Meet The Nomadic Family- Kobi, Gabi, Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai. Gabi Klaf is mother, wife, therapist and overall remarkable person. Gabi and her Nomadic Family are traveling the world and blog about it at www.thenomadicfamily.com. Mind you, talking about neurotic, raw, dirty but honest content, this is not your regular travel blog! Don’t worry, just like I do, you will love her, her family and the way they live their unconventional lives. They have an important story to tell.
The Nomadic Family left their comfy lives in March 2011 for a nomadic one. They left thriving careers, an experimental school they helped found, a loving community of family and friends, and the breeze blessing their lovely mountain-side home in the Upper Galilee Valley of Northern Israel. Now, in year three of non-stop world travel, they see that this dream, also, must come to an end.
Gabi, breaking news: In the summer of 2014 the Nomadic Family will no longer be nomadic. Are you sad, happy, disappointed or maybe relieved? How do you feel?
When I wrote The Nomadic Family No Longer Nomadic it didn’t feel so great. It was as if something tragic and awful was sinking in and we had to figure out how to wrap our heads around it.
Today, it feels natural and great. To know that all good things come to an end, and all bad things too. To know that there is no need, no value in holding on to that which is no longer. You know, Emiel, just today, Kobi hugged me in the dive shop here in Moalboal, Philippines and said, “It’s just us and always will be. No matter where we are in the world or back home. It’s just us, learning every day.” So, there are things I dread in life back home, like being nice to people I don’t like and cleaning a house, but there are things I can’t wait for, like my backyard, a closet of clothing (as opposed to a small bag squished into a backpack), and my kitchen counter where I can sprout and use a blender for juice shakes for breakfast.
I know you feel nervous about returning home….what does ‘home’ mean after your three year trip around the world?
OMG yes! I don’t know how I will be a home-body again. Even though, hard to believe, we all are, even now, on the road. We don’t travel like most people. We like to describe it like this: Most people use water colors, they softly brush the surface. We finger paint.We move in with the locals, get dirty, cry and laugh with them, become a part of their lives, and them ours. So, we usually settle down in places for a very long time, the longest being where you are going so soon Emiel, Siem Reap, Cambodia. We lived in the Garden Village Guesthouse for FIVE MONTHS. We are total home bodies.
I Hate This Home, and That One, and This One is a beautifully written essay on what home means to Gabi.
Reading that essay really makes me redefine ‘home’. But let’s go back now to when it all started. What made your leave your lives back home and become The Nomadic Family?
The kids had a fairytale sort of life, but Kobi wasn’t a part of it. He was the breadwinner in a soul-draining, back-stabbing, hi-tech job. Somewhere after mild heart attack number two but before Breakdown Number 57, we decided that there must be another way. We read some inspirational books that changed our definition of success and made us realize that there were other options out there. We thought we’d last 6 months, and well, here we are, currently in the Philippines in month 29.
What would you say to a family who wants to travel around the world?
Save, save, save. Easier said than done, I know. But, we both took second jobs, cut expenses to a bare minimum, and found creative solutions to get our finances in line. We got out of debt and then started shoving every shekel we could into savings. We talk a lot about finances on our site for we know that that was a huge hurdle for us. We’re asked all the time how we afford this lifestyle and feel honored to share realistic information that can help others make their dreams come true too.
Gabi, your site is full of very intimate, sometimes controversial, sharing. You even call yourself the mother of insanity. Can you tell us why you share so much with your readers?
Yes, I do shamelessly talk about all of those topics that you would never expect to find on a travel blog. Why? Because I believe that being raw and honest and open, that I can best inspire others to live in their truth. Travel isn’t easy, marriage isn’t easy, parenting isn’t easy, life isn’t easy, and yet, you see picture-perfect, plastic sharing everywhere. I want to show the neurotic, raw, dusty, teary, and sweaty sides of my soul and family life on the road too, and through that sharing, bring like-minded souls closer to the story-telling campfire.
When I look at your videos, they are so honest and natural. Was there any hurdle you had to overcome before looking into the camera and opening up yourself to the whole world?
Emiel, you know me, I love a good cry, and do it often to the camera. As a family and trauma therapist and a group therapy leader, I’ve always found that by sharing my vulnerability and my pain with others, I create a safe space for others to enter into. I find that by being real and raw, and not pretending like we are picture-perfect, I legitimize to others that they too are normal, even in those insane moments. I find that by being real, I get real people to love me back, I get real comments from real souls who say, “you made me cry” or “you made me laugh really hard” or “you make me feel normal”. So, even on the road, or later when we’re back home, I want to keep being real. That’s the only way I can imagine being.
What is your big infatuation with dreams? You talk about it a lot.
Dreams are what keep us alive. We believe that the imagination is stronger than reality. We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer because, we believe, that this one chance at life is all we’ve got, and therefore, it is our obligation to make the absolute most out of it. We are all about pushing towards our dreams. Even though you’ll find us whining from time to time about why they are not happening faster, after we kick and scream, we take action.
What dreams have you made come true?
I’ve lost…..[ to be continued ]
That’s a real cliffhanger! In part 2 of this interview I will show you the dreams that the Nomadic Family have made come true. Next to that Gabi will share her ideas of the benefits of world travels and the value of serendipitous friends.
If you have any questions to Gabi, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.