The Non-Christmas Revelations of an Un-Traveler- Nomadic Family World Travel at Home
I’ve ceremoniously peeled off my sweat-drenched clothing four or five times now knowing that this time, this hot shower, this night I am shedding away this sleepless, achy dread and it’s over. It is now time to return to sunshine and energy, exercise and productivity, joyful motherhood and aliveness, living a passion-filled life and being an active creator of a meaningful daily existence, and yet again, no. No. It’s apparently not that time yet for I’m still here learning all that I am meant to from not-healing, not-doing, not-sleeping, not, not, not. I am learning from my ego bowing to What Is, from The Four Agreements that all my long list of those-who-hurt-me is not meant to be taken personally and that I can release them from my soul (one at a beautiful time). As a temporarily single mom (Kobi is healing in India for two months) I’m learning that my kids are amazing and still I am the designated responsible adult that needs to buy groceries and drive them everywhere. And from the garden and the cat and healing bath water, and the throat’s first taste of the hot liquids going down, that there is so much to appreciate and cherish and be quietly at peace with.
We traveled the world as a family for three and a half consecutive years and upon my last count Kobi and I combined have spent nine of the last twelve months outside of Israel. That’s insane and hardly stable as a family, but the kids have had a stable life in Israel (as they wished for) in their schools and in their own rooms and with cousins and with community and have only spent two months traveling with us, the rest of the time it has been life at home with just mom or just dad and occasionally both of us. There’s so much to say about this topic alone but my mind is sparking to my cough and what does the soul want to say when it burns down to your chest, and why do the bees love our basil so but basically neglect all the flowers, and when will the Calico Cat show us her kitten, and how lucky I’ve been to be able to spend a sweaty sleepless almost two weeks tossing and turning and doing so much soul work, releasing so many layers of hurt, freeing my soul one entangled feather at a time towards its own light. I am so lucky.
Christmas brings up all sorts of odd thoughts and feelings. One is how much I wish we weren’t fed the lies that have turned us into such rabied consumers, hence…
1- Thoughts on Consumerism (Not Pretty)
and then of course, what happened literally two minutes later that restored my faith in mankind…
2- An Angel Outside of Consumeristic Hell
3- Waaaaay Back Then:
I think of that year I made a styrofoam and skewer Christmas tree for I was sick of being the only Jewish kid in class. I remember Brandy making me a Christmas gift of friendship pins and how mine was one of five presents under their miniature tree in that life of deep poverty they lived in. I think of how I’m dealing with my first world problems like how my eldest keeps stealing my phone charger and then my battery dies and I could kill her, and how the kids are never going to outgrow the wet towel stage or turn the lights off in their rooms (and still, yet again, about the Syrian refugees).
And I mostly think about Poverty for Christmas and the Ying Yang of Living Without and how those two and also I Know Nothing and Used Toilet Paper and The Oddities of the West all say everything I could say about Christmas and the real way to celebrate any holiday and all of that.
We were sure that exposing our children to other children in poverty would shift something deep and profound in their psyche. We knew that after playing with kids dressed in rags, with dirt floors, that they would suddenly understand the uselessness of stuff and appreciate their plenty. On our world travel curriculum was modesty, appreciation, and non-materialism. Children in poverty would surely do it. But, no.
In La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica, one of my kids went to play at a local friend’s house, and returned ten minutes later because “it’s so boring over there. Who would want to be in that dump? There wasn’t even a door on the bathroom; there’s all these big holes in the walls and floor. And besides, they have NO TOYS!” I wanted to violently shake my child, “Can you draw any other conclusions from this experience? What about…” But, my words fell on deaf ears.
I reluctantly have to accept that life lessons take time and I can’t possibly expect my child, developmentally, to be where I am today. When I was my kids’ ages, I invited every kid in the class to my Chuckie Cheese or Roller-skating parties, not because I necessarily loved them all, but because I wanted their presents. I understand where my kids are. – from Poverty for Christmas
4- These Days:
And yet, I feel deep inside that there is more that I want to say. I want you to know why I got off the radar and why I’ve pulled away from social media and even writing the blog. A lot of it was also about my chronic pain that left me handicapped to write, read, play guitar, meditate or do all that then defined me as a Who I Thought I Was. But more of it was knowing that there is a me, like a you, that knows a strong truth about What Is True that you don’t find online.
