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Posted on Jul 2, 2015

Only the Rich Can Afford Long Term Family Travel- The Day Before We Become The Nomadic Family Again

Only the Rich Can Afford Long Term Family Travel- The Day Before We Become The Nomadic Family Again

898109605_d2cc0f3861_oPeople usually assume that the money just rains on us, pours over of like crystal lemonade; that we must be very, very rich to have traveled the world for three and half years. Whenever I hear or see a family travel, my first thought is also that they just have a lot of money. Otherwise, they would be back home (like the rest of us) working their butts off to just get by. We’ve written tons about the money issue [check out the Afford Family World Travel category] and how we are not rich [financially] and how we have all of these unreal tricks and secrets we discovered on the road that enable long-term travel.

And so, now that we’re three days away from Nomadic Family life, again, we are asked cool things like:

Where are you going this summer? What’s the plan? For how long? How in the world do you afford this?  Do Tell. So, here’s the answers plus a few words about what’s up around here right before we walk out the door.

How Do We Afford This ?

We don’t. We travel, long-term, slowly, for almost free (sometimes) and for remarkably cheaper than it costs to live in any place we’ve ever called home.

How it all Started to Form into our Next Reality


At first we were only going to stay at Sara’s house in Sweden. Dear sweet friend from the hood below (she’s the dark-skinned, gorgeous one with the red tank top on- They are all gorgeous, but that’s clear!).

She offered us her parents’ home “any summer that you want it”. And so we started to look up Vimmerby, Sweden. And that was that. We’d hang out in this idyllic little, fairy tale, romantic town where the great Astrid Lindgren of Pippi Longstocking came from. That was that and Sara’s story is gorgeous in and of itself, and if she’s cool with me sharing it, I will in future posts.


And then, I spoke to my dear friend Erika from Latvia who lives in Sweden part of the year. She was a pure bundle of joy and growth and soul development and appreciation in my How to Raise a Happy, Well-Balanced, Appreciative Child Course in Goa, India and of course, it was a deep honor to see her again in the Paradise School in India when I was there teaching a spirituality magic session with the girls there. Erika is a never ending role model of spiritual growth (and she and her family spend six months a year in India each year!). Having done vipassana multiple times and always learning new courses on personal and spiritual development, she just glows and gets younger with each passing day. So….. Erika says to me the Latvia is so much cheaper than Sweden and that I should go there. My response:

I have a free house in Sweden and nothing in Latvia. I love the idea but I’m going with the free house.

So, a few weeks later, out of the blue, she sends me this Facebook message saying that her brother’s apartment in Riga, Latvia where they stay each summer will be empty for they will be in Italy (?) and that we’re welcome to have it until July 26th! Are you serious? More angels, more blessings falling from the sky, more human kindness guiding us to travel the world for almost nothing? Seriously?

 Vincents, Janis, Mia, and Erika in all their most adorableness (God, they are sooooo cool! I love them so!)

Vincents, Janis, Mia, and Erika in all their most adorableness (God, they are sooooo cool! I love them so!)

Ok, so now we want to see Latvia too but how to get there?

And so, I inquired with several cruise/ferry companies seeking who would be interested in working with us this summer and promptly received a warm reply from Tallink Silja International.  I was blown away by the kindness and helpfulness of the most darling sweetheart named Sanna from Tallink Silja International. In one of her first emails she sent me this:

Tallink Silja is the leading ferry passenger company in the Baltic Sea, with the most modern fleet and the best selection of routes. With the fleet of 18 vessels we operate daily throughout the year on 5 routes; Stockholm-Helsinki v.v., Stockholm-Turku v.v. , Stockholm-Tallinn v.v. , Stockholm-Riga v.v. and Helsinki-Tallinn v.v…..

I would recommend a cruise in our Stockholm-Helsinki route as both the ships were just renewed in 2014.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


And so, began this online friendship with a sweetheart that basically said, “We’d be honored to sponsor The Nomadic Family this summer. Pick your routes, any of them, all of them, and it will be our joy to serve.

So we checked out the links and drooled more and more with each newly discovered destination those cruise ships cover. [We’ve never done cruise ships before but after World Travel Family did, we drooled].

What’s the Plan? The Travel Itinerary

 July 2  Jerusalem, Israel to Stockholm, Sweden

July 2- July 6Stockholm Street Festival [great video below], Stockholm Card for  the Grona Lund amusement park, cruise rides within the archipelgo, & technology museum for kids

July 6 Stockholm, Sweden to Riga, Latvia on Tallink Silja‘s Isabelle

July 6- July 16 Stay at Erika’s brother’s home, explore Riga, go to the circus, Old Town, relax, exercise, read as a family

July 16- July 20 sponsored Baltic Road Trip #1 to Salacgriva region. Here are our options for those dates. Any suggestions?

