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Posted on Nov 28, 2013

Your One-Stop-Shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell- Day 1- Annapurna Circuit with Kids, A Multi-Media Celebration

Your One-Stop-Shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell- Day 1- Annapurna Circuit with Kids, A Multi-Media Celebration

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It is time to start sharing our Annapurna Circuit with Children experience. All of it, and not just the life-threatening parts including hypothermia, fever and an extreme case of lethargic child at 5,200 meters, vomit, diarrhea, and all those drop-to-your-death cliffs that left us so very shaken up as parents who made these decisions on behalf of their children. We’d want to give you all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the really funny, and the thoughtful.

So, welcome to Day One! It’s a lovely collection of photography and video all reflecting what our first day on the trail was like. Highlights: Oh My God! We’re ridiculously out of shape, whimpy, and totally not ready for the physical and mental challenges before us. That will sort of be the ongoing theme, in addition, to tons of furry animals, unidentified shit of all shapes and sizes, break-downs, song, tons of laughter, some serious “God, why are we doing this thing again?” talks, and amazing vistas. It’s basically your one-stop-shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell.

Welcome, children, welcome! It’s gonna be real!

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Dhanya, the fearless daughter, with too many bags on Surendra, the wild porter!

Welcome to The Annapurna Circuit! For this run-of-the-mill, 9-to-5’er sort of conservative bunch of a  Travel Blogging Family is was the most beautiful hell we’ve ever experienced! 🙂 And so, the story begins…..

After a  long day of buses and mini-buses and a night of power-outages, cold showers, and huge bats swooping down into our faces in the pitch darkness, we were so happy to get in bed.

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None of us wanted to get out of these amazing beds. It was so snug in there and we were all nervous for day one.

When Nothing Starts Out According To Plan

First video of the day, on day one: The Flow and Deal Video cuz it’s not what you planned and the guitar IS heavy but you are here so wake up and smell the Dhal Bhat! We can chose to enjoy this or be miserable every step of the way.

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We Hired You Porter Now Do What I Tell You My Slave

How we don’t see people who kindly serve us and do their jobs with pride to our greatest benefit. And still, we keep meeting those who believe that if I employ you, I have permission to treat you like property. In Cambodia, this Clean Up Your Shit Pretty Girls Post and Video reflects the idea that if I paid money, I have the right to leave my garbage (physical and emotional) behind. It shocked us beyond words!

So, here’s the low down on how we see this little ‘You My Slave” issue:

.

Unofficial Break Number 12 of the Morning

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Noah Cooper from The Nomadic Family Project Film Crew is like, “Dude, didn’t we just take a break?”

And so we’re on unofficial break 12 of the morning and our porters are starting to look at each other, silently saying,
“Are these people for real? At the rate we’re moving, we’ll be hiking every day from dawn to dust,” which could pretty much accurately summarize our hiking schedule. Cue misery.

So, we are open-minded, attentive parents and we’re not trying to prove anything. Kid wants to stop, we stop. Eh-hem, and somewhere between the three of them we were briefly taking a few casual steps between the endless plethora of breaks. As a kid, I used to ask my older sister, “would you like some french fries with your ketchup,” and in the same light, ‘Kids, would you like some hiking with your breaks?”

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Did you know that my maiden name is Katzman and for veeeery good reason!

The Meaning of Life: Kittens! 

This is true, by the way. Why else would we do the Annapurna Circuit if not to pet the goats, puppies, kittens, horses, and fuzzy-headed, wide-eyed babies? Just one minute and seven seconds of the porters going, “Come on, get real, are we stopping for this?” and the cutest kitty West of the Himalayas.

Time To Reflect and Talk

The Annapurna Circuit gave us endless hours to talk to our kids. That part we absolutely love. No distractions (besides the endless whining), so we just talked, and talked, and talked. [Note about whining: The film crew and Kobi and I could not wrap our heads around this one AT ALL! They (rightfully) whined and complained a respectful amount but the second we arrived at the next tea house, they were singing larks, and, every single night we’d have a sit-down and see if everyone wanted to go on and the kids, even after some really hellish days, always, always, always insisted that we drudge forward. It was wild!]

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Can You Be The Best Stalker?

If you’re really into every last detail that would make you a better stalker than Nurul from LOKL Cafe in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and that friend is H-A-R-D to do. We met her because she worked at the cafe adjacent to Backhome Hostel, our home for 39 nights. (All of us are all over their website from the photography shoot we did for them, and Little Ms. Solai appears on the banner on their home page. Check it out! Soooo coool!) So, she walks us to me, giggling..

Nurul: I can’t believe I get to meet you! I watched your video on Youtube!

Me:Really! That’s so cool! Which one?

After an eerie pause, Nurul: ALL OF THEM!

