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Monday, March 26

How 14 Nomadic Families Afford World Travel

When I used to hear of families traveling the globe, I’d drool and hate them. They obviously won the lottery, were rolling in the dough, or were heavily involved in drugs/prostitution/something immoral to be able to afford this lifestyle. I considered all of those options, and when none of them panned out so well (least of all the prostitution idea- which I thought could be fun!); we changed our lifestyle, and guess what… We became one of them.
I asked 14 nomadic families to answer in a few short sentences just this one, very direct, question: How Do You Afford Your Family World Travel Lifestyle? And their remarkably simple answers leave me inspired (again), and honored to be in their ranks. Jessica, Nancy, Monica, Mary, Amy, Amy, Jesse James, Theodora, Alisa, Keryn, Lainie, Jennifer, Justin, and Gabi’s responses all resonant the same financial truth:  If you will it, it will become.
Discover  how these 14 very normal, middle class, everyday people are living out their family world travel dreams.

Sunday, March 11

Too Much Sex Talk- Uncensored World Schooling

Discovery comes in all sorts of lovely shapes and sizes, don't it dear? Unplanned on our world curriculum has been marvelous lessons on, let's see...
-Alcoholism (Raging, cursing, perpetually drunk at hostel. 10 am whiskey shots, anyone?)
-Parenting (Flaming hot chili peppers in mouth of boy who cursed. They really got his attention.)
-Sexual Pleasure (See what the Moche People at Chan Chan, Peru have taught our kids!)

Well, the world doesn't censor what it will teach our children. And it is in losing control of that censorship, that we all have grown and discovered.

Thursday, March 8

Power Outages of the Soul

Another breath-taking Taganga sunset
  It was in Taganga,Colombia that we fell in love again with the sunset. It was our first time living off the ocean since Las Lajas, Panama. And what waters they were; and what sunsets- round, whole, orange fleeting sunsets. Taganga is basically your overrated fisherman's town which tourist flock to for no apparent reason. They have too many power outages, not much too to do, and overpriced corner stores; in addition to, a charm that is hard to verbalize and a laid back energy hard to emulate. We fell in love with Taganga, Colombia. She, and the powerful life lesson she taught us, stay stay fondly imprinted in our minds and hearts.

Monday, March 5

We Could Have Found This Back Home

So, why, why do we need to be traveling the globe, if we can find this at home? What's the point of leaving everything you know to discover what was already there? Maybe we sometimes need that space, that distance away from all that safety to see things clearly? Maybe we sometimes need to be far, before we can see what is so close? And so, as I joyfully (and hurriedly) interview Chris from Chile; I discovered one of the most precious gifts of the road.(It's revealed at the very very end of this post...)

Monday, February 27

The Mundane/Amazing- Hamburgers for Your Belated Birthday

"I am so happy, I cannot be contained in the world;
But like a spirit, I am hidden from the eyes of the world.
If the foot of the trees were not tied to earth, they would be pursuing me;
For I have blossomed so much, I am the envy of the gardens."

-Rumi (it's always time for Rumi....)

Going through the hundreds of video files in which we recorded our everyday mundane/amazing. And it was, and so it is back home, in your home, too, I bet. Those little things like celebrating someone's birthday by making a festive meal... Those little moments when you danced, or someone hugged you, or that song on the radio brought you back to just that one magical mundane moment, just then.

Friday, February 24

Reading Aloud the Real Stuff- The Gammage Cup

This was a very, very special entry for me, something deep and personally significant from my youth has come full circle. As I read to my children, The Gammage Cup, a book that meant so much to me in my youth; I witnessed my soul growing deeper. How blessed, how unearthily lucky am I to have had this amazing time to veg and be and grow with my family?

And to be honest, though I adore my family to pieces, and though I would gladly overturn the world to do good to my children; this family world travel thing has done good to what I believe in the most important person of all: me. Now, here me out. I'm not (just) egotistical here, I'm serious.

