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Posted on Jul 9, 2013

Mistakes That You Can’t Take Back, Or Can You? RTW Life Lessons- Philippines

Mistakes That You Can’t Take Back, Or Can You? RTW Life Lessons- Philippines


It is not easy to clean up our messes. No, I didn’t run over someone because I leaned over to grab my cell phone or any sort of one-second-changed-everything sort of moment. No, thank God, we are all healthy and glowing, diving with turtles at Savedra Dive Center (great FB video) in the Philippines and loving that our kids have such a vibrant social network. We even love it that the kids here call you a baby if you cry and steal playing cards when you’re not watching. These Filipino kids are giving our three a Doctorate in Street Smarts that they just wouldn’t get elsewhere. Toughening them up, watching them get cheated, and then learn how not let that happen again, has been rewarding. It’s amazing how fast you can learn when you’re motivated, eh?

And we’re learning too. Learning that a lifetime reputation, which you built with so much care and vulnerability, can be crumbled in moments. We’re learning that what seems like a great idea, and still may be, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great idea for you. When we made aliyah (moved back to Israel) in 2004, we sat in that little second-story office in the immigrant assimilation department. Yoav, or some name close to that, told us, “Just because you are granted certain rights and privelged as a new immigrant, doesn’t mean you should take them. You may be offered an incentive that will end of being a far greater headache to you than it is an asset. Choose carefully which priveldges you redeem.”

I didn’t get it then, but I get it now.


Was This The Nomadic Family Way?

Tons of people use crowd fundraising sites to “build my broken boat”, “make my wish come true to see the Eiffel Tower”, or “bring this soldier home to see his newborn daughter”. They are all great dreams, and some of them, get great funding. After months on the sponsorship treadmill didn’t work, we moved on to the next obvious option. But no, we didn’t stop to think of Yoav’s wisdom, that just because you have this right, should you cash it in? Will it bring you more headache or asset? Will the means justify the ends? Is this in line with the legacy of managing your money and making your dreams come true in your own terms? Is this The Nomadic Family way?

An unreal number of bloggers stood forward and said heart-warming things like, “I trust you and will follow and support you in any endeavor you pursue” and “Our team believes in your so much that we’ll publish this article on your behalf though our magazine/site has never done this kind of promotion for anyone before” and more. I wanted to share their specific words, the authors, and links to their site, but Kobi felt that that would be me hiding behind them as my shield of righteousness. This is not my intention and thus, I won’t. There are others who voiced that they didn’t think this was such a great idea.

A Letter to Friends

This is what I mailed to our dear travel blogger friends and media partners. I feel it says it best, and thus, I wanted you to see it:

[Edited version]

we are canceling the campaign for it is not right for us, it’s not who we are.  we freaked out when we did the online research and saw how much gear and the rest would cost. we suddenly realized we committed to do this thing that was really, really expensive. we ditched out of australia and other expensive things and suddenly felt like we would get the money we needed in this new and exciting way. and then, to make a long story short…

no. it’s not us. we always make it work with what we have, we work harder, we save here and spend more there and that’s what we’ll do. we’ll make it work as is or we’ll write a great blog post about how we turned around cuz we couldn’t go on.

we’re always so excited to try new things, but this, this is not us, so, we’re turning it off.

fundraising is not the nomadic family way. thank you for loving us. cannot tell you how much you mean to us, your support, your honest, your being our friends and loving us when we make great choices and when we mess up. that, that, that is what real friends is about.


 You Gotta Deal

So that’s about it. I didn’t want to have to deal with this. But, I am. I am. All the ricochets, all the readers, fans, followers, and friends who may no longer visit here and get to read my awakening to what was not us. This detour has it’s price, but like everything else we do in life, we try new things, we make mistakes, we try new things again, we learn who we are and who we don’t want to be.

My lower back has been killing me for the past two weeks. Sitting, sleeping, standing, walking, but especially sneezing is so painful.  Still is.

In my healing world, lower back represents the root chakra, the one that grounds us and tells us we have all of our most basic means met, and that we are safe. It is also the number one indicator when I’m working with a client that there are so very volitile money issues going on. Yeah, I hear ya. Yoga-extraordinaire and dearest sista Lauren Ohayon told me my psoas muscle is having spasms:

“the psoas is the deepest muscle in the body. attaches from the spine to the legs! the only muscle that does that. it has the lumbar plexus in it so the nervous system is deeply woven into this muscle. the psoas is the flight or fight muscle. it gets ramped up when we are in a heightened state, trauma, anger, etc. it is THE emotions muscle. because it attaches from spine to legs, the tightness that happens in it creates problems in the pelvis, hips, legs and back. based on your state right now, and the posture i have seen you prefer, my guess is that you have  chronically short psoas and now it is in a full on temper tantrum.”

