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Posted on Oct 30, 2013

I Need A Vacation- When You Just Want Something Else, Somewhere Else, Somehow, and Now

I Need A Vacation- When You Just Want Something Else, Somewhere Else, Somehow, and Now

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Naked, I stood there waiting for the water to turn hot. It did turn brown, but it never turned hot. I went to the restroom and practically fell off when the loose toilet seat teetered. In my annoyance, I realized something. Something huge. I don’t want any more cold showers. I don’t want to brush my teeth, my face, my body, my dishes, nor my food with brown water. I don’t want to sleep in any more tarantula- infested attics, nor in dilapidated wooden shacks sweltering in heat and decorated with mosquitoes as thick as fog. I don’t want to share my bedroom with the neighbor’s cats who have taken the area under my kids’ bed for a litter pan. I don’t want sand flies, or drunk drugged people around me. I don’t want to hold the computer up just so to get internet and I don’t want to eat junky, starchy, white-floured processed foods because I can’t find or can’t afford the healthy alternatives. I don’t want breathe the stench of public toilets that make me vehemently gag. (I also don’t want any more kids fighting, bickering, complaining, or creating drama over thin air. That one may be harder to fix.)

I want a vacation. “A vacation inside of a vacation,” some would say. And that is totally true, and totally not. I’ll show you some vacations I found that made me drool, and then I’ll tell you what I do want in my life as a traveling family mom who wants to feel that she doesn’t have to compromise comfort any more.

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The Perfection I Found

So I found this link showing the perfect family vacation. And I see the pearly-white smiling mom, and the dad, obviously adoring his beautiful wife. And I see the kids smiling and laughing and this lovely family unit cherishing each other, and yes, I want that. I’d buy that yesterday. On these vacations, mom and dad don’t spend three days in the sweltering heat trying to find the cheapest accommodation/flight tickets/life option. On these vacations, the family doesn’t get confused and lost trying to find North again. They also don’t wait for the cosmic dust to settle. They know who they are, where they live, what they are supposed to do tomorrow morning, and they are not living like a local with all the glitter and guck that comes with it. Oh, and the mom totally, but totally has no acne. I do.

Right now, in light of the brown water and a few other comforts of life I use to take for granted that continue to allude me, I want that vacation where everything is taken care of for me, and all that I need to do is pay, arrive, and enjoy. Yes, I’d like that very much.

We Do Vacation

Every few months Kobi and I take vacations away from the family. We go off alone to be wild or spiritual, to read books or to meet people and see what it feels like to get up when you want, and do what you wish all day without having to consider the feelings and needs of four other people.

Here are some vacations we’ve taken:

Kobi-
-To sell the car in Uraguay while we waited in Lima, Peru. It took two months. (It made really good sense at the time.)
– disappeared from morning to night when he did his

  • Open Water Diving Course in Taganga, Colombia
  • Advanced Open Water with Koh Rong Dive Center, Cambodia
  •  Dive Master with Savedra Dive Center in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal in the Philippines

– Two weeks Vippasana Meditation outside Battambang, Cambodia
– A week off to read books and swin in Otres Beach, Cambodia

Gabi-
-A weekend alone in Ica and Parakas, Peru
– Two weeks off outside of Battambang, Cambodia for my first Vipassana Meditation
– A week off chasing witches and healers on a crazy motorbike adventure with my friend Theresa on the island of Siquijor, Philippines
– Another two weeks off planned for January in India for my second Vippasana Meditation

We like time away from each other. It gives us the chance to be alone and reflect and be just for ourselves. We’ve always done this. Kobi went for a month to India years ago, Kobi always, always, always supported me when I’d come home with the next six month healing or therapy course I had to enroll in. Giving each other that space has always been beneficial for our relationship.

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How We’ve Changed

When we started out, and for the first two years, off and on, we had al of these amazing living like a local  experiences. We don’t see the point of going to a country and whizzing by click, click, click capturing shots of all the attractions and exhausting ourselves zipping from one spot to the next. It exhausts our wallets as well. We also don’t see the point of living so removed from the local culture that we don’t smell and touch and taste it. But (and this is a huge ‘but’), we’re tired of sub-standard hygiene and comfort. We’re tired of putting in so much effort to fulfil our basic humanness.