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

After two months after leaving the States and moving to Israel, my dear friends Efrat and Sarai came to visit us in Kiryat Shemona. Efrat leans down to then-three-and-a-half-year-old Dahnya and asks, "How do you like your new home?" No answer.

"Dahnya, can you understand the abstract concept of the word 'home'?" Silence. Dahnya looks deep in thought. She then looks up into Efrat's shining face, "No".

"Oh, oh, I'm Coming Hoooome. Home is Wherever I'm With You." And so, we seek a new home, a new resting ground to lay our heads down in, and feel like we (even for the moment) belong there. I guess that is how the true nomads feel, always resettling down in the next "home", but always knowing that "home" is just where they are, together, with each. And so it is with us, home is where we are, together. Here's a couple of videos that show that process for us...

Sunday, February 19

Paying The Tolls of My Soul

The deeper things in life surface when you live a carefree, obligation-free, life of exploration. We keep passing the toll road booths of Peru, keep getting out our small change, holding our budget spiral in our hands, with sweaty palms and bated breath, ready to mark down that expense.... and we don’t. Similarly, I keep learning, reading, growing, thinking I’ve reached some inner plateau of peace and tranquility… and I don’t.

Friday, February 17

4:38 am I Have No Words, So I'll Use None

It's too much for me. What is coming up and out of me this mid-early morning is too much for me to process, too much for me to swallow; and so I won't. I'll cry, I'll let it out, I'll try to do something with the energy so that it won't choke my soul anymore. Don't worry. It's all good growing pains sort of stuff. This time a bit too private to share, but I would like to share (cuz it helps me to do so) what is soothing me as I sit on the concrete floor in my hostel in Lima,Peru. My dearest Regina Spektor [the artist] is here with me.

I have no words, so I'll use none (of mine) . They are in the order that I'm watching them (and they are doing such a great job ).  The last one is the best.

Wednesday, February 15

The Worse Family Travel Advice I've Ever Read

My fellow nomadic families and I were pretty ticked off by this ridiculous "travel expert" article that claimed that traveling with kids is hell. The article is really not worth focusing any energy (or clicks) on as the author clearly doesn't have kids; and if she does (poor things), she obviously thinks her job as a parent is to shut them up with fried foods, electronic entertainment, and tons of consumeric purchases.  So besides generating traffic by pissing people off, the only other good thing that has come out of this content-less e-garbage is that it has inspired our community to (yet again) join together and share our truths. So, now, it is my honor to take you from The Worst Family Travel Advice I've Ever Read to The Top Four Uncommon Family Travel Tips You Typically Won't Hear . 

Friday, February 10

Who Can Sense Revelation in the Wind?

And here is the first glimpse, in the pouring rain, of the home that will change us forever. Little did we know that these two rooms, those mosquito nets, that river, the dining hall, the nothingness all day, the school our kids attended and we volunteered in, the community of friends we'd make, the six of us (our family +Adir) would create unimaginable magic that forever, forever will be in our hearts.
It's a quick short soaking wet glimpse into a world unfolding before our eyes.

"Who can sense revelation in the wind?" (Princess Bride)

Wednesday, February 8

I'm Sorry

Monday, January 9

The Holy Land: Our Favorite Family Things to Do


Israel is a tiny, complicated, precious country, and the only one we call home. She boasts God-kissed mountains, arid deserts, breath-taking waterfalls, and world-famous beaches; more patents, scientists, published books, and inventions per capita than any other nation in the world; world-renown and internationally critical historical, archeological, and religious sites. . Israelis are strong-willed, stubborn, out-spoken, warm-hearted, and intense people. Israelis are always-ready to tell you how to raise your child, open his home up to a perfect strangers, and laugh at the sometimes harder shades of life.  With mandatory military service (3 years for boys; a year and eight months for girls) shaping its people's character, Israelis and Israel is a constant foil of soft and hard, bitter and sweet, surreal and mundane. 