Freak me out now! And of course she knew where we lived! OMG, she is hands-down the most adorable 18 year old we’ve ever met! I know, I’m totally off topic, but here’s her picture. Doesn’t she glow with love?

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Nurul is the lovely one behind me and after Dhanya and Yok Lan, in the glasses, whom we also adore and miss!

Gabi Jabbering For A Change

What?! Gabi?! No way man! It’s OK, I was called Gabby for a reason, or so said my teachers cynically. Last 3 videos of the day:

  • Respecting Nature thoughts on nature & the morning commute for a local living in the Himalayas Mountains.
  • We Meet an Angel who just sat there are looking after us, as I imagine angels are meant to do.
  • Helping The Dead Butterfly in which I used all my powers not to break down and cry as my Orazi-son tries to flap the dead butterfly’s wings and calls the others to come and be with him. It was tooo much for me to handle. He was sooo earnest and sincere in his attempts. He really, really wanted the other butterflies to be with him just once more in his death. OH, my heart.

Helping The Dead Butterfly Video, in which I shall be crying in 3, 2, 1…..  (Yes! This is the education in empathy and compassion I want our kids to have. Yes! We’re doing something right, a lot wrong, but SOMETHING right!) The video begins with him surrounded by the delicately flapping wings of a dozen butterflies. One of those magical moments!

Six Hours and a Few More Pictures! 

Did you know I’ve been working on this post for that long? These high-quality post things, especially all these photos and movies take forever to put up. Of course, I’m so ADHD I’ve been allllll over the place, but still, mostly, most of that time, here, more or less. You know. But know, that there is nothing else that I would rather be doing. (Well, that is a lie, but only a white one, for there are a few tiny things I’d rather be doing at this point but, the point is… I love you. That is always the point.)

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If I would be a tree, I’d pick to be this one  (way up there) because the view was amazing, but he was missing community and might occasionally get lonely.

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Another furry thing and another break! A baby goat by the this amazing waterfall!

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The Nomadic Family Project film crew interviewing Kobi about Day One! This is after Wai-Wai do-it-yourself soup, but before the cokes!

Closing Shop For Day One

Wow! That was a bit of work, and only 16 days to go! Yes, loves, do leave me a comment. I deserve to know your thoughts. Yes, I do! You can follow the progress of our amazing, unreal, OMG-we-love-them film crew at The Nomadic Family Project!

My knees hurt so that even this standing station isn’t doing me well. I’m in Houston now, without my Kobi and my kids, and I miss them dearly. Woke up at 3:30 this morning for some God-forsaken reason and yes, I’m going to meditate and nap!

Loving time with my mom and family. Sister arriving in a few days. A very, very happy Thanksgiving to you all friends, regardless of where you are in the world being grateful does us all good! I’m focusing a great deal of my energy on Creating Presence, where I share my more spiritual sides and hiccups on my Gabiklaf.com. If that rocks your boat, I’d be honored to have you join me there, where we walk towards enlightenment, one step at a time.

Soooooo much love from me in Houston to you! Mwah!

Gabi

Sneak peek at Day 2: The First Waterfall

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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 hiked the entire Annapurna Circuit trek where a film crew accompanied them for the documentary movie about how The Nomadic Family is redefining modern family life. They are now spending six months in Goa, India. 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 Rubik’s Cube of family world adventure.

Comments

comments

36 Comments

    • i’m honored to be the reason you sip your tea love. can’t wait to sip tea once you begin your adventures in a few weeks, right?

      • We leave in 10 days! but back to your journey. It sounds miserable, but like the monks talk about suffering. Beautiful suffering. I’m so glad you all made it through and orzi and the butterfly….melt my heart. oh my what a sweet sweet soul!!

        • hi amber love. i know. i just read your comment with the butterfly part and my eyes watered up (again!). may that be the way our children stay, yours and mine, love. compassionate and connected with nature. a park ranger’s wife would have it no other way. beautiful suffering- what a lovely way to say it. omg i love that. may i use that phrase. omg. you have to see this! you are reminding me of blessed chaos. hold on while i find the link. you will die loving it! found it! http://gabiklaf.com/blessed-chaos/ i love you and back to YOUR JOURNEY! in ten fuckin days. om dear g. you are doing it love! you are doing it! which books are you taking with you? hugs, gabi

  1. Kia Ora Gabi,
    Wow wonderfully inspiring, glad you all persevered and survived. Cant wait to see the final cut.
    Happy thanks giving.Enjoy your break with your family. Your babies(+Ur Man) miss you just as much as you miss them. Mine are away, as I pack down our house and minimize our belongings to store them.
    We are following in your familys foots steps so to speak! Having Xmas with family then taking to the road to see our beautiful country Aoetearoa (New Zealand)-Land of the long white cloud.(Freaking a lil bit
    ssh dont tell n e one)

    Rock on!!!