July 17, 18, 19 Positivus Festival (see how hippie it will all be!)

July 20- July 21 Riga, Latvia to Stockholm, Sweden (the lovely Isabelle again)

July 21- July 22 Stockholm, Sweden to Tallinn, Estonia on the Victoria

July 22- July 28th Explore Estonia- no plans yet but we’re looking into horse back riding & biking, and again a sponsored road trip

July 28th Tallinn, Estonia to Stockholm, Sweden on the Romantika

July 28th- August 19th Excercise, relax, & read in Vimmerby, Stockholm, hopefully see my dear friend Eimi during this time too. From time point on is tentative for our dates my change based on the kids’ needs…

August 19th Stockholm, Sweden to Helsinki, Finland (Family cabin on the Symphony!)

Aug 19- 25th Carrentals road trip for the dream of all dreams…. See the Aurora Boraelis in Northern Finland! We’re hoping to see a reindeer and sleep in a glass igloo! Cannot wait!

Aug 25th Helsinki, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden (Family cabin on the Serenade!)

Aug 25th Stockholm, Sweden to Jerusalem, Israel

 How Long Will You Travel For?

Kobi and I tried to bribe the kids into missing the first twelve days of school for this year, because of the Jewish Holidays falling early in September, most of September and the start of October will be holidays. (Us Jews just eat and celebrate and eat all the time! No wonder I can’t lose my stomach flab!)

We thought, If we just miss a bit from the beginning, we’ll get an entire extra month and a half to travel. “Come on kids! That means we can be on the road as a family for like three and a half months!” And then they looked at us with calm wisdom and in their eyes we could see it. That they just wanted to be ‘normal,’ to go to school like everyone else and to be there, also in the first days of school, to best feel that they belong and fit into the reality of ‘normal’ life just as well as the next kid.

So, we’re coming back in late August. We got it.

So What Will That Dream Look Like?

Of course, I can tell you but we all know that it will turn into something beautiful of its own identity that we simply ride, like a wave, until it tells us to stop. We’ll meet someone who will offer us a job for six months in some hostel (like that job in Russia we almost took) or someone will tell us of some great hotel that wants to work with us and we’ll be off to another country. So, take all of my plans with a grain of salt. I do. We know it will unfold as it does. – from Family Travel Blog Dreams

We haven’t yet bought tickets back home for we just don’t know when enough will be enough. The kids wanted a week at my sister’s house in Kibbutz Hanita with their cousins and a week at home. That would be August 15th. I’m hoping we can push that a bit and maybe, just maybe, get to see the aurora borealis in Lapland, far up in Northern Finland. You can see them from late August until April and it’s high on my dream list. [Little known fact: We almost named Solai “Celia”. LOOOOOOVE the sky!]So, maybe August 25th? Maybe August 20th?

Kobi will go backpacking with a friend for three weeks either way and the prices of tickets are not changing so terribly much. We want to be sure we are observant and open and listening to the kids’ needs. So, we’ll go home when we’re done with the road.

You see, for us plans change and become and morph, and we always follow ‘the wind and inspiration’ in determining our routes. Having a defined route (first time) with actual dates defining borders for us is new, limiting, but exciting. Maybe we’re maturing?

Sparkle and Shine

We’re doing tons of clean ups around here. We’re project people- come, bulldoze through this with passion, move on sort of folk- and so, before we go we have several things we want under our belt. It’s really healing for us as a family as we all tackle built-up mess (how? where? why?), redo the garden, or rearrange other domestic joys.

We’ve opened our home up for the first time to AirBNB and we’re so excited! (See our house listing photos! So cool!) This is a dream come true- one of the three passive income streams we dreamed of creating- and we want the place to be just perfect for anyone who will book this summer.

And so, we’re going through cabinets, closets, untouched corners that have accumulated junk and gunk, and we’re bulldozing through it. I love purging, re-organizing, simplifying.


[photo credit to the geniuses at somee cards]

Letting Go

And in the really-can’t-let-go department, my Achilles heal is paperwork. Courses I’ve taught, projects I’ve left undone, client notes, journals, all of everything that I have the best intentions to go back to one day and do something with. And slowly, I’m going through massive I’ll-get-around-to-it projects that have collected dust (some for 15 years) and I’m dumping them. Yes, throwing them away, and it’s hard and it’s freeing. Let. It. Go.

