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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.

Tuesday, October 25

Wednesday Wanderers- International House Sitting With Cat

Cat Vann (in pink) with Dahnya and Dell
As we travel the world we meet all sorts of awesome people. Some travel the scale the globe; some stay near their nest. Some travel alone; some with kids. Some sprint on vacation; some meander slowly as a way of life. But, every single one of them is a fascinating person with a great story to tell.These fine folks have honored us all by sharing their messages with us. You're gonna love our new series Wednesday Wanderers.  

Wednesday Wanderers highlights the unforgettable saga of mankind towards his own truth: locals, fellow travelers; people who have found creative ways to many money and sustain their world travels; people with strong opinions about the way things should be; people just getting by, living their life one day at a time; and people who are changing our international world one small footstep at a time.

Friday, October 21

Happy 37th Birthday Gabi

Hi and welcome. If you've only just arrived, here's a hug to you. Our family, husband Kobi, wife (that's me) Gabi, and three unearthly patient children Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai are traveling around the world. They are unearthly patient not because they don't kick each other in the bathroom over who gets to spit first in the kitchen sink, or because they think we don't know that they blackmail and bribe and threaten each other for candy and such; they are unearthly patient cuz their parents are dragging them all across the globe and have really creative ideas about education and the meaning of life and family, and they are very patient with us as we try to figure that all out.

Thursday, October 20

How It Feels Not To Feel Guilty

Last night officially ended the Jewish High Holy Days. It's a string of four holidays strung over the period of a month. Besides the Holy of Days in which (if you're a good Jew) you fast for your sins; the rest of the holidays are filled with celebrating, eating, reflecting, appreciation. All of that cleansing and  renewal is just behind us and besides the bananas browning and the rains starting earlier in the day, nothing indicates to me the passage of time, of a new year. It's September so my kids are 'supposed' to be starting another school year. I'm 'supposed' to be entering my soul and reflecting on what I feel guilty about, and I come out blank. My mind and soul are blank; I am totally at rest; I don't feel guilty about anything at all.

Wednesday, October 19

An Apple A Day

Benjamin Franklin was beyond wise in his untimely advise about eating right, sleeping right, and moving your body for optimal health. But my dear friend Ben probably didn't travel the world (actually he did!) and he probably didn't eat for emotional comfort (I have no idea on this one!). Ok, so screw Ben, I have no excuses here. I'm not standing up to the nutritional standards I strive to. And when I'm not beating myself up for wolfing down sugary/starchy things at night while I chug away at the keyboard; I'm actually quite proud, amazed, and fascinated by how well we have been able to bring a strongly-accented raw food diet stably into the ever-changing, every-alluring world of international travel. And so, enjoy our "apple a day"- sprouting (detailed instructional video at the end) ....

Monday, October 17

These Small Hours

In Meet the Robinson's Rob Thomas sings "All life remains in these small hours", and I know it, I know it, now. Until we can catch up (never) and make a video of it, I 'd like to share a collection of videos dear to my heart. This, This, This is why we are a nomadic family traveling the globe. Not to discover foreign lands (an added bonus), not to raise trilingual children (looks good on a resume), not to create open-minded world citizens (though it's cool), and surely, not to live our one life to the fullest by making our dreams come true (ok, so I'm almost lying). But, why do this nomadic family thing? Watch the videos and find out! (and tell me what you think!)

Saturday, October 15

International American Dreams

Once upon a time, I woke up and realized that I have had a pretty transformational journey towards, around, over, and through the American Dream. Unlike most of the Americans around me; I am a naturalized citizen to the United States of America. It was not my born right to live the life of privilege that I did. My American Dream began in 1975 when my parents came to the land where "money grows on trees". We had an eventful roller coaster of being rich with a private plane, pool, and live-maid to declaring bankruptcy.  Maybe I had to taste the world of  materialism and consumerism  (My parents' American Dream) to reach my own dream?

Wednesday, October 12

How To Make Money As You Travel The World- Part One- Ryan at Half Throttle

We were lucky enough today to bump into Ryan at were we lucky? A few reasons:

a- he's a nice guy and jumped on the trampoline with my kids
b- he's a nice guy and ate my food even though he's a picky eater
c- he showed us how to finally use adobe premiere so that we can start making decent videos with cool effects
d- he is another great role model for those who wish to travel the world and make money.

Sunday, October 9

No One Told Me I'd Be Lonely


This entry has video of me crying, cuz I'm really sad. The kids lately have missed their friends; Kobi misses having friends. I was the empathetic listener, until I broke down, and felt something missing, empty too.  I miss having people who love me and have known me for a loooooong time [These are Gold]. As a nomadic family traveling the world, we are constantly meeting new. beautiful strangers-turned-friends. [Those are Silver]. But, because I suck at keeping up with people; I feel sad. Of course, in a second, I could fix that; but I don't. These are the sad moments when I feel lonely on the road as we travel the world.