    • hello beautiful eleanor. soooo happy you took the time to say hi and leave a comment. thank you for doing that. i appreciate it more than i can say. if you weren’t freaking out i’d be very, very worried. look up ‘before we left’ tab in the categories and you’ll see how badly i was freaking out, but like panic attack freaking out. good, it means you are normal. yes! we survived. the nomadic family project documentary will be unreal! they are truly amazing! they are! so xmas and then the open road? wow. how old are your kids? where do you hope to go? how long do you hope to travel? would love to hear more. find me on facebook so we can keep up. hugs to you and good for you- go hit the road love! gabi

  2. Oh Gabi, what a great post and amazing journey! I couldn’t help getting a little misty eyed too watching the video of Orazi and the butterfly.

    • thank you dear kerri. i know. it’s like being pregnant and watching a kodak commercial! seems so silly and trivial but it was soooo deep and meaningful, and soooooo innocent and reflected his inner light so brightly. thank you for also understanding the essence of it. it moved me greatly, as does you seeing it to. hugs, gabi

  3. I found myself nodding and laughing, remembering my hike across Spain. No doubt, having kids and far different, more savage, conditions adds a whole different element. Looking forward to reading more – the good and bad!

    • hi cat love. yes, having kids makes it a tad different love, cuz if you risk your life and die, oh, well, your choice, if you risk their lives and they die, you never quite forgive yourself. i love you. will post more. thanks for sharing it in G+. gabi

  4. Ha! This is going to be interesting. James and I loved it, loved it with a passion, it’s probably our best travel experience to date, but there was just the 2 of us back then and we like walking, a lot, with big heavy packs. We like to prove how tough we are! Amazing part of the world, but yes, there were scary moments, I told you about the mud slides, the narrow cliff ledges with precipitous drops and being armpit deep in snow. All good, so much fun!!

    • my love. i was waiting for you to come and comment on tip toes. i know you had the best experience of your life there and i think had kobi and i been alone it would have been hard and at the same time, unreal amazing. but take you kids my love, and when you see your kids in grave danger and literally almost die (from hypothermia or almost fainting at high altitude, or you see the horse buck on a narrow cliff and your child hold on for dear life, or a dozen other near death situations) i swear to you alyson my love, whom i know loves her kids more than anything in the world, you look at everything you’ve ever done in your life and you beg God to please forgive you for doing this to your child and pretty please with a cherry on top, just let your kids, all of them, get off the mountain alive. that’s how terrifying it was for us my love. i one day do believe i will do this or another hike like it alone with kobi, and then i will love every crazy minute of it too. i love you to death for speaking your truth always. gabi

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this experience. You guys are amazing, and that scenery is to-die for. Haha, those porters were not amused though. Mush, kids, mush!

    • hi renee. yes, they were like CAN WE MAYBEL MOVE TODAY, SOMETIME, A LITTLE BIT, JUST ANOTHER STEP OR TWO IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE CUZ WE’D LIKE TO GET SOMEWHERE BEFORE DARK. 🙂 they were amazingly patient! gabi

  6. What a wonderful adventure, what a wonderful post!

    I also love what you say about the “slave treatment of porters”.

    • thank you ‘happiness’. i love that that is the name that you use. it was a wonderful adventure and we all lived to tell about it! we’re thrilled. that you for taking the time to say so. i also think the ‘slave treatment’ is beyond important. hugs to you and please find us on facebook and i’ll share your blog with our followers. it looks wonderful happiness. again,thanks for reaching out! gabi

  7. Wow!! What an adventure this sounds like…while it sounds like there were some hard times, it also sounds like a great family bonding time…there is nothing like talking to each other with no distractions!

    • yes my love valen. we lived to tell and we had tons of time to talk. i love you. gabi

  8. I always admire how honest you are, and this post is no exception. You are so right-on-the-money about the ‘porters are not slaves’–but that’s what our society is coming to now–lack of respect for our fellow beings, both human and non. Can’t wait to read more about your trek!

    • jess daaaaarling. how are you dear. it’s been a looooong time. forever maybe. thank you. i’m glad you connect with my honesty. it’s fun to be naked and all that I Am. thank you dearly for saying so. it warms my heart. god, i don’t get how people think they can lack being respectful, but then i do get it jess, it’s just what they know. we must hold them with compassion for if they knew another way, surely, surely, they would do it, right? i’m excited to share more, and dear god, there is soooo much more. hugs to you jess and welcome back. i’ve missed your smiling face in these waters. gabi

    • hi dear jessie. yes. we also hiked, but mostly breaked. 🙂 porters- not. amused. 🙂

  9. What an amazing adventure and that was just the first stage! There is always time to pet cute animals, no excuses needed! Seriously though, I can’t believe there were people treating the porters like that – shocking.

