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Posted on Aug 30, 2013

Family Life on the Road Reality #43: Time in Airports- Kathmandu, Nepal

Family Life on the Road Reality #43: Time in Airports- Kathmandu, Nepal

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Airports. We’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time in them lately.

  • August 13- Cebu City, Philippines to Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia
  • August 22- KL, Malaysia to Langkawi, Malaysia
  • August 26- Langkawi, Malaysia back to KL
  • August 27- KL to Katmandu, Nepal

Considering

  1. we like to settle and create community in the now thirteen countries we’ve called home
  2. it saves us tons not to move a lot
  3. it exhausts us and confuses us each time anew to recollect who we are, why we’re doing this, and how long it will take the cosmic dust to settle

that is TONS OF AIRPORT TIME. I’m not complaining. Well, I am, but not only complaining, or no, it may sound like a complaint but I’m simply saying that moving a lot is not a picture-perfect commercial for us. We whine, complain, get jet-lagged even when there are not time zone changes, and fight over who sits next to Kobi. The kids do it too! 🙂

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Kobi and I also just saw “Up in the Air” where George Clooney is the model of life on the move and sees airports and flights as his home. “Last year I spend 323 days on the road, which means I spent 42 miserable days at home.” So, after he’s called a ‘parenthesis’ he starts to awaken to the void of his existence (watch it) but right, airports. Yes, we’re talking about airports, which may logically include major life epiphanies. I’ve had a few.

Airport Adventures

So, we’ve had our fair share of airport adventures, none more exciting than trying to flush the toilets in Japan but some as eventful as trying to smuggle the kids’ over-weight carry-ons past the Air Asia attendants by telling our off-spring in Hebrew to ‘go, go, go’ and acting really sweet and super when we were caught. In Malaysia, we were separated just that once when the promotion tickets were sold out after buying that fourth ticket, so I went two hours earlier. In Nepal, our kids begged to buy extremely overpriced foam spray that solidifies into gum right in your mouth, which we said ‘no’ to for we were too busy bouncing like a ping pong ball refilling out all ten forms we have just filled out using our Israeli passports now our American passports (saved us $100), and watching Kobi hike to the ATM machine and then to the money-changing booth for the Nepal immigration will not accept Nepalese Rupees but will accept American dollars. Go figure.

Changing Flight Plans

You know we were planning to go back to Israel early next summer. It looks like that will be delayed to the end of the summer/early Fall. The family who was renting our house has fallen into a bit of hard financial times and need to move out. They had a one year contact that ended in April. We most likely have a new leasor (thank God) who wants a year lease from the day he moves in, which will push our return date to late August/early September, and not the originally thought mid-to-late June. And so, our flight plans will be moving.

New Potential Ideas for Family Travel Fun

We were going to do Nepal for 1 1/2- 2 months. Put the kids in school in Goa, India for 6 months, and then travel in India for 1 1/2 before we had home. Now, it looks like we may stay in Nepal a bit longer. (We don’t really know, but based on what we’ve seen in our twenty-four hours here, we definitely want to stay as long as we can.) We have a 90 day visa, but we’ll see. Since the last day of school at the Vidya Aranya School is on May 15, it looks like we’ll have a full 3-4 months more of travel time. Based on what kind of visas we get to India, we may travel a bit in one or two more countries before settling back down for two years in Israel.

We have a dear backpacking friend we met in Peru (fascinating adoption story!) who offered us her parent’s summer home in Sweden any summer we may want it. And so, we may find ourselves there next summer.

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And After That?

After two years in Israel, the general idea is that we’ll go to Spain for two years and then do some crazy bike trip across Europe with older kids who hopefully whine less. (I doubt this is over-optimistic allusion can be real considering in my almost 39th year, I’m quite the whiner but I’ll hold onto that lie for a bit longer. It works for me.) And as we’re looking at all the strange and beautiful spin-art patterns our life is taking us to, I get this lovely random need to talk about airports, and I think to myself, “How lovely and coincidental that this should fall in my lap,” and because I stopped believing in coincidences many years ago, I thought I’d pay attention to it, and bring you along for the ride. Go figure. Because of this, we may end up flying into some particular airport to start our Swedish or Spain lives later on and there, on that flight, or in the airport, we’ll meet someone who is meant to teach us something marvelous. It’s gotta mean something.

Last Thoughts

Yes, I spiraled all over this one too, but God I love that. I love that I can talk to you, like I would if we were sitting face to face and the conversation takes left turn and then a sharp right, which leads into a lop-sided U-turn and a tailspin which leaves you and I going, “And how exactly did we get to talking about lady boys, the situation in Egypt, and gorgeous sunset romances?” (Not necessarily related, nor in that exact order). But, I started to play “Just Give Me A Reason” on the guitar in the Philippines and I think I almost have it down my heart now and that brings me lots of joy.

No, I don’t know what our futures will bring– if our Israel and then Spain plans will pan out or not, if we’ll ever want to leave our sun-lite mountain-side home again or not, if we’ll even all be alive and healthy enough to go. I do know that no matter what life brings our way, it’s been one hell of an amazing ride, one that I would not replace or exchange with anything else in the world. I know we’ve all grown spiritually, intellectually, and open-mindedly because of our world meanderings. I know that we’re all a little bit more insane and a lot a bit more bonded.

Thank you for being a part of our adventure, every slippery, clumsy, awkward, and breath-taking step of it. Of course, I’d be so touched if you took the time to share any thoughts that have floated in and out of your mind as a result of reading this. It fills my heart with joy to have that discussion with you. But if you choose to remain silent, as most of you do, I know you’re still there and I love you dearly all the same. I can feel you smiling right. about. now. Yeah, that’s it.

Keep smiling dear. I’m here falling in love with that Nepalese and practicing that head tilt thing that’s distinctly different than the Indian head-bob that leaves you wondering if it was a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but is uniquely adorable all the same. The five of us are actually combining it with the Filipino eyebrow-eye-bulging ‘yes’ to create our own unique international, non-verbal language of our own. Good night.

Gabi

2 Comments

  1. Gabi, I have enjoyed reading your blog ever since I stumbled upon it last month. It always puts a smile on my face, gives me hope in my heart, and inspiration to embrace the life that our family has created for ourselves. We are a American family of 5 living in New Zealand. We were tired of the suburbia- keeping up with the Jones-consumerism lifestyle we were living. We were happy or at least thought we were happy, but knew that there was more to life than shopping malls and Botox. Our plan was for a year, we came with only a suitcase each, sold the house, and put our stuff in storage. And here we are just starting year 3, and never been happier. We have managed to find a perfect work life balance in an ideal small surfing village on the coast. My kids wear no shoes to school, enjoy the environment that allows them to “just be kids”, and I get to SUP and walk on the beach every day. We are able to travel the world because we understand the value of travel and life simply so we can make it happen.Life is funny though as we are so totally happy, there is still a small yearning to go back the the USA. Maybe not tomorrow, but one day. Thanks for your posts, they are refreshing and colorful, and encourage me to continue on down this path of exploration and see where the world takes us!

    • Dear Jenny, what an honor and a joy to get your heart-felt message. Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you are here and reading. So happy you stumbled upon us. I love your insights and how you knew there was more. Oh, read Poverty for Christmas and a post called I know nothing and 99 other thing the road has taught me. i think you will love them both. do you blog? oh, send me something good to read and to share with others. funny how life takes us all over the place, and so far from what we thought. i adore the life you describe in which your kids can be kids, and you can all breathe. thank you again for writing. i do hope you leave more footprints. i always answer… eventually. gabi