Yes, we’ve learned to live without a kitchen counter, a personal mode of transportation, a book shelf with soft-covered, ear-marked books, shelves to put our clothing on, and a desk with art supplies. Yes, we’ve lived joyous round-the-world family travel adventures and have loved (or learned from) every arrangement in our perpetual barefootness. We’ve loved our journey into around, and through The Ying Yang of Living Without.    But now, yes now, we want a very calm, clean, comfortable corner to call home. We want our kids in a school we believe in that enriches their minds and fills their souls, and allows Kobi and I huge chunks of time alone. Yes, this we want.

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A 1000 Piece Puzzle

So, we’ve picked Goa, India as our home for the next six to nine months. Depending on if we get another Indian visa when our six-month visa expires, we hope to settle down in Goa and put the kids in the Vidya Aranya School. I’m dreaming of the things that indicate for me the cosmic dust has gracefully settled. My current wish list for my life includes:
– Daily meditation and yoga
Daily time to write and read things that deep inspire, engage, and teach me
– A blender for morning spinach, lettuce, and fruit shakes
– A kitchen counter for hold the blender and the wonderful healthy foods and salads I’ll be making my family
– And most of all, but really, truly, most of all, a 1000 piece puzzle of something magical like we had in Boquete, Panama where that puzzle was my private therapy, daily meditation, and the most serene, heart-warming long-term family bonding activity we’ve ever had. That puzzle, on that porch, at that cabana, in the pouring rain was awesome. I want a safe, quiet spot to do my 1000 piece puzzle.

Yes, this is what I want.

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Last words?

Do I ever really stop talking? Will I ever had last words? Not likely. Come on, even after I die this website or the Gabiklaf.com site may still be up. Even after I don’t speak, my books and lectures and videos have been scattered around the globe and the internet and maybe someone will engage in one. Even after I die, the sound of me singing my kids to sleep may linger in their hearts. And, what about me yaking away in my next life, or some other dimension that co-exists with ours?

So, friends. You basically will never get total silence from me. I’ll always have what to share, to reflect on, to complain about, to be grateful for. Always.

Tell me your thoughts about vacations and perfection, sweat and dust and family travel and the joys of being free to create and recreate our own realities. The code word could be ‘fairy dust’ for we haven’t talked about that or star dust in a while and I’m missing it.

Sending you so much deep and grateful love,
Gabi

 

Love, love, love picture credits: These people are so talented! muddy feet in water, perfect family vacation, evil clown couple and friend, puzzle.

Comments

comments

39 Comments

    • flor how are you? so cool to hear from you again. where has the world taken you now? thanks for the compliment. doing much better. actually, going to do my yoga now. hugs, gabi

  1. Gabi,

    Thank you for your chatter boxy- ness (An English saying chatter box=someone who talks a lot. Not sure if its used outside England?)

    I haven’t popped over to your corner of the internet in a while. Reading this today brought floods of tears, the jumbled up emotions in your words the way you express experiencing a life in transition, the way you can say I don’t want this and go after that.. I get it! So much do I get it.

    I have written you an email 3 times over the last few months and never sent it! We miss you all so much. Think of you often.

    All our love xxx

    • hi dear. so, because you had to send us your love, i went and wrote an entire post about just you. that is how much i love you. i’d love to see the emails. you know, by the way, that also if we don’t work together, i love you. just promise me you won’t use my material love cuz i’ll use it in some other amazing, inspirational space. i love you guys. tell me how you are. and so honored that a- we’re friends b- that you think of us often and c- that i made you cry! score for the gabi! love you both, gabi

  2. I totally get it! Plus, it gets exhausting having to spend so much time making the next travel plans….And, I don’t know what I’d personally do without my juicer each morning! You aren’t asking for a lot! Clean water. Healthy eating…happy that you are listening to your needs!

