We are back for part 2 of the interview with Gabi and her Nomadic Family (although soon they will not be nomadic anymore). I asked Gabi, the self-acclaimed mother of insanity, about the benefits of traveling the world. But let’s first check what dreams the family have made come true by traveling the world. Click here if you have not yet read part 1 of the interview.
Gabi, before you left on your trip around the world there were dreams. What dreams have you made come true?
I’ve lost 15 kilos and toned my body, authored several inspirational books, learned to play guitar, and deeply immersed myself in Buddhism and meditation. Kobi earned his Open Water Diving Certification in Taganga, Colombia, his Advanced Open Water in Koh Rong, Cambodia, and is currently becoming a Dive Master in Moalboal, Philippines. Our kids have scuba dove, water-river rafted, and surfed around the world. They are multi-lingual sponges who have had more life-changing experiences than I can recount.
All of these are dreams inside of dreams inside of dreams. Ironically, the greatest dreams we’ve experienced have cost us next to nothing, were completed unplanned, and have left us all in awe. We’ve met the King of Cambodia, have found true friends throughout the globe, and have had our safety preserved and our very fate determined by the extreme kindness of perfect strangers.
What has your family gained from your world travels?
Besides these unreal dreams come true, the greatest gift has been the time and space to discover ourselves, as a family and as individuals. We believe in unmodern parenting and thus highly treasure un-plugged, bored kids who have to figure out how to face themselves and fill those voids with meaning. We’ve learned how to create a meaningful existence out of total freedom, which I must say is much harder than it seems. We’ve also found family healing in its fullest glory on the road. We can’t escape to the office, school, the other room, or busy work so we simply have to face it. Not being able to avoid the normal pimples and hiccups of family life, has been maddening at times, but remarkably rewarding. We have become such a close, bonded unit of five souls who know, without a doubt, that this is our greatest gift from world travel.
If traveling the world is so amazing, why would you want to end the nomadic life?
Kobi and I would do this forever, but our kids have different dreams. Though they love traveling, make great friends everywhere we go and still gush over the coolest things they’ve seen and done, they want a normal childhood. They dream of going to school, birthday parties, and hanging out with their cousins and grandparents. And because we deeply value those relationships and realize that all five of us need to lead fulfilling lives, we’re hanging up our backpacks next summer. We hope that after a year back home, they’ll be ready to hit the road again, but if not, then we’ll find other creative ways to fulfill the adventure spirit in us during the summers and vacations.
Talking about adventure spirits, where in the world have you been?
- USA- 2 ½ months. Time with family & friends in Houston, RV through the Rocky Mountains.
- Costa Rica- 4 months. Volunteered in ranch community, kids attended school.
- Panama- 3 ½ months. Both Kobi and I worked and volunteered. We love Boquete!
- Colombia- 1 ½ months. Kobi’s meets his diving passion. Cartagena Reina Festival 11/11/11.
- Ecuador- 2 ½ months. Lived in jungle with indigenous tribe, kids attend school, became one with the river, Kobi got dengue (take two)/
- Peru- 3 ½ months. Lived in a tent on the beaches of Huanchaco, lived for 2 ½ months in Lima.
- Thailand- 1 month. Spent like a local in Kanchanaburi, off the River Kwai.
- Cambodia- 8 months. Serious soul work, amazing family time. We love Cambodians!
- Vietnam- 1 month. Dalat, our first cold mountain-home in South East Asia! Oh cold!
- Malaysia- 3 ½ months. Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Cameron Highlands, Melaka. Oh, loved it all.
Note: If you want to know more about any of these destinations, please check the website or leave a comment below!
Serendipitous friends (you call them angels) are the best – you never know when a new friend crosses your path. Please shortly introduce two of your most valuable angels to us.
Oh God, that is so hard. Two. Oh. Well, these days there is Raffy, the retarded boy who lives across the street from us. We found a cheaper place to live but I refused to move, cuz then I couldn’t watch Raffy through the window playing with his dog or hugging his cousin or sitting there two hours early ready for school. Raffy is one. We’ve got a series about him and what this angel is teaching us on the Nomadic Family, but the real angelhood theories about retarded angels is here.
Angel number two. (Deep breath). There have been a few souls, Emiel, a few backpackers and locals who have taken our breathes away in their kindness, and blinded us in their light. They have taught us to love ourselves, to believe in your family, and to push forward even when things didn’t look so good. They have taught us, not only in sharing their lives with us, but also in having to say goodbye, that everything comes and goes, everything changes, and above all, that love remains in your heart forever, even if you never get to see them again.
One of the more bittersweet sides of living on the road is that goodbye is intrinsic to it all. That no matter how many times we say we won’t fall in love, we do, and it hurts to leave each time. So I didn’t give you angel number two cuz so many beautiful faces came flashing before me, Emiel. I will show you this video that show me crying from (like you asked earlier) for telling an angel goodbye and this post an old khmer woman/angel in the soft dusk light.
Back to normal life, thinking about the angels you have met and said goodbye to while on the road. But we are not there yet. What’s to come before you return to ‘normal life’ in 2014?
- Philippines- we’ll be here until mid-August = 2 ½ months
- Nepal – doing an amazing Annapurna trekking
- India- 8 months, Kids attend Waldorf school in Goa
- Israel- ????? – Welcome Home! (breathe, Gabi, breathe)
From November, we’ve registered the kids to a Waldorf school in Goa, India. They are soooo excited to be in a learning environment like the one we founded in Israel. They have missed that dearly.
I’ve registered for my second 10-day silent Vippasana Meditation and plan to intensively study Yoga, meditation, and natural healing. Travel has exasperated my soul-cleaning journey and I look forward to all the spiritual inspiration India has to offer me. Kobi will figure out what he wants to do there, but if there is diving, we’re pretty sure what he’ll be investing his time in. We look forward to 8 months in India.
India! India is amazing. One of our favorite countries as you know very well Gabi. India will leave you flabbergasted, one of the most impressive travel experiences we ever had.
You told me earlier Gabi about the e-book that you are writing, Gifts of the Road? What is it?
Gifts of the Road is a symphony of travel bloggers across the globe sharing what the road has given them. Gifts of the Road is an inspirational compilation of all the most romantic and insightful reasons to step out of your comfort zone, and travel to distant lands. Gifts of the Road is our hallmark for persistence and determination to reaching the dreams dearest to our hearts. The almost-completed Gifts of the Road e-book was actually lost back in mid-2012 when hard-drive number four suddenly crashed. Slowly, I have found the inspiration to pick up these projects, almost from zero, and start to build them again. Gifts of the Road is the first baby I’ve attempted to reconstruct. It will be available very soon!
Still lots of adventures in the near future! Is there anything you wish to add, Gabi?
Yes. Thank you for allowing me this space to share our adventures and our dreams with your readers. Will we ever be “normal” again? No, but, we were dancing to the beat of a different drum far before we become nomadic. Will we return enriched, changed, and grateful? Totally. After three and a half years of wearing flip flops or being barefoot all day, of not having a cell phone, of doing what we felt like whenever the hell we felt like it, will we feel choked and trapped in a society that demands of us to participate in its fast-paced dance? (Gulp). That too will be an adventure, a mountain in its own right that we will cross, also, when we get there. ☺