Ten Answers to Top Asked The Nomadic Family Questions- World Travel Family Divided
Life rushes, gushes, crashes, whirls and flows like powerful waves and river currents colliding, and I sit here, observing my own tingling excitement in my chest rise and fall, and I realize that for my last four days in India, I would rather be within, than “without”. I would rather spend time alone in my room, soaking up aloneness than be out there with the lovely community of Goan family and friends I now have. I am about to leave the only time in my life that I have lived alone, for my loud, dramatic, and perfectly buzzing family, and four weeks after that, as Kobi goes backpacking for two months, to single motherhood.
I believe the best way for me to embrace that shift is to be silent. In between these last errands, shipping, saying goodbye; I will spend as many moments, no hours, alone, with music, with writing, with being in silence.
So, I’ve had more time to be online lately, and have discovered that there are some basic, what-the-hell-is-going-on questions that some lovely folk are asking. And so, I thought I could spend a bit of time giving you the kind-of short and not-so-quick answers to those questions. Why are you alone in India? Why did the blog have so many video posts and almost none of those great long-winded text posts that I loved reading so much? Why did you guys end up going back to Israel? Do you hope to travel again some day? Was it worth it? How are you getting by financially? And more….
1- Why are you alone in India?
I am here to heal to the scoliosis I’ve had probably since birth. I am here for three months, alone, loving the single life to heal, work my ass off, be joyfully uncommitted to anything, and be a monk in a cave. I am posting daily videos on the TNF YouTube channel about the progress at the Bone and Body Clinic. It’s long, complicated, and beautiful; and, yes, I will work all year and return next year to continue my work.
2- Why did the blog have so many video posts and almost none of those great long-winded text posts that I loved reading so much?
One of my greatest passions in life is writing. I love writing “like she just drank two Red Bulls in ten minutes and sat down to write” like a reader once said, and yet, I was in so much pain for so long that I dropped writing, reading, playing guitar, meditating, and sitting on the floor to do puzzles or play with my kids for a very, very extended period. And so, I didn’t want The Nomadic Family to ‘die’ and thought people would like to see the almost daily YouTube videos I publish.
I can easily vlog (video-blog) for I can do that without sitting down on the computer. Now, I am looking for the balance between sharing the videos and writing. I’m also not interested in living in front of the computer and more passionate about being there for myself, my husband, my kids, nature, and adventures in the Northern Galilee Valley which we love so much, and so, again, I’m seeking the balance between my passion, my health, and my life.
3- Why did you guys end up going back to Israel?
The kids wanted to stop traveling. The last thing Kobi and I wanted to do was stop, but, eventually, after bribing, threatening, and blackmailing didn’t work, we felt we just had to listen to them. They wanted to go home, and so we did.
4- Do you hope to travel again some day?
Well, truth be known, we can’t get travel out of our system, our soul, our dreams. It’s like reading, learning, loving- you are never fully satiated. Kobi and I are already dream-planning a slow, meandering RV adventure through Alaska to Argentina when the kids grow up more. Yes, we’ll let them visit and hang out with us some, but we can’t wait to do this long-term just the two of us. And in the meantime, we’re finding amazing ways to travel.
First of all, we practically live with my sister and her four kids in Kibbutz Hanita where the kids thrive on cousin-time adventures in the pool, on wheels, and in abandoned military posts. We also do tons of adventures in the gorgeous nature near our home and are finding that there is endless beauty to explore in our beloved Israel too.
Second of all, Kobi and I have committed that we, the parents, will each have the time each year that we’re able to live out our travel adventure fantasies. I’m here for three months; a month after I return Kobi leaves for a two-month backpacking/diving solo adventure potentially in Cambodia, Laos, and Bali; and a month after he returns, all of us go to Sweden for two months. Considering we’re ‘static’ and we’re still giving our kids the family/friends/school stability they wanted, Kobi and I are thrilled with our current travel lifestyle.
5- Was it worth it?
