enjoyed it. that means a lot to me. hugs, gabi

  21. This is really great!! You have designed a beautiful life and a beautiful family for sure! Love this….

    • val. thank you. i love this post and love sharing all the sweat, tear, laughter, and smells of our lives on the road. thank you dear.

  22. What an awesome post! Laughed my butt off :) You guys are inspirational. I think its amazing you have been traveling as a family full time for so long!

    • thank you nicole. you are sooo sweet. wow. you’ve made my evening. thanks. i’m glad i could bring laughter into your day. i love this post. it has a bit of it all- sweet, smelly and gross, funny, sad. yeah, full time traveling now 26 months is crazy and we just love it to death. i’m already thinking of the next 100 things i want to write about. i’d love to know which ones made you laugh most? or that you loved most. :-) hugs, gabi

  23. I’ve just let my three years old oversleep his nap to read this wonderful post and watch the videos and I’ve three more posts open I wanna read.. He’s waking up and I’m only at number seventy-something =(
    Loved every word! you guys are inspiring and at the same everything feels very true. thanks for sharing your life!

    • Laura, oh, thank you. i’m so touched that you love what you are reading. i adore this post. i think it shows all, but all that our travel lifestyle is about. i really do. thank you for taking the time to let me know. it helps us sooo much to have e-prints and brings great joy to my heart to have this conversation with friends. it really does inspire me. creates amazing energy. so thank you. tell me which ones you love the most. i’d love to hear that. and i hope letting the three year old oversleep didn’t kill your schedule. :-) hugs, gabi

  24. oh, his schedule is eff’d up since he turned three, I gave up about a month ago…
    as I said I loved every word, your honesty, your ups and downs: you’re writing with the heart and it’s beautiful!
    your video, Those are Silver, These are Gold, really moved me. I’m not nomadic -at least not as you are- but I have all my dearest people (except for husband and son) far, far away and sometimes it’s hard. most importantly it’s a shame. I love them to pieces and I can’t share my son and the love of my life with them. and making those skype calls, writing those emails just wouldn’t be the same…
    I also deeply feel and love what you say in #35, #51 I LOVE to pick one hair at a time from my legs: tweezers have been my best friend on isolated mediterranean islands and on central american buses, #55 60 76 your kids are awesome and what you and Kobi are doing is gonna make them wonderful adults, #62 and #77 we are small, we are a little nothing, why should we freak out? =) living the “normal” life sometimes I forget and, well, I freak out. usually no less than 60 second later I feel like an idiot.
    oh and right in the middle of your list, #50 you say years and years earlier… -hope I can ask you this question- what is the kids’ appropriate minimum age in order for the parents to not go insane?
    big hugs back to you,
    L*

    • sorry i’ve ruined nap time for life. i love that you took the time to care and write each one. i opened the post and read the ones you highlighted the most. i love those too. i do. i didn’t think anyone else in the world did the tweezer thing! freak out sister- i know. and hey, thank you for backing the kickstarter program. i’m so honored to have you a part of helping them come to film us. thanks friend. you are amazing. gabi

  25. sending love to all of your Drunkcyclist.com friends. thanks for sharing. oh, did we tell you our crazy ride through europe plan?

  26. Greatest family on earth.

  27. Hi Gabi!
    My name is Danielle, I am from Northern England. I have only just discovered your web site and have been reading it for hours- and I don’t want to stop even thought my eyes hurt!
    I have thought long about travelling with no plan to come home and it warms my heart to see that you are doing it with your family!
    My boyfriend and I are planning on heading to South East Asia in January, and I wanna thank you as I feel just from reading I have learnt so much wisdom and practical information for our trip!

    Hope this finds you happy and well,

    Danielle X X X

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