Saturday, October 8

Dirty and Injured..

Back in the day when we homeschooled, a parenting school graduate of mine (and dear friend) took the kids for 10 hours a week to explore the world. Yael would take my three darlings out to nature trails, places of work, and anywhere that magnetized them, to learn from the serendipitous magic of whatever came up. My directions to her were always the same, "For me to consider this day with you a successful one, you are required to do two things: return my children to me dirty and injured"..

Wednesday, October 5

10 Nomadic Families Traveling the World, 7 Continents: How They Afford It

Way back when, when I would hear of some family scaling the globe; I assumed they were rich. They had to be. Who can retire in their thirties or forties and travel the world? When I was 36, my family had begun traveling the world and thus became a nomadic family; and then I knew, you don't have to be rich to live this dream lifestyle. Turns out, a vast majority of nomadic families are not. Almost all of them, in fact, are quite normal, everyday people who dreamed big, and saved bigger. They envisioned something they wanted, and went for it. Below you will find out how 10 nomadic families have afforded their world travel dreams. May our collective frugality, persistence, creativity, and courage inspire you to look into your own life, and seriously contemplate this once way-out-of-reach dream as plausible. this is great.

Monday, October 3

Sick Chicks

As a nomadic family, it doesn't make sense to have any pets. Back home in Israel, we had a dog for 15 1/2 years (who was hit by a car the year before we left) and several adorable cats. We are animal people and so, it's been nice to have chicks in our lives on the road. It's nice until they get less fuzzy and Mommy has to beg the kids to take care of them. (That's another story). This blog reflects our lives with chicks, in pictures and in movies, and all the amazing lessons children get to learn having pets in their lives: responsibility, physical affection, and the cycle of life.

Friday, September 30

Oh Shit! A Snake!

As of a few days ago, we were living in a cabana in Northern Panama and GABI SAW A SNAKE AND IT SCARED HER TO DEATH. (For the record, of the colorful list of things that Gabi is scared of snakes is very high up there.)The attached pictures reflect Kobi's [actual] bravery in searching for the serpent; while I stand on a chair and scream when he pulls up a black sock from the shrubbery. The later pictures reflect my decision to be brave [theoretically] after Kobi has left and I have an e-book to finish. And (the best of last) the video shows Gabi seconds after she has seen the snake and quite freaking out!

Wednesday, September 28

New Friends in Old Places

This is our fifth time in Panama. My father moved here back in '99. He remarried to a Panamanian woman and created his own little tropical paradise, if you will. So, the Chiriqui District of Panama is very familiar and precious to us. Over the years, we've made dear friends with a local family here and have had the honor of watching them (and them watching us) grow. Today, we met something else. Something new, something special.

Friday, September 23

It's a Dog's World

Kobi loves dogs. He always has. As we travel the world as a nomadic family; he finds himself gravitating towards them. We could be on a mountain hike up Volcan Baru, Panama; at an outdoor show in Houston's Miller Outdoor Theater; or in a park in San Jose, Costa Rica; and we Kobi suddenly disappears. He's found some dog dragging his owner by the leash or jumping up on people, and our dog trainer is there, engaging the owner in conversation and offering some tips. This entry is dedicated to the work work and volunteer work Kobi has done around the globe empowering dog owners to be leaders and helping shelter dogs become more adoptable.

If I Only Knew Then

As a Skype family therapist, my parenting clients stutter when I ask them "what will your chicks have under their wing when they fly from the nest? What tools will you have given them to lead meaningful, joyful, productive lives?" And when I ask myself those questions too, I stutter. I want to teach them so much, but there's always soooo much to do. "One day' I'll get around to that, too. And if I don't get around to it as I travel the world, when the hell will I?

Tuesday, September 20

The US in Twelve Minutes

Life is not a dress rehearsal. We believe that this is our one and only shot at life, and nothing guarantees that we'll even be around tomorrow. Hence, when we set out for this nomadic family world dream; we also hoped for a smaller USA RV dream. We found a Cruise America deal for only $12 a night! Unreal! 
We loved experiencing the desert, snow, mountains, rivers, new friends, and (best of all) hearing our kids speak in English! This entry depicts that journey.
Below,  we posted an amazing 12 min video of this RV Trip.


As a nomadic family, educating our children has always been a huge priority for us. In addition to the meeting people of the world, seeing new lands, learning new languages, and the street smarts that come with world travel; we also want to expose them to an educational curriculum rich in what we value. This entry reflects our many teachers along the way and some of what we've all learned.