So, I created these three videos explaining where we went, and why (except when we’re on assignment and traveling again) you won’t see us online much. Here goes (and they are really real):
Off the Stage and Social Media- Why I Got Off the Radar- Part One
What is Most Important: Part Two
The Ugly Shades of Online: Part Three
5- The Withdrawal from Addiction- Facebook updates:
6- I Love Santa
And still, I have to take this Christmas time to say how much we adored Santa and how I wanted to cry from pure joy to be near him, and hug him, and feel his loving words. Our time in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland was beyond magical. We will go back again and yet, something romantically child-like and very Christmasy and loving gushed out of me when we met this remarkably kind and caring man [thank you dear, kind, beautiful friends at Lapland Safaris!].
And so, Christmas this year in Israel is just a day for us, like any other, but one that we celebrated with those around us when we traveled and one which we respect and joyfully hope your brings great happiness to those who celebrate it. For us, it’s another day to love, to see the blessings, to mark how the kids have grown and enjoy All That Is. Just like we wouldn’t wait for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s to mark our love; so it is with Christmas, for us, just serves as another reminder that people value family and togetherness and traditions and hopefully warm, fuzzy childhood memories.
7- My Life
It’s good. It’s all good. We’re still slowly settling into life in Israel and again, for two months, I’m the single mom and shifting. Shifting from sane to slightly insane family dynamics (will my kids always fight like crazy people?); shifting from quiet (hours alone) to ridiculously noisy (again, those gosh darn magical bombshell fired up kids!); shifting from being at dis-ease to being so comfortable leaning back into my health, into my life, and even into my gremlins.
I’m watching for daily signs that our lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage and strawberries are settling into their lives here too (which has been a bit hard since our Kitty Cat’s best friend Kali feels the very land they are sitting in is her personal litter box. So Mara of her!). Dahnya is in a good phase- making new friends, performing on stage (she was unreal!), and finding her niche- so far, far away from the Middle School Hell of last year. Orazi and Solai are good, really good too.
Life feels right here and no, we could not imagine ourselves traveling at all. We’re so happy here we’re even debating if we want to move around this summer. (I know!) We’ve got cuddly cats and the kids each have their own room (and Orazi has his online addictions of his own) and the kids think they could suffer through up to three weeks of nomadic life.
How ironic it all is! I feel our parents let us raise ourselves and were not involved enough so we do 180 degrees and stay in their face and homeschool, worldschool, and cohabitate the world in very close relations. Now that our kids have lived on the globe, watch, they’ll either never settle anywhere and keep shifting up their lives OR (more likely) they will settle down in some 9-5 stable life and never move an inch.
(god, i loooooove this one. don’t know whom to credit for it though.)
8- And The Bow…
I’d love to take this opportunity to bless you and your family with all that brings your heart joy. May you have many quiet moments, much laughter, and always a place for that next dream and adventure yet hold them lightly as you live in the Right Now. May you lean into your life, your health, and your gremlins and do the emotional and spiritual work your soul agreed to do when she came. May you see how truly blessed and rich you are in so many huge and small ways, and may you find the patience to practice seeing the miracles that Already Are. May you love yourself and treat yourself and those around you with the highest respect and honor. May you find something you are passionate about and be there.
From our family to yours,
Gabi, Kobi, Dahnya, Orazi and Solai Klaf (and now Kitty Cat, Ash, Kali, and Jijitsu too sometimes when Kali lets him enter the yard)
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Liquified Homelessness– all time classic with great pics
I Hate This Home, and That One and This One– really great videos and shots from around the wold
Oh The Places You Will Go– a sum up of a three year world adventure in amazing photos
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Thank you dearly,
Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Dahnya, and Orazi