I know it’s much more complicated than that, much more twinged with pain, feeling we don’t belong, struggling with the Hebrew and what that does to the kids’ self confidence, but GOD YES!!! And we’re already really, seriously talking about taking off again in maybe two years. Maybe give the kids sooooome stability (enough to argue that we listened to them) and go again…..
(Kobi and I are die-hard optimists)
6- How is Kobi’s health?
We had planned to come home in the end of the summer of 2014 with the documentary film crew here waiting to film all of that and well… Kobi’s lungs got dramatically worse after we swam in the ice-bucket freezing Greece ocean. His brother told him of two officers he knew personally who dropped dead in weeks after the doctor’s said there was nothing wrong with their lungs. This freaked Kobi out and within 48 hours we were back in Israel.
We had done a ridiculous amount of hospital and doctor visits in India and again, when landing in Israel, did a marathon of that until we learned almost definitively that 1- it is not cancer 2- it is not pneumonia and 3- most likely it is a scar, an abrasion on the lining of his lung probably from an infection that will flair up sometimes and remind Kobi that he’s not a permanent part of his anatomy.
X-rays show it going down over the last months of our travel. We’ll check it out again every year to be sure. Emergency is over.
7- How is yours, Gabi?
I wrote ton about the entire process, from the first evening back to being utterly broken to seeking solitude to hate and the unexpected twists of this journey. I think Facebook posts have it covered (several in seeking solitude post linked above) . I’ll share a few here, but the last one sums up the success of it all.
8- Why is the blog not in chronological order?
First of all, I’m not a chronological sort of person. I’m sporadic, spontaneous, totally ADHD, and irresponsible. Chronological would require discipline and order -neither of which I have much of. I like looking for butterflies and my thoughts and inspiration float, much like my beloved butterflies (which by the way, I intend to tattoo soon), as they do. Forcing myself to report real-life current realities would suck the joy out of my writing. It would turn this passion into a chore and there goes the authentic Gabi, which none of us would want.
Second of all, I am too busy trying (sometimes successfully) to be in my life to sit in front of a screen reporting it. Sometimes I’m terribly depressed and can’t find the energy to do anything. Other times I’m really focused on my health or some learning or teaching that I’m doing, and can’t be bothered doing anything I’m not passionate about. Other times, I remember that I’m the mother of three unreal children and one gift-from-God husband and I want to embrace my life with them.
My best writing comes when it gushes out of somewhere deep within. I write best when I have lots of time alone or when (I think) I haven’t gotten around to it in a while and by missing it I compose posts in my mind falling asleep or washing the dishes. I try to do what inspire me, including the topics. That doesn’t happen in pre-programmed order. I need a healthy artist space of chaos.
Third of all, one of the first travel blogs I read years before we left was not chronological. I opened up that blog that first time and saw on the home page posts labeled Uganda, Brazil, China, Jordan, and New Zealand all at a glance. That excited me, and so it was what I always wanted too.
Fourth of all, I don’t believe that Earth-time, meaning Monday then Tuesday then Wednesday; 10 am then 10:30 am then 10:34 am is the most inspirational nor the only time that exists. I like spiral rather than linear. I like it (more like a real conversation) when one story just sort of sparks “remember the time when…” Which fades off into some other seemingly unrelated topic that leaves us all laughing or crying and wondering how we ever ended up talking about that. Non-Earth time is much more magical and more full of possibilities and miracles and the unexplainable- all of which I thrive off of.
And, well, I feel like I could share another few reasons but my mind has wandered to how much sugar must be shoved into the Minute Maid Cranberry Apple juice I just finished cuz I’m practically levitating from the sugar rush and how Julia Louis Dreyfus looks sexy in the in-flight movie of the person sitting one aisle up from me. All her years on Seinfeld I never saw her as sexy, just funny,and then I saw her in Time magazine when they did a special about them and saw her as sexy. Hmmmm. It’s pretty amazing to watch someone else’s movie in silence and drift in and off of the drama unfolding there.