    • val love. how i’ve missed you. thank you. i’m not asking for a lot. healthy food, time for me, a 1000 piece puzzle. all so very doable. right? thank you love. can i add a unicorn to the list? how are you and your mexican kitchen? moving any more heavy furniture lately? 🙂

  3. It’s hard when vacations aren’t vacations. Sounds like your lives recently have been too hard – glad you’re settling down for a while.

    • hi dear jessie. thank you. yes, it’s been too much effort lately. i’m so very excited to settle down for a looooong while. six month visa- the entire time we’ll be in goa. and then… we’ll see. thank you for commenting. gabi

  4. i’m on this roller coaster with you friend.

    • thank you amber love. the roller coaster is alive and apparently normal if you’re on it too my love. hugs to you, gabi ps: tell me what’s up with the adventures outside and within….

  5. I found myself nodding along to this, even with no kids and a cushy life in Seville. I need a break from Spain, a break from my partner, a break from writing every once in a while. It helps. Do it, and keep doing it!

    • cat dear. yes, it’s that universal place of yuck that we can all relate to. i like how you said, “i need a break from spain, a break from my partner, a break from writing every once in a while” we all feel that, the details change a bit but the reality of stuckness is the same. thank you dear. gabi

  6. Gabi, I completely feel what you’re saying here. It’s sometimes sooo good just to put your bags down, lean back, and relax into a place. Have a great time in Goa!

    • micki. sometimes, that is what we need more than anything else. to lean back and stay there. it does my soul wonders to have that space. thanks love. gabi

  7. I so get it, Gabi.

    One of the challenges of full-time traveling is that everyone is together full-time. While at home everyone goes off their separate ways during the day to work, school, etc. Then it’s enjoyable to reconnect at dinner. But life on the road doesn’t offer that naturally–we have to work at it.

    We also have to work at having a life of “comfort” while traveling. And sometimes it’s easier than others, because of budget or even just what’s available. We do need to allow ourselves either the luxury of time alone or something “pretty”.

    • larissa my dear. hi. yes, full-time together is exhausting, and liberating, and exhausting. we do have to work on creating space for each of us. sometimes, it’s so economic to share a tiny room and then, it’s gets hard. the bathroom is a great getaway! been there, done that. comfort also is an issue for it costs double if not more than economic. yeah, we totally get each other here. thank you for being there larissa. i like your idea of something pretty. yes, i love it. thank you. gabi

  8. Oh Gabi, I have missed you. We have been so busy and I am just catching up on you.s I am so thrilled you will be slowing down and taking that time for yourselves. It is nice having that “couple time” while the kids are in school for a bit too. Love this post!

    • heidi love. thank you for writing. i’ve missed you my spain-princess. slowing down, but totally to the point of not moving an inch. i like that. and i have a kitchen counter again. score! we’re making more and more couple time. went out a few nights ago and i think we’re going out tonight. we love to just sit and talk for hours. i love you dear. thanks for loving my dustest, tearest, more miserable ones. it helps me laugh at my life that way. i love you. gabi

  9. I hope you find what you are looking for in Goa, everyone needs a bit of luxury sometimes. Some of us more then others hehe. Let your inner-princess shine! xx

    • erin my love. you my dear know how we all need that bit of luxury. mine at such a modest level compared to others, right? and still, sometimes it eludes me. Thank you. I love what you said about ‘letting my inner-princess shine’. it’s genius. use that line with your little girly-girl. she’ll love it. gabi

  10. Best wishes to you Gabi, hope everything works out.

    • thank you dear andrew. we’re excited to find our North again. it’s tiring when you don’t. gabi

  11. Ooh, Goa sounds great, enjoy!

  12. Oh Gabi..,!! Its so nice to hear from you again. Just read a couple of your posts and im happy you are finished with the circuit and enjoying Goa. Its just so nice to live vicariously thru your eyes even when it means brown water…heheh. I totally get you ( or i think i do).
    Right now, I can tell you that im afraid that you are back writting… Why? Because when i read your blog i start imagining my life similar to yours. Traveling with my family, roadschooling my kids, showering in brown water, covered in mosquitos, loving totally strangers, helping human kind…. And Then i realized that no one around me really “gets” me…my family dont get it… So, Im the weirdo, i must be crazy for even wanting this. You must be science fiction Gabi, you and the other hundreds of family world travelers. I love you Gabi…i really do…

