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Posted on Dec 20, 2012

I Hate This Home, And That One, And This One- Coco Bungalows (Koh Rong Island, Cambodia)

I Hate This Home, And That One, And This One- Coco Bungalows (Koh Rong Island, Cambodia)

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I hate this one, and that one, and that one- really I do, I do, I potentially hate them all. You see  right now I’m feeling the Koh Rong Island evening breeze at the front patio of my home at the Coco Bungalow, last week we were loving the live music at The Led Zephyr but, home keeps changing and it’s pretty much irrelevant where we’ll be next month, I’ll very possibly hate it anyway. I know that sounds confusing, pessimistic, bitchy, and really wrong….

“Gabi, you’re about to enter year three of globetrotting, you’re living the ultimate dream, and all you can do is complain? Is that the best answer you’ve got to ‘what does home mean to you’ Gabi? Is it possible for you to be so selfish, self-centered, and dissatisfied? ”

Yes, and no, and yes. Let me explain. This one is a bit complicated, but we can walk through it together, IF, if, if you stop judging me long enough to just hear me out. So, yes, no, and yes.

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Part One: Yes, Where I’m Grateful For the Fluidity of Home and Am Not A Spoiled Constantly Complaining Bitch

Yes, I am living the ultimate dream and I am grateful for every sticky, beautiful, crappy, enlightened, magical, stressful, and romantic moment of it. I have said, over and over again, and believe it with every cell of my body, that I am so blessed and lucky and appreciative of the our lifestyle, and that I have had every traveler’s (and every married with children almost 40 year old woman’s) wet dream that I didn’t even know I could dream about. You name it, I’ve experienced it and I am so beyond grateful for everything, every intimate detail of the places we’ve lived in, the people we’ve met, the learning and bonding in our family, the adventures, the traumas, and dramas, and the sunsets. It has been unreal.

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We’ve written about our changing concept of a home, most famously, in Liquified Homelessness, Perpetually Barefoot, and a hidden glimpse into life years before we were nomadic and so beautiful in Blessed Chaos . We’ve lived in the snow in an RV in the Rocky Mountains, in a tent off the beach of Huanchaco, Peru, on a ranch in Costa Rica, in a cabana in Boquete, Panama, off the river Kwai in Thailand, in an indigenous village in the jungles of Ecuador, in cool hostels (like Nomade Backpacker Hostel (my video tour) , Garden Village Guesthouse (closing the door video), and The Led Zephyr ( funny backpacker video) throughout the globe, and currently, in the CoCo Bungalow on Koh Rong Island off  Southern Cambodia. I totally have the right to bitch right? Poor pitiful, suffering me? I know, I know.

So, the first ‘yes’ is for deep appreciation for all the unreal experiences we’ve had around the globe. For a husband as emotionally insane as I am, who also believes that we create the rules of a happy life, and not what society or all of our family and friends thinks is ‘normal’ and therefore ‘good’ or ‘right’. We don’t conform to that. The first ‘yes’ is deep gratitude to God and the stars and the Universe for showing us the way, financially, to make this ludicrous dream come true, and for continuing to bring us amazing angels and opportunities, and the persistence to stay true to our goals and make the sacrifices necessary to enable us to stay on the road. Without these ongoing, surprising blessings, we would not be able to live this way anymore.

Part Two: No, Where I’m Dramatic and Hating Home and Petty, and A Constantly Complaining Bitch

And ‘no’ cuz it doesn’t matter where I am, I can be in hell. I used to believe that ‘when we hit the road’, ‘when I lose 20 pounds’ ‘when that happens… then, oh then, I’ll be happy’….. I talked about it in this video and this Utopia entry when Justin from The Great Family Escape tagged me.

There is no happiness waiting for me beyond the allusive right-over-the-rainbow or just-around-that-next-corner. No such thing, so I may as well wake me-self up and drop that story. It’s just a story. Whatever ‘home’ I’m in physically this month, I am still confided to the prison of my unresolved soul issues, to the rollercoaster of my emotions, and to the swiftly temperamental ebb and flow of my family members and the world around me.

I can be in tropical paradise and going through hell. Here’s a tiny example in this short video clip.