And also with the blog, I’m cleaning up old messes, getting rid of video posts that my assistant posted for those months that I couldn’t sit and type (question #2) , and I’m cleaning. Here is something I found from an old unpublished blog post that didn’t have enough value to go live. This one paragraph, I felt, was particularly entertaining, and so, decided to save it and share with you.

Something Odd and Shiny

In other news, my kid, who shall remain unidentified, just farted. It’s 11:27 pm and I so need. to. go. to. sleep. It reminds me of Don’t Buy A Zoo. Do Fart. You’ll laugh if you haven’t read it. And another, longer, slow, low grumbling fart. I really should cook with less garlic. We’re so unfit for civilized human contact this way. Writing about Modi and Anat, true heroes in our lives, reminds me also of those three deaf backpackers we met in Siem Reap, Cambodia. God, they were adorable! Yes, the fountains. Sorry.


Other Great Financial Articles

1- 9 Answers to Your Toughest Financial Questions

2-You Ask: How Can A Family of 6 Afford Long-Term World Travel? Cheap Rent: The Most Detailed Financial Break Down of Costs Around The World- Budget World Travel W/Kids

3- Liquified Homelessness

3.5- Finding the Money to Travel (from my friend Alyson at World Travel Family)

4- How 14 Nomadic Families Afford World Travel

5- Finding a Viable Money Solution While Traveling on the Road

6- No Job, No Home, No Plans, One Hell of an Adventure

The best thing I can tell you here is our shortcut. We wrote a wonderful little $8 ebook giving people who asked us the best ten things we did to financially enable our dreams to come true. It’s a win-win. People who want to do it too gain the information it took us a decade and a half to learn (we’re slow learners), and, as a bonus, you get to feel good that you are further supporting our continued travel dreams. Win-win, for sure.

Continued Inspiration

And I continue to be Inspired by Articles like:

1- Five Things That Spiritual People Do Differently (check out the travel part!)

2- What Happened When These Trouble Kids Started Meditation

3- What Happens When I Create my Energetic Thought and Intentions

4- 20 Instructions for Life by the Dalai Lama’s Advice for Life

The Bow

Ahhhhhh! Is this really happening? Are we really, truly about the hit the road again? All five of us together, but reeeeeally closely together 24/7 in all the teary, sweaty, dusty, beautiful, and insane tunes that will come out of this long-lost nostalgic harmony? This year alone, we’ve done the running to bomb shelters/war thing, the 3 month solo India healing journey, the Kobi 2 month backpacking trip, and bunches of euphoria and heartache in assimilating back to ‘normal’ life. And now, and now, as we pack up and do those last never-ending errands, now, oh my God now, right after the terrified and freaking out, now, now, now we are about to again be The Nomadic Family,  not in variant nomadic combinations and not in Israel, but all fucking five of us on the road again. OMG! Here we go….


Photo credit for the awesome raining money photo!

saving-for-a-dream, The Nomadic Family World Travel Blog, life on the road, long-term family travel, rtw adventure travel, digital nomads, budget world travel with kids, vagabond families, 2012 best travel blog award, backpack south east asiaWe’re determined to inspire others to lead the lives they are meant to. The Saving For A Dream e-book is your first step towards making that dream come true. It is also a kind, generous donation from you to help us continue our voyage.

So, buy it for yourself or a friend.

Thank you,  Kobi, Gabi, Solai, Orazi and Dahnya Klaf



We’d love to connect to you also on TwitterFacebookYouTube.


The Nomadic Family  of five spent three and a half years settling into small communities in 16 countries world-wide. Now, they are acclimating back into life in Northern Israel and the story continues. Gabi lived alone in India for 3 months this winter, Kobi is going backpacking for 2 months alone this Spring, and the family will spend this summer in Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. Follow their adventures as they share their emotional journey, their spiritual growth; their falling apart and coming back together, the real ups and downs, the sticky, painful, colorful, and magical moments of life on the road and back home.



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!




  1. Hey there!
    We’re thinking about relocating the fan to India where I’ve spent a bit of time… Do you ever put your kids in school or homeschool? Thanks!

    • hi rebecca. we put our kids in goa in the vidya aranya school and now there is another riverside school there as well. both awesome, different in nature but awesome. their season is basically from sept/oct until march (or april/may if you can stand the heat). you can find them online or easier, find us on fb and i’ll connect you with the people who run both there. good luck. gabi

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