    • so do i cry now or later? how do you appear when my soul wants a hug most? and to think you found me from gabiklaf.com no? but either way you brought with you an entire circle of love with you. thank you for adding more weirdos like you and i to the inner circle of love. how i’ve missed you love. you’ll like this new one too. i just published it: http://gabiklaf.com/sixty-eight-days-of-silence-what-happens-when-life-flows-so-fast-you-begin-to-drown/

      yes, i’m writing again, and you are reading and i’m so very happy you will mess up everyone’s sleep schedule again! i’m so deeply honored vanessa. did you ever get the ebook you bought love? and your story will be so different than mine, as it should be, with it’s own hiccups and acne. joy, i know. you will have your own brown water and mosquitos and constant sweat and you’ll look up at the heavens and ask ‘where the fuck are the unicorns and rainbows?’ and you’ll think of me and smile, cuz i warned you baby. the grass is always greener in someone else’s life. i also look at other’s lives too and wonder, but now i don’t, cuz i know i’m lucky and meant to be swimming in my own guck.

      i love you vanessa. i really really do. i’ve missed you love. gabi
      ps: thank you for commenting and letting me know you are around. i love you to death for doing that for me.

  13. Showering in cold water that’s brown? I hear you. The idea of a taking a vacation from the vacation sounds inspired.

    • hey terry. yes, brown, but totally brown water was not fun. i’m totally over that part of travel forever. had my fill, thank you very much. hugs to you, gabi

  14. We love your blog! It’s inspiring to see a family traveling together. And we completely know what your need about needing a vacation from a “vacation!”

  15. I think we all need a break from what we do day in and day out – whether that be working in an office, adventure travel or working from home. Goa sounds great!

  16. Hi Gabi,
    I’ve just found your blog and will take a good look around it with interest. A few of your thoughts have been similiar to mine at times. So I will enjoy the read. Take care Janice

    • Hi Janice. Welcome to this sweaty, teary, dusty, beautiful online world of ours. I’m so glad you found us. Please tell me how you found us. I love how the Universe brings us new gifts. Yes, sometimes it’s just tough, not romantic at all, and exhausting. Please, please, please leave a tiny footprint (comment) when you read something so I’ll know you’ve been around dear. Would love to hear more of your thoughts. Oh, and if you find us and like us on facebook, i’d be honored to send a shout out letting friends know about your travelwiththestrings blog. can’t wait to read your adventures! hugs, and thank you for taking the time to comment. gabi

      • Gabi,
        thanks for the response. Just took a look on your fb page – is your son doing the rescue diver course?

        Travelling brings so many changes – it allowed me, for the first time in my life to experience me as a free person. A beautiful gift!
        I think travel is the best education you can give a child. Take care 🙂

  17. I really hope you find that little slice of comfort and quiet to recuperate your batteries and find your natural balance again. We too hope to world school our children as they get bigger (one is still in utero) your blog and words are very inspiring, never apologise for them or for the number of them 🙂

    • crystal, thank yo. thank you for wishing me to find that little slice. i think we all want that sometimes. i’m beyond over wanting that. brown water- check. been there, done that. i’m so ready for quiet for me time. yes. thanks. how old are the older ones? when do you hope to travel? for how long? when? too many questions- sorry. i’m so honored and grateful that you found the blog and that you took the time to say hi. tell me how you found us. thank you dearly- no apologizing. 🙂 gabi

  18. Love this post, Gabi. I’m so glad you’ll be having some slow time and a blender and a counter and all the rest. Hugs…

  19. I absolutely agree about spouses spending quality time away from each other. Not only is it important to take some time and focus on yourself (especially if you have children — because of course, our lives tend to revolve around them), but spending time away from my husband allows me to also appreciate him more. It’s a win-win.

    I’m glad to read other couples (with children) doing the same thing.

    • thank you so much dear one. excited to read more about your third culture family. please find us on fb so that we can keep connecting. yes, it does us all good.

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