Look around me, life doesn’t get better than this, and yet, if I’m having an argument with Kobi, life, sometimes, turns to shit. And if we’re in the most glorious heaven and we’re tired, and the kids won’t stop fighting and whining and won’t go to sleep, I still want to die. On the other hand, we could be in a parking lot, some dump in the middle of nowhere with nothing glistening at us, and be so ridiculously happy cuddling, laughing, and make joy out of thin air. That is just how human and normal I am, which leads me to part three, the other ‘yes’.

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Super Quick Review For The Weak-Minded Like Me Whose Mind May Have Wandered Off to What’s For Lunch

So, we’re established that I’m grateful. Yes, this open-ended trip around the world is an unheard-of dream come true. And we’ve established that gratitude and modesty have a huge role here. (Part One)

And we get that the physical ‘home’ has little to no bearing on our level of happiness as the emotional states of mind take a larger, more significant role in determining our level of peace of mind. (Part Two)

I told you this would be tricky, but if you hold on just that much more (I’m doing the inch sign with my thumb and forefinger right about now), it’ll all come together just beautifully.

Part Three: Yes, Where I Accept How Normal and Perfectly Imperfect We Are

You see, regardless if I have a 9-5 job (which for the record I’ve never had, but Kobi almost always did), if I have to spend two hours a day cleaning my house, or if my time is used doing hour after hour what my heart most desires, regardless of that huge chunk of awesomeness that I have that I don’t have to spend my entire day, day after day, consumed in activities that don’t replenish my soul; I still get tired and lost and stuck. I’m still just a mom who sometimes really wants to be in a fresh, new romance with someone who I don’t have to figure out parenting discipline measures with (again) or work through financial/business ideas (again). And sometimes I’m just a woman who dreams of being  a single, female backpacker. And sometimes, it’s not because I am ungrateful or escaping reality as a way of life, it’s because I’m just so normal.

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Who doesn’t have fantasies that have nothing to do with their reality? And who would I be if I didn’t sit there, in the middle of living out our dreams, and wonder, sometimes, when I get lost and stuck and confused about why we’re putting ourselves in each others’ faces 24/7, and constantly shaking up our world?

Who would I be if I didn’t question our parenting and lifestyle choices and wonder if what motivates us to keep traveling is really what is best for us?

Who would I be if I didn’t create drama (though I’m getting so much better) and didn’t hug myself for having this deep-rooted trait of constant dissatisfaction that I’m working to eradicate, one grueling inch at a time? Who would I be if I didn’t accept that part of my dissatisfaction may be what pushed me to accomplish the ridiculous number of dreams come true these past two years (Dream Before It’s Too Late) and may be the very fuel  that whispers evermore, “More.”

Who would I be if I didn’t mark my own progress and forgive myself for being nothing more than a little girl having a temper tantrum and for being, well me, regardless if my home is now off an island, in the jungle, on a ranch, in a tent, or wherever the hell we’ll happen to be next month. (Editor’s note: We have not lived on a boat or in an igloo yet. Officially registered in mental ‘to do’ list.) So, what is home, that ever-elusive concept that I said in the introduction that I would hate this one, and that one, and this one?

Part Four: The Big Fat, Hairy Grand Conclusion

Home is where I’m quiet deep, deep inside. Home is a glimpse here, a moment there. Home was that moment when I laid down in the mud, in a rain storm, off the River Napo in the jungles of Ecuador and opened my mouth and my arms and my legs and let the water take me, and told God that it would be perfectly OK to die now, for I’ve experienced it all, and am totally at peace and grateful for feeling that fully joyful inside. Home was also on the River Chaychaco, also off the indigenous river in that jungle village, when I’d stick my head under that cold flowing water and chant,

“I am a river nymph, this is my river”

and then open my eyes, and see the sunlight through the gushing waters and feel one with the water. That was home. I had a lot of ‘home’ there in that village for those felt-like-a-lifetime-but-Earth-time-was-seven-glorious-weeks.

