Your One-Stop-Shop Telenovela of Family Travel Blog Trekking Adventure Hell- Day 1- Annapurna Circuit with Kids, A Multi-Media Celebration
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!
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.
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.
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
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?”
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!]
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?
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.)
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!
Sneak peek at Day 2: The First Waterfall
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.