Life On The Road Real Question #29: What Do You Do All Day?
Every once in a while we meet someone who really doesn’t approve of what we are doing and makes no attempt to hide it. One such gentleman told Kobi the other day, “Those who travel the world are clearly looking for themselves because they are very misguided and lost.” I had one woman momentarily climb down off of her throne and look far down enough from her up-lifted nose to ask me, “What could you possibly do in Siem Reap, Cambodia for five whole months?”
My reply accomplished a few tidy little things in one swift blow:
- It shut her up. She just sorta stood there on pause with her jaw stuck to her chin and this distorted deer-in-headlights glaze in her eyes.
- It made me ridiculously proud, and a tad too cocky about us having the guts to make our dreams come true.
- It helped clarify for me, yet again, why this life on the road nomadic life style is so awesome for now for this rtw family.
Where We Were Before Life On The Road
We loved our lives in Israel, and no doubt will love it again one day when we return. We have the mountain-side, light-filled home we’ve always dreamed of. I had a thriving private practice, a parenting radio show and family dynamics therapy groups. Today, I continue that online with gabiklaf.com and am now premiering Successful Modern Child.
The kids attended a home-schooler’s dream educational institution, full of weekly field trips, experimentation, learning through curiosity and passion, and like-minded dreamers with lofty philosophical ideals about education being passion-driven. Kobi, on the other hand, stressed over project management deadlines for his company, hardened his heart over nasty office politics, and worked long hours that basically kept him a foreigner. So, while the kids and I are skipping through the sun-kissed Upper Galilee Valley on hikes and picnics with friends, he’s slaving away doing that which does not nourish is soul.
It was somewhere after the two middle-of-the-night ambulance runs to the emergency room for what may have been mild heart attacks, but before he got fired, that we said, “There must be another way.”
What Do You Do All Day?
“We don’t travel the world to see the sites. We travel the world to connect to people, to share real experiences with locals, and each other. We no longer feel compelled to see this temple or that waterfall. What we do feel compelled to do is to spend our time doing what we are passionate about. That only happens when the cosmic dust settles and we create meaningful routines.”
I also didn’t tell her this either but I wish I had. I don’t think she would have given me enough time to explain the difference between a travel vacation and a travel lifestyle, between how most touch the world with light brush strokes but we finger paint.
I wish I could tell her to read Perpetually Barefoot and Liquified Homelessness. Or, at least I could have messed up her perfectly manicured hair. I wanted her to understand that even when our home keeps changing, we keep falling into and finding amazing new places, and people, and cultures that redefine home for us.
We Educate Our Kids
I could have told her that we educate our own kids. We spend the hugest chunk of our time schooling them Mondays- Fridays from 9 am- 1pm. In Theory. In reality, it’s never as neat and clean and organized at that. In reality, it sometimes involved tears and us hating the fact that we educate our kids. But I didn’t tell her that either.
[Note: We are looking for a one-stop-shop tutor to teach the kids now on Skype. We’re hoping to find a Hebrew/Math teacher from Israel. And maybe have found the Science and English teachers. We’ll let you know.]
We Work Online
We spend a great deal of time also doing the nitty gritty of our rtw life on the road lives too. I could have told her that Kobi and I spend hours finding deals and working out deal around the globe and running our websites. I could have told her how we pepper our lives with great city life contrasted by island life, jungle life, ranch life, and village life. I don’t think she would have cared. I would have liked to share with her how I pour my neurotic soul out on gabiklaf.com and guide parents on successfulmodernchild.com. I would have liked to tell her that we’re creating a personally-meaningful, inspirational line of products to guide others through making their dreams come true.
We Spend Time Enjoying Our Kids
I could have told her about how much we love spending time doing fun travel things and quiet at-home stuff with our kids. How unreal it is to volunteer as a family. I would have loved to try to verbalize how cool it is to be utterly clueless with our kids as we travel the world. Kobi just finished reading A Wrinkle In Time, and before that read Holes by Louis Sachar, and The Wizard of Oz, and Old Testament Hero Stories. In Siem Reap, we played what we call “The Worms Game” and abuse our kids (very nice post about it here). In Panama and Ecuador, we played Carmencita’s Bingo all the time and every single game we could find in that totally loaded house-sitting job that Nancy on Family on Bikes let me share with her readers. We love playing Bingo and the kids enjoyed this game so much. In Ecuador, the kids got to win prizes like a bag of rice, bag of pasta, or a can of corn. The prizes were modest, useful, sweet, and meant a lot to the locals where food was in a great demand.
So, I clearly didn’t discuss alll of that with her, and not how Siem Reap was our big make-our-dreams-come-true time, but for the minute she would allot to low-class me, I did tell her this:
“What did I do for five months in Siem Reap, Cambodia? We educated our children with great love and wisdom, Kobi and I attended our first life-changing Vippasana Meditation and began a serious meditation practice, I studied Buddhism with great fervor, taught spirituality classes, worked on amazing muscle-tone and a began a vigorous exercise routine, oh, and I wrote a book.”
I know you would die for a day off without house chores, but what would you do with never-ending freedom every day? It’s not as easy as it sounds to carve a meaningful long-term existence out of total freedom. Like the rest of life, it has its unreal ups and downs, and when we get it, when we strike that balance between exploring the outer world and the vaster inner one, it’s unreal. When we figure out how to chill and laugh and relax in equilibrium with working online and pushing towards those financial goals, it’s super sweet. I think, we personally, do best when our life is stable and peppered with excitement. We’ve discussed it further in How Stressful Is Life On The Road When Your RTW Travels Move Your Family All The Time?.
That works for this nomadic family. What works for you? Do tell. I’ll always write back!
Wanna really really help us out friends? You can directly empower us to continue our travels. Did you know that the more YouTube views, the more comments on this blog, the more Google + action we have, the more Twitter followers, the more Facebook friends directly helps us make more money? How? Cuz we can ask advertisers for more money the more active our online presence is. So, help us out cuz you love us, subscribe to the blog, and our YouTube channel, and Twitter, tell everyone you know on Facebook to like us, and if you have any contacts with a newspaper or magazine- tell them how amazing we are! That is 100% directly funding our journey.
I love you…… mwah! Gabi
We’re determined to inspire others to lead the lives they are meant to. The Saving For A Dream e-book is your first step towards making that dream come true. It is also a kind, generous donation from you to help us continue our voyage.
So, buy it for yourself or a friend. Thank you,
Kobi, Gabi, Solai, Orazi and Dahnya Klaf
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Insanely unorthodox, embarrassingly honest, and on her path towards spiritual awareness, Gabi Klaf blogs about her family’s ups and downs in their now third year of non-stop budget world travel. This family of five has lived with an indigenous tribe in the jungles of Ecuador, hitchhiked throughout the world, danced with drunk Vietnamese at weddings, and are now training for their Fall 2013 Annapurna Circuit trek where a film crew will accompany them for a documentary movie about how The Nomadic Family is redefining modern family life. Gabi writes about the untold sides of family travel life, those moments that take your breath away, adventures and mishaps while globetrotting, and how bits of her soul remain in this small town and off the side of that river. She is a guitar-stumming, energy-healing, ADHD wind-loving scaredy cat. Hugely romantic, tantalizingly sweet, and hysterically funny, Gabi Klaf represents a rare Rubix’s Cube of family world adventure.
I love these awesome questions friends. Keep em coming and I promise I will answer them all.