She knows me very, very well. She says I need to talk to my muscle, relax it, release the emotional turmoil that’s freaking him out. She said, if i lay down and do it just right, I may feel him spasming, and I did, last night. When I lay on my back just so, and was very still, I could feel my abs shaking from the vibrations. Poor dear, I’ve upset him so much, he’s breaking down on me, covering in the corner crying and at times, having a full fledged freak out.


Cleaning Up Messes

Like that open can of full tuna I flicked into the air last week, I’m trying to mend up this mess and move on. I want to roll and flow like a water nymph again.

I’m working on diving 4 times a week with Savedra so that I can hang out with my friends the turtles [movie link from above in case you didn’t watch it it’s really nice] and those walls of tens of thousands of sardines dance before you until you don’t exist. Underwater is a great therapy for me. Not only am I facing my lifelong fear of open water (fuck Jaws!), but I’m learning stillness, oneness, single mindedness. Diving is a heavenly practice grounds for being in the moment. You have to breathe and can literally see the air bubbles reflecting how slow and calm brings you to the moment. You must be conscious of your bouyancy, your fins, what gifts and joys are swimming around you and then gone. “Be in the moment, Gabi. That’s all you have dear. This moment, and this one, and this one. “

Thank you for letting me clean that. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is this a mistake that can be mended? Any use thinking of those who will never come back or see us the same again? Anything else. Be nice or I won’t publish you. That’s the rule around here. And when I’m vulnerable and put myself out there like this, it’s exponentially so. :-)



We’ve written a highly inspirational e-book about money and how you can take these ten steps to make your travel dreams come true. It has helped many and helps us continue our travel dreams. I do hope you will consider spending the $8 and learning/ be reminded of what you can do, starting today, to make your family world travel dreams come true. You can do it too friends. You can. You can.

Thank you dearly,

Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Dahnya, and Orazi





  1. I’m sure you have done the right thing for yourselves as a family. It’s funny, because when I first saw your campaign something didn’t sit right with me, even though I backed you in a second. You’ve made me feel good today Gabi……take care of your health babe!

    By the way, class photo of Orazi!

    • Melanie love. thank you. the sign of a loyal friend, you know you only need one in life. it didn’t sit right but you still backed me up. thank you love. yeah, now it sits right. i’m so gladi made you feel good day melanie. that’s what a good decidsion feels like. i am. thank you. i love that pic too! gabi

  2. Dearest Gabi et al,
    1. What? Louder – WHAATT? You are human?? No effing way! All this time I thought you were fairies, nymphs and elves! Wow, this makes you SO MUCH more interesting. I can’t wait to read more.
    2. Now that I’ve confirmed that you are human and that you are fascinating – what’s next baby? Interest me with your next move, plan, idea.
    3. My life of yoga, retreats, kids, bills, and regular boring stuff makes anything you do seem bright, alive and exciting! Your mistakes as you call it feels worse to you and feels that much more shameful. To me- I’m here for all of it and will never leave, judge, dislike you for the path that the universe has unfolded for you.
    4. Next time you quote me: my last name is Ohayon not Ahayon AND please give me warning so I can make it normal! I wrote that in a quick fly second. Whatevs.

    Some ideas: Have some
    1. Sex
    2. Chocolate
    3. Wine
    4. Massage
    5. Rub a turtle underwater or pet a dog or just hug one of the kids. Or all of them.
    Not necessarily in that order.

    • oh, i love you too much. now, i know to correct you misspelled name. sorry love. human again, damn! and i would never give you warning when i want to show off to the world what a dear soul sister i have. then you make act too normal and perfect, in which case you wouldn’t fit around here. this is the meeting ground of fairies, unicorns, elves, nymphs, and HUMANs, of which, for a short while, I belong to that category. yes, thank you for finding my fuck ups more interesting. i like that. keeping life interesting is exactly how i like to do it. thank you love. will add the link to your site so that others can see how amazing you are too.

      “I’m here for all of it and will never leave, judge, dislike you for the path that the universe has unfolded for you.” tears forming in three, two, one. thank you.

      i’ll follow your to do list, all of them. mwah. and KEEP COMMENTING. i love actually seeing you here, i know you read anyhow so you taking the time to let me know that you are here means THE WORLD TO ME! oh, go to gabiklaf and read 6 ways to regain your sanity and rape through the massage table you will love them! i love you. thank you

      actually, thinking i should delay my vippasana so that we’ll have more time together OR, or, OR, join me! oh, join me!

  3. I’m traveling so don’t always read every post & therefore don’t know exactly of which you refer but just wanted to say, I ALWAYS appreciate your authenticity, sometimes ‘especially’ your screw ups. Hey, your human…..I like that!