    • hi amy. sooo nice to meet you. our big fat travel adventure. oh, i have to check it out. please find us on fb and send me a message so that i can share your blog with the world. reminds me of my big fat greek wedding which i adored! duh, right, the purpose of anything is the furry four-legged ones. 🙂 yes, people treat others the only way they know how, i think, so, like i mentioned to jess below, i send those ill-treating ones also so much love, for if they knew another way, i know they would live that way with love. but alas they don’t, so they do as they can. love to you. gabi

  10. Some amazing pics, and have now added it to my ever increasing places to visit list. It’s the kind of list where I cross one thing off and then add another 5.

    Very inspiring that you did this as a family.

    • hi manfred. so glad you’re adding to your list. these lists, they never end do they? love to you, from one dreamer to another, gabi

  11. Gabi, I want more! Okay, you had my knees weak and gasping for breath in the first paragraph with the combo of kids and “drop to your death cliffs”. Okay, I will admit it, my kids aren’t afraid of the cliffs, I AM! I even see it on TV and my knees go weak. I would have earned a full head of grey hair on that adventure and this was only day one. I so admire you and your family. Yes, you are doing something right! Yes, you all are amazing. I just think of the lessons and experiences you are having and they will deep in your souls for life. For life! What a great gift to each other. I can’t wait to read and see more.

    • love, my knees, my heart, my soul were shaking for a long time during and after, and some, still today. that’s worse that your kids are not afraid, for my two youngest ones are not, and that scares me even more. at least dhanya has some fear sense to keep her safe. and still she overcomes every fear in her path. god, they are amazing and i’m so grateful that they forgive us for putting them through this. they never said that but that’s what kobi and i feel. we are doing something right love. did the butterfly part hit your soft part? deep, deep in our souls love. thank you. i love you heidi. gabi

  12. If you’re going to experience hell, it might as well be beautiful. And this looks gorgeous despite the torment that accompanied it. Glad to see you survived to spend Thanksgiving in Houston, btw. That must have felt like another planet after this.

  13. Wow, what a huge adventure to take on with your family. I’m glad there were fuzzy cute animals to help distract the kids.

    • mary love, if not for the fuzzy cute animals, we would have surely been lost for life. thank you for being a witness to our travel lives dear mary. gabi

  14. Hoo boy. Looking forward to the rest of this adventure!

  15. I did the Annapurna circuit when i was a kid, i was 15, my little brother was 9… So awesome to see folks are still doing it with kids. I’m now 36 and looking at traveling with my kids.

    • evan. love it that you did it. i would love to hear your perspective as a kid. ours was insane! and now you’ll travel with the kids wow. really awesome. i’m happy you have such a memory and dream all mixed up. where are you from evan? gabi

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  4. Saving the Kittens, Gaia, and the Elephants Because We All Can- World Travel Blog Environmentalism | The Nomadic Family Travel Blog - […] lived through Day One Telenovela of the Annapurna Circuit because of all the furry friends who helped us by…
  5. Full Body Pampering- Skin Day Spa Houston [Photo Essay] | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] the near-deaths of Annapurna Circuit, the brown water of Kathmandu, and bunches of raw joy in India, I got…
  6. The Turkey Road Trip Begins, Basketball, & Getting out of Istanbul- Family World Travel Adventures- Carrentals.co.uk | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] learned through world travel that we know nothing. We also danced to Oh, The Places You Will Go and…
  7. NoManic Mondays: The Crew on Fighting Cankles & 1st Thoughts of Nepal | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] cankles and their first impressions of  The Nomadic Family. Really cool for us to see this after we almost…
  8. [Video] Running to Bomb Shelter- Sirens in Kibbutz Hanita, Northern Galilee, Israel- August 12, 2014 | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] beyond amazing and dedicated to bringing our insane story to the world. They suffered through the Annapurna Circuit with…
  9. NoManic Monday Movie- Meet the Crew of The Nomadic Family Project | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] story) and her crew in the hood, Noah and Erin. And yes, this is before they hung out with…
  10. First Meals, New Homes, and Lazy Days- Our Istanbul Apartment, Holiday Lettings Pashas House, Istanbul, Turkey | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] One Stop Telenovela- How the Annapurna Circuit Almost Killed Us […]
  11. Straining Pasta, Stress, Nostalgia & Walter Mitty- Our Holiday Lettings Apartment Pashas House- Istanbul, Turkey | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] and emotional journey on the road: 7 Reasons One Family Travel Blog will Keep You on Your Toes One…
  12. Worldschooling Education- When Parents Abuse Their Kids and Kids Learn Irrelevant Stuff [Video Montage] | The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog - […] lessons they’ve learned about how to be unmanly, how to fit into the hood, and how to take risks…

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