These are our top family things to do around Israel. 

Monday, December 26

Glimpses into a Rancher's Life.

Life on the ranch in La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica and in neighboring Florencia allowed us to experience so much we had never touched or tasted before. From hitchhiking on the back of an open trucks, to rainforest exhibitions by kindly neighbors, to working on the farm to fishing to volunteering, to getting really bored... Here's a smattersborge(?) of some of that precious, crazy, new life.

Friday, November 25

Poverty for Christmas

This December, over 2.1 billion Christians will celebrate the Christmas season.  Children around the world will wait with baited breath for brightly colored packages under the tree. A huge majority of the Westerm parents will spend more money than they can afford, buy more unnecessary garbage that will clutter their homes, and will kill more trees and natural resources on gift wrapping that will end up in the trash the day after. We won't.
 Why? We have a deeper agenda for Christmas 2011.

Sunday, November 20

The Ying Yang of Living Without

Life is all about ‘living with’ and ‘living without’. Have kids or don’t; eat healthy food or don’t; travel the world or don’t. Live with, live without. Each path has its definite perks and downfalls. So, we’ve chosen to travel the world, we’ve chosen to stack our cards and organize our lives in a way that has enabled  long-term nomadic family travel. It’s the cosmic ying-yang of our life choices.

Has it been easy? No. Have we had our doubts? Often. Has it been worth it? Absolutely.

Saturday, November 19

La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica- June 20

You never fall in love for the first time, again. This was our first taste of Latin America: strong, sweet, and now, bittersweet. La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica. (I can't say it without a sigh).
A loving glimpse back at a simplier life, one that was ours not that long ago; and yet, it feels like a lifetime ago. The following is a touching entry from my personal journal on Monday, June 20th, 2011. Then, we were living life as volunteers, life as locals, life in a rural school, life on the ranch. Ahh. Teary-eyed as I read it.

Thursday, November 10

Wednesday Wanderers- Roger the Panamanian Taxi Driver

Meet Roger. He's a 60 year old taxi driver who's madly in love with his country. He likes to talk economics and politics and reveals the secret to a good life-rum. Roger is one example of the goldmine of amazing people we are meeting along the way, people who are really teaching us (and our children) that the world is fully of remarkable people; and when you open your heart, when you turn to people with genuine curiosity, they will tell your their story.

Saturday, November 5

My Biggest Travel Mistake

We all make mistakes, and I'm pretty much at peace with mine. OK, so when I enthusiastically whipped out my camera to take a picture of those armed soldiers who didn't smile back at me, and Kobi (with rich military experience) told me sharply, "They have silencers on their M16's. Put the F--- camera away now!" Ok, so that was a little mistake. And when we pushed our kids through 40 hours of hell travel to save $1000- we could revisit that. And that time we went to sleep at a total stranger's house when we arrived at 12:30 am to a scary town, and we kept whispering to each other in Hebrew, "If he doesn't murder us, it should be quite nice!"

Wednesday, November 2

What Would You Put Your Family Through To Save $1000?- Part One

Looking back, we would never have done it this way. But, hey; we're all geniuses in hindsight, right?

As we enter of third continent in our world travels; our nomadic family experienced the longest, hardest journey to date. This journey, lasting two never-ending days and nights was from Panama City, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia. It entailed a taxi, a plane, two boats, a minibus, a bus, and one final taxi. Total en route time of 40 hours, in which 30 hours of it was in motion.

Sunday, October 30

Bells of a Past Long Gone

We heard the bell ringing. Like that great scene in the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  when they romanticize 'the candy man' who brings sunshine to the world; we turned, and behold THE ICE CREAM MAN! He's calmly meandering down the street in his orange shirt; we're hysterically running to the house to find Kobi (well, actually his wallet). But the 'ice cream man' means a lot more to us than just sweet coldness.To us, it signifies a past long gone.