    • karen, thank you. just that fills me with light. thank you. acrobatic thoughts- ok, clearly i need to go look up what amazing things you have to teach us. thank you for saying that, that you appreciate my authenticity, and my screw ups. i love that about sister souls (and brother souls), we can vibrate in that same frequency that says we’re learning, all the time, all the time. you would DIE for my spirituality site thank you for taking the time to comment and send your love. i appreciate that and you so dearly. gabi

  4. We know what is best for ourselves… but sometimes it takes a little time before we admit it. Your health should always come first… and it soudns like it is rearing its head to remind yuo of that. Tough decisions will always have to be made, but it sounds like you have a strong network of people who would rather you stepped back and took care of yourself, than carried on and made yourself poorly.
    Chin up chica!
    Elle xx

    • thanks elle. i do. i am surrounded by a strong network of love. thank you. and yes, our health will tell us what we need to do, if we only listen right? it took me a slow process to listen well. thanks for the love elle. gabi

  5. Hey Gabi,

    Yes, this travel blogging life is… strange sometimes.

    It’s hard to take chances, to make mistakes, when so many people are watching. But I think it ultimately helps us grow; it pushes us to do things we wouldn’t have in our “normal” lives.

    Keep on your road Gabi, I love you for your honesty, thank you for that.

    • micki love. i dear. i feel like it’s been a while. i’m missed you around. yes, when everything is publicized on the world stage, it does make it a bit strange. i’m so grateful for the growth and learning. strongest evidence i have that it’s working is that my back is already getting better. thank you dear micki.

  6. Thanks for once again sharing honestly. We all stuff up and it takes a lot of guts to not only see our mistake and then publically acknowlege it. Bless ya Gabi!! You are your family ROCK!!! Oh and if you are ever in Australia we’d LOVE to meet you all.

    • thank you dearest sarah. remind me again how you swooped down into our lives and keep filling me with joy and love? thank you so much. honest sharing relieves my soul and brings others closer to me. such a win-win never existed before on this earth. sarah dear. thank you. i don’t feel very rock sometimes. one day we hope to get to australia- it’s just soooooooo expensive (whining voice!). we’d love to meet you too. sarah, visit by the way. i think you would just adore it there. :-) hugs to you. gabi

  7. Well we’re all human and we all make mistakes. The important thing is to recognize them and learn from them :)

    • thank you reena. yes, learning. recognizing. check vee to all of the above. hugs to you too. check vee on that too. :-)

  8. Gabi,
    You are so beautiful because you are real. And I love that you listen to what your path should be for you and your family. Not for anyone else. And that is why we all stay…riveted! Thanks for your love and inspiration…and your divine humanness…xoxo LOVE YOU!

    • ok, so now can we get married my favorite unicorn. i’d choke if i wasn’t real love. i would. riveted? omg, you didn’t say ‘riveted’? omg you did! divine humanness (and such touched soul) coming your way. loving you more than words can say. thank you.

  9. We also wrestle with the life we’ve created, and how to make a living at it. Sometimes it is easy to “chase the shiny penny”, but it doesn’t get you very far.

    You’ve got to be true to yourself, and no one can fault you for that. We all stray off our own paths from time to time, but if we remember that maxim sooner or later, we’ll all be okay (and sleep better too!).

    • larissa, thank you for that. the shiny penny sure was calling my name, but something deeper was whispering. thank you so much. i know you, and all, will find, and loose, and find our paths, copy, paste, copy, paste, copy, paste. thank you. and my back, three days and lots of meditation later, is almost back to normal. thank you so much. gabi

  10. Gabi, I think you are so cool I was willing to try to make it work too. I’m so happy for you that you just said, “no.” Can’t wait to see what’s next. And if it makes you feel any better, my thoughts were, oh dear, Gabi’s been influenced by some crazy film maker. Being in the biz, I know there’s no one who knows better than a film maker how to ask for money! LOL
    Love from Texas!

    • penny, you were one of those golden friends who stood forward and said, ‘i am behind you even though i have some tough questions to clarify what the hell you are doing!” thank you friend. and no, film crew didn’t do this, i did. i just thought it was an idea that would work for us. it doesn’t. thank you dear penny. gabi

  11. Kudos to you for 1. figuring out what the right thing is for you 2. being transparent about it all so that others can learn from your experience.

    • sandra dear. thank you. i’m learning so much and feel so honored to have a safe space to share that learning so that, like you said, we can all grow. thank you dearest. hugs, gabi

  12. I don’t think there is any harm in taking a step back to assess whether something like this is right for you. If I’m honest, it didn’t sit well with me so I’m glad you changed your mind about it.

    • thank you. i love it that you can be honest and share that with me bethaney dearest. it even further supports what we knew inside, that it was not us. it just wasn’t. and when those who love us and have known us for so long, feel that too, then all the better and all the more power to fixing what was wrong. thank you friend.

  13. Brilliant! One most profound thing about you is that you are so damn good at whatever you choose to do. Absolutely admirable!
    good luck girl

    • wow ricky. thank you and welcome into our world stranger/friend. that’s a very sweet thing to say. thank you again. happy new year. gabi


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