Monday, September 19

Bad Ideas and Precious Moments

As a nomadic family, it is hard to describe what our lives were like living on the ranch in La Lucha de la Tigra for 6 weeks. Sort of like your first summer camp experience, ranch life was one of our first steps in Latin America and our first time to volunteer on our trip. We were wrapped in total love and friendship; and fell in love. (One of the reasons we've pulled back from volunteering as a family in Panama. For it really hurt to fall in love, and then say goodbye).   In this entry, we've summarized a few cool days; glimpses, if you will, into the honored lives we were blessed to taste.

Saturday, September 10


It’s Monday morning. We went for our morning exercise, all five of us.
First round, second round: I'm with kids and Kobi, talking, singing, laughing.Third round. This time I'm alone. My sweet nomadic family has all gone to shower. And, alone, exercising, (very much like writing) my mind and soul do their best scrubbing. Here’s the three shattered things that I recall running through my mind.

Peaceful Days

Part of peaceful days for a nomadic family is not being nomadic. When we settle down in a place for  while, we reap the rewards of routine and inner calmness. We've found the quiet spot in Alto Boquete, Panama in the little cabana the size of our living room back home. It is here that we have the time to look at clouds, dance around in rain ponchos, invest in our family's health, and cut coconuts reflectively. Just normal, every day great family material- be it in our own backyard, or half way across the world.

The Perfect Family Evening

We got rare, inside footage of the Klaf family really (really, really) being that lovey, dovey Leave-It-To-The-Beaver's-nomadic-family. We were delighted (and shocked) that no fighting, whining, hitting, complaining (none of the normal stuff) happened, at all, all evening.

Thursday, September 8

Orange Misery

Orange is my son Orazi's favorite color. He has two orange shirts on the trip. He loves eating carrots and oranges. He loves picking oranges. Today, unfortunately, he is in orange misery.

Wednesday, September 7

It's Gabi. Ugh!

It's Gabi. Ugh. It's been an unhealthy body week. I've had headaches and been dizzy a lot this week, and my plumbing is unwell.

Monday, August 29

Saying Yes To Something Else

Last night, we had the most magical Sabbath Dinner to date on our journeys. Barbara and Mort opened their home by the river to us, and filled our stomachs and hearts with love. As we entered their home, every one of my senses were fired up and filled simultaneously.

Monday, August 15

A Week Within

After the emotional and physical entrapments of last week, we took a week to go within. We barely spoke or saw anyone. We didn't go to the Tuesday night Gringo Party, didn’t go talk to the neighboring school about volunteering, didn’t go to the weekly Gingo morning market at Boquete Community Players, didn't follow up with the Boquete Rotary, we didn’t go online, didn’t go meet neighbors, didn’t follow up on classes and activities we wanted to pursue. We went inside, on a deep journey inside to cleanse and heal and balance our souls and our family relationships. 

Glass Jars

I’m alone with Volcan Baru, a coconut, and my first glass jar. Back home, drinking water out of glass jars was a real joy for me. One of those simple things that made me so happy. I’d take a jar and go outside, with the sun and the air tickling my water and glistening on the jar’s translucent beauty. Just holding a cool glass jar in my hands is quite a spiritual thing for me. It’s mine. I love being alone, to write, with a glass jar. 

David Days

We find that all sorts of amazing experiences and gifts are magnetized to us on this little trip of ours. One of them is called David Barron. We met David in La Fortuna on our way from our ranch home in La Lucha de la Tigra in Costa Rica to Boquete, Panama. We hung out for a couple of days and thought he was just adorable.A couple of weeks later, we've settled down in my father's cozy cabana in Alto Boquete, Panama and David joins us for five days of magic. This entry highlights some of the magic and fun David brought into our lives while he was with us.

Kids Need Socialization

That’s right. And it’s one of the things I have felt guilty about, until tonight. I felt guilty because a- I guess parents always have to feel guilty about something and b- though I’m taking my kids on an open-ended world adventure, I feel I am taking them away from their social network of school friends and cousins. So, this nomadic way of life if great, but they miss having friends.


Who are they supposed to turn to? Who is supposed to guide them, direct them, comfort them, lead them? Who? Their grandparents? Their friends at school? Their teachers? Who? Who in the world is supposed to take care of my children’s emotional needs when Kobi and I are falling apart? Well, we are… and we’re not there for them.They’re fighting and falling over each other. They’re lost and have no lighthouse to shine their way.

Being a nomadic family has its very poignant disadvantages.

Wednesday, August 10

Media Coverage and Speaking

We're honored and overjoyed with the attention our nomadic family and this site has received  We work hard (but joyfully) documenting our journey and sharing ourselves as authentically as we can, including the lows and the low lows of being a nomadic family. As we continue to share our ever-changing world, family discoveries, and travel tips to inspire others; we hope you too can refer to us any media. We appreciate it. This entry highlights some of the media coverage, blogs referrals, and