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And home was when the Honduran men, under the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, crowned Oracio the head of their soccer team. “Meci Dos (two)” they called him, and I beamed with pure parental joy. Or when in Siem Reap, at the Garden Village, Solai played chess with Patrick and he said that in his thirty years as a Master chess player, he’d only seen one other kid analyze the moves with such computer speed and precision and that kid became a national chess champion. Or when Dahnya got on stage in Open Mic Night at the Led Zephyr in Sihanoukville and sang her own song, like an angel, to a crowd of adults, both Kobi and I got tears in our eyes. That was home, home deep, deep inside.

Or in moments a bit too intimate for even me, the great open book, to share would occur and I’m looking deep into those eyes and feeling deeply what only we shared right there, with all the emotion and passion that overcomes two souls sharing those moments, then I’m beyond home.

So, ‘home’, I guess you could say, for me, is a location-independent phenomena. Yeah, I still miss my kitchen counter (what a lovely counter it is!), and my mountain-side garden home; but that’s not home, anymore than wherever we’ll be next month will be home. 

Home is when/where/why I feel normal and able to fully accept myself and my family members for being normal.

Home is when/where/why I decide to choose to be happy and am, regardless of who or what is exploding around me.

Home is when I go within, deep within and feel whole and calm and joyful. Home is when I reach, again, that spiritual oasis beyond words and logic and Earth and quite mystical and light-filled.

Home is when I  become ego-free and can help a client reach their own inner peace and permanently remove some boulder that was chocking their energy flow.

Home is a bite of that Godly chocolate ball or being able to miss that one person, and still feel total love and embrace the heart-pulling tinge of pain in that confusing, yet beautiful ying-yang of falling in love and saying goodbye.

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And every time I think I got it, I think I can say in one sentence or phrase what ‘home’ is, it slips through my fingers and gets transparent again. So, I could keep writing for you a hundred euphemisms and similes of what home is, but I think I’ll leave it at this: Home Is Inside, Anywhere on this Globe And Beyond, It’s Just Inside of Me.

So, deep breathe, did you get it? Were you able to follow what just gushed out of me so quickly that I could barely type it fast enough? Is this what you expected to read on this little ‘family world travel blog’ or would you have thought you’d find it in my self-healing, soul-cleansing www.gabiklaf.com site? I know, and I’ve told you it’s a bit slippery for me when I try to separate Gabi the spiritual who is traveling and Gabi the traveler who is spiritual. Sometimes it just makes pretty pictures like on those spinning boards where you drop ever so little bits of paint onto the middle and the centrifugal forces make such awesome, powerful firecrackers-on-paper.  So, share, tell me, what is ‘home’ for you, and have you ever felt what I do about ‘home’? I’d love to hear that.

And, if you do the google plus thing, and you liked this, we’d really appreciate you sharing it. Share it on FB, SU, Twitter, whatever floats your boat, but do share. It directly, directly enables us to keep traveling. And so, under this mosquito net, listening to the Koh Rong Island crickets sing their three-harmonized tune, I wish you a fond good night. Tell me what this one did to you, it’s done a world of good for me.

OH, oh, OH, wait. Don’t go just yet! I nearly forgot (how could I?)….As a special bonus, I’ve got some pretty amazing friends who want to share what ‘home’ means to them, as they too travel the globe with their families. I’m part of a growing community of pretty amazing folks who also live life by the rules that make the most sense to them. They are most definitely inspiring, and most positively worth your time getting to know.

Bohemian Travelers…Home is Every Where

Lovely Travel of A Nomadic Dad…. The Abstract Concept of A Home

Flashpacker Family – My Heart Doesn’t Lie at Home

Living Outside of the Box – Where Is Home?

Life Changing Year – I Never Thought We’d Be Home For Christmas!

A Minor Diversion – A Minor Diversion Comes Home

Grow In Grace Life…Home… Where Ever We Are, There We Are

Witness Humanity…. Things I will miss about New York (or a Guide to the Awesomeness that is NYC)

Discover Share Inspire… How to Always Be Home For the Holidays… No Matter Where in the World You Are

The Barefoot Nomad… Where’s Home for a Barefoot Nomad? http://www.thebarefootnomad.com/travel-philosophy/where-is-home-for-barefoot-nomad

Galbraiths Go Global: Our Next Home…..Wherever we are TOGETHER!