9- How are you guys doing financially?
We haven’t figured out how to make money in Israel quite yet. We arrived, the war, moving back into our place and all the damage control of that, acclimating back to school and life. You can only start groups after the Jewish High Holidays (end of October) and I knew I was leaving first week of December. When I get back, Kobi leaves in a month and I can’t do my groups and leave my kids alone at nights. I will be their only parent. And then we leave for the summer. And again, once I can start teaching, I’m leaving for round two of clinic work in India.
So…. not complaining at all, just clear that we can’t work when we’re not physically there. Kobi is doing a bit online and a lot of our savings are being used. We know we wish to figure out some online income and will continue to delve into that as we can, between other life draws like travel and figuring out how to best to still support our kids in this acclimation process. I’m bringing back some items I hope to sell as an experiment.
We’ve also received a great deal of Israeli media around our trip. Just yesterday, Israeli Channel One featured this news piece featuring our family.
(It’s in Hebrew but you’ll get enough of it to be inspired! It’s about families who travel). We want to lecture and coach families who wish to travel long-term and help people make their dreams come true. We’re just still too busy figuring out life and neither of us seem to be able to stay put long enough to be able to make any commitments, so…..
And, more than anything else, we trust. We are willing to work hard and always find creative ways to make money and the truth, the real deepest truth is that though we still struggle with the occasional wave of money-fear that chokes us, we know, deep down, that it always works out, and that even when we think we won’t get by, money always finds a way to us. Sometimes there is more than enough, sometimes way less, but always it balances out and we’re fine. And so, with this trust, we keep living the life we’re passionate about- focused on our family, our health, and doing what we believe in- and we know the rest will continue to unravel and work it’s way out.
10- How is it to be away for so long and then come back to family life?
Now, I’m five minutes away from leaving the solo healing journey for life with my beloved family back home, which brings up this gem…
and through the help of many comments and pm’s, I know now what to do. To be, to release, to be my own and allow every member of my family to make their own choices. To celebrate our lives and our health, also means non-stress, non-guilt, non-fear, joyful eating what the heart and soul desires and knowing that life-long choices are life-long and change. 🙂
I miss them and this time away has allowed us all to grow in beautiful ways. Now, we’ll transition into living together again, and then, again, to me as a single mom, and then to finish the school year, and be nomadic for two months again….
Tell me about the drama unfolding in your life or are things calm in a boring, shoot-me-now way or calm in a meditative/reflective sort of nice-buzz way. When I wrote this chronological bit, we were loving our family morning beach sunrise tradition, pranayama yoga with Reabon, hugely raw food, and afternoon naps.
Anything in here caught your soul for a second? Any more questions you have that I’ve missed. Ask away.
So, leave some kick-ass comment. My back hurts from all this writing. I deserve your curtsy.
OK, no guilt trip but truth be known: When I spend four hours writing a post like this one and give it my day, of course comments encourage me to continue to do that for I feel that my time and work is being answered by people who say ‘thank you for writing that. that was really good for me and my growth and i believe you brought me some light/made me smile/made me cry.
Leave a comment or don’t, I love you and either way, I’m going to go eat some papaya from my red paint-chipped fridge.
Other Posts Answering Your Questions with are raw-honest and you may also love include:
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I love you…… mwah! Gabi
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 with a documentary film crew in tow. 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.
We’re out doing crazy stuff and making our dreams come true, every single one of them, and a few more that sort of flew into our mouths while we were smiling into the wind. Should you like what we are doing as a family, BUY AN EBOOK to support us, share this, tell any media source or local newspaper, leave a comment. Your footprint makes all the difference in the world friends. Gracias!
Gabi and Kobi, Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai
And, sweet new news loves: In addition to parenting, family life and trauma therapy, Gabi is now offering Make Your Dreams Come True/We Wanna Travel But.. Coaching too. Engage with Gabi!