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Posted on Apr 26, 2013

Life On The Road Real Question #29: What Do You Do All Day?

Life On The Road Real Question #29: What Do You Do All Day?

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. It made me ridiculously proud, and a tad too cocky about us having the guts to make our dreams come true.
  3. 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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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saving-for-a-dream,  The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog, life on the road, long-term family travel, rtw adventure travel, digital nomads, budget world travel with kids, vagabond families, 2012 best travel blog award, backpack south east asia 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

 

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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.

29 Comments

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! That is all.

    • we love you too. love, love. love. that’s all we need. that’s it. alsyon. right back at you and yours. gabi

  2. OMG, you guys are a true inspiration, real good people, amazing and passionate. The world needs more of your kind! Love…

    • hi samuel. thank you so much. you are too kind and supportive and sweet. thank you! thank you! thank you! we love you too! come visit us somewhere on the globe! gabi

  3. Your family is living such an amazing life together! The education your children are receiving is simply incredible. There will always be naysayers out there, but you and many people all over the world know what a good thing you’re doing.

    • EMily, how ever did you find us? What a joy to have you swing in and leave such loving words. Thank you. Thank you so much. Melanie, comment below yours thinks I should have slapped her. no need, i’ll just know what’s right for us. thank you emily. i do hope you join us on facebook and youtube too. so we won’t miss any of your loving support. 🙂 gabi

      • Hi Gabi! I found you guys on YouTube. I was looking at videos of RVing around the U.S. 🙂 I’m also a big travel fan. Currently living in China with hopes to do a lot more traveling around the world. Love hearing about your adventures!!

        • so cool emily. so glad you found us. i hope to hear from you soon. china. how cool! do you write about your adventures or life. i’m thrilled to share it with our facebook fans if you’d like a bit of attention your way. let me know dear. thanks again for taking the time to reach out. oh, rv movie. kobi made a cute one!

  4. This is one of the best posts I’ve read from you. One thing that could’ve improved it, is if you had smacked that woman in the dish! (only joking, sort of). Love and laughter to The Family Klaf.x

    • melanie, are you serious? wow. and you read so many. one of the best? better than i know nothing and 99 things? better than fuck fuck fuck? better than why i would never live on a boat? poverty for christmas? stop abusing those kids? wow. i’m really touched now. i’ll go reread what i wrote. so when are you going to start blogging your guts out so that i can see too? smacking her. oh, no, i may have broken a nail. 🙂 gabi

      • Gabi, I just found your writing really eloquent on this post; that said, I still love reading your blog when you write like you talk! 😉 I am really thinking about starting a blog, but I’m afraid someone might actually read it! What do you think about Murrish Madness as a name? I would probably blog about our unschooling, travel aspirations, healthy living……I truly can’t blog about one thing only as I am sooooo fickle.

  5. hey gabi i love reading your posts. i have been trying to get my mom to look at it but know luck there i plan on travel after high school and make it a life style but not everyone see this as a way to send time. but for be i love to learn new thing about people and place. alot of people this day are closed minded and dont see that by not learning about the world we are really at loss with it.

    • hey lexymarie, thank you so much for sharing this, your journey. wow. so you are going even though your family does not understand it? when do you hope to leave? to where? for how long? i hope you find a way to get them to understand so that you will feel that love and support along the way. it helps so much to have them understand. it does. hugs to you young one. gabi

  6. I loved reading this! As a long-term homeschooler, we have faced many questions by nosey people, and I wish my responses were as eloquent. While we haven’t ever traveled full-time (just a lot of long trips, including two across the country), we do currently live in our RV while shopping for a house, and it has totally changed our routines..for the better! Flexibility is a skill that you are teaching your kids, along with all the other wonderful things you mention, and I think a lot of us adults could benefit from that. Enjoy your day, I look forward to reading more about your journeys!

    • Dee, i feel like we’ve met before but big chunks of my memory came out with the kids. Your site’s name seems familiar to me. tell me how we’ve met and how you found us for i love to know how the Universe connects us with the right stars every turn we take. I can pretend I was eloquent. I was not as cool as i sound here. I’m good with the writer’s liberal thing. I make myself the star here but i did say something intelligible, but you know that feeling when you feel like it doesn’t really matter what you say, the person’s not going to give you the time of day. i guess i did get her for a second or two, before she went back up there with those people who don’t watch people in restaurants order desserts and not finish them and sigh too loudly, like me. flexibility is soo there, along with so much more than i can even begin to describe, and so much that i do all along the blog under the ‘parenting/schooling’ label. i’ll have to go read about your adventures too. across the country twice- that is outrageous. soo cool. so cool. thank you for taking the time to reach out and sharing your love. comment a lot ok? i want to know you are there! gabi

    • i know. i think that is what it’s all about jessie. who cares where you are on the globe, it’s what you do with your time. thanks jessie. gabi

  7. “It’s not as easy as it sounds to carve a meaningful long-term existence out of total freedom.” I love that part, and this blog in general. I’ve always said that what you do with your free time once you have nothing but, speaks volumes more than a lifetime working a 9 to 5. It takes a lot of courage and self confidence to be everything you’ve always wanted to be, and you guys make it look damn good. miss you!

    • angela, what can i say to you. you’ve seen us from the inside out more than i think we can imagine, or want to imagine (you did delete that one, right? LMAO) we make it look easy. clearly love, you are forgetting all the videos of me falling apart and freaking out 🙂 thank you for all the love. priceless.

  8. Although we’re a couple in our 50’s living a nomadic life, we get similar questions. We also get a lot of people telling us they envy us, who look at us with disbelief when we say “you can do it too”. My new mantra is “where there’s a will there’s a way” 🙂

  9. So beautiful. I just emailed a friend last night and told him I was hating Sri Lanka because it’s been really hard to connect with the locals and there are so few other travelers. My exact words were I really don’t care about going to see a temple or a waterfall, I want to meet others!! Leaving early and headed to the Sanctuary resort in Thailand to meet other travelers and do yoga!

    • val dear. it’s so ironic that i find your comment now, now that you are living your life purpose and are one foot out the door to a life in mexico. i love you and am so proud of you and your growth. you are a beautiful flower, and yes, meeting people is your thing. 🙂 gabi

  10. In the end, you’re the master of your own destiny, and you and Kobi makes the decisions that best suit your family. No one can take that away from you.9

    Haters gonna hate – I have people tell me I’m wasting my time teaching English in Spain when I could do it anywhere else in the world. I usually just stick out my tongue, since I’m mature!

  11. Thanks for sharing a bit of insight into your days. I really find it interesting how you’re able to travel long-term as a family, and basically what that requires!

  12. It’s amazing how the days just seem to fill themselves up, huh Gabi? Even without having to run to school, work or appointments.

  13. It is hard to believe that this “woman” could believe that there was nothing to do Siem Reap, Cambodia for five whole months. We don’t even travel nomadically anymore, we are stationary in France and we still get emails from people writing in their proverbial “tisk tisk tone” down their noses at me insinuating that I am abusing my children and turning them into socialist pigs. :0. I have to take a deep breath and just move on but it still bothers me even though it should not.
    Keep living your Dream guys. Such an inspiration.

    • i love reading that kind of post. heidi at wagonersabroad also just posted one too. going to read yours. hugs, gabi

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