Simon Says: Where are you from?

Gypseekers-Are We Home Yet?: Re-entering Society After a Round the World Adventure

Expat Experiment…Traveling Home

18 Comments

  1. Gabi,

    This is really beautiful. I love your transparency and humility. We are all imperfect, and living an amazing life doesn’t make us perfect people, though it does help us to progress (I think).

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful thoughts.

  2. Gabi, I love your honesty… Thanks so much for opening yourself up so much, and for helping me learn and grow along with you…

    • wow. micki. i’m honored to grow and learn with you, and overjoyed and humbled that anything i can say can serve as such a tool for growth. i love opening myself up. i do. hugs to you micki.

  3. Always succinct and to the point, right Gabi ;-)
    Love you, girl. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • hi love. erin, you have a lot of heart to share now. how is the change going? how does it fit into your soul love? always succinct…. we should talk face to face sometime… you’ll see. love you. gabi

  4. what a beautiful “home” you all have, where ever that may be at the moment. Love the film clip with the kids using your hubby as a drum : ) Thanks for sharing your heart.
    Susan

  5. Hey,

    Nice, you made it to Koh Rong, and to CoCo Bungalow…

    Is it bungaloo #11? This is the one I stayed in.

    This is Alec, Israel, – we met in the Burger place in Sihanookville.

    Enjoy Cambodia :)

    • hi alec! so cool that you wrote to us. yes, we love love love koh rong and the coco bungalow. what a small world. you would have been our neighbor. we were in bungalow number 12! so cool yes! hope your visit was amazing, and that you keep visiting and commenting! gabi

  6. Dissatisfaction is probably the number one reason you’ve managed to hatch this plan and achieve so much. Imagine how crap home would be if you just stayed dissatisfied and never did anything about it! How awesome you’re heading into your third year!!!!!!!!

    • tracey, i love you. what more can i say. i do think dissatisfaction pushed us, not away from our home and our lives (which we loved to death and were terrified to leave) but to not just let our dreams of world travel be a dream. i know, in march, we’re entering year three. omg. how are you holding up at home weirdo?

  7. Loved this post! ‘when I lose 20 pounds’ ‘when that happens… then, oh then, I’ll be happy’….. This is me entirely and I’m only just beginning to realise it. We are currently travelling the world and living the dream we had for a really long time and yet I’m still thinking about what else there is. I love the honesty in your post, great read.

    • maddie. thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share. i’m looking forward to reading your adventures and sharing with you, as you grow and i grow in our travels. where in the world are you now? i still fall to it often thinking that ‘then’ i’ll be happy and i realize that no, now, i will choose to be happy and therefore i will be. hugs to you. and thank you. gabi

  8. Wow Gabi,I absolutely love reading your posts. You have this way that just speaks to my heart that makes things more real and help me to realize that I am not so different from others in this great big world. Thank you for your honesty. I have to admit that I tend to get carried away with my fantasies of what life would be like traveling the world with my family. I am thankful that you shared what home and happiness is to you and shared in a way that I am able to relate to.

    Thank you!

    • lacie, i am so honored that you read it (i was well-winded in this one), that you got what you did out of it, that it grounded or inspired you, and most of all, that you are my friend. thank you so much for reading my work, for seeing me the way you do… that light you reflect to me fills me with joy and love to myself, and i bow to you in deep gratitude for doing that, again and again. and for commenting… sometimes i feel like i write just for me, and then a kind soul or two takes the time to share their feelings, to actually have a discussion with me about it, like we’re really talking in real life. and i just really appreciate that so dear. i live in my fantasies often so writing also helps me slap myself awake. :-)

  9. I like to think I can be happy anywhere too, but when I went backpacking in Europe, I got homesick a lot. Probably because I can’t bring my cats like you can bring your kids :D (Sharing this thru Twitter and G+)

    • aleah, yeah i have the kids…. i loved your christmas celebration in the phillipines. thank you for sharing dear. i love you already. hugs and merry christmas… gabi

    • totally. just read a post someone put up in nyc. she said they were going to ice skate in central park and i missed that. that was sooooo very cool. thank you for taking the time to comment. i appreciate that so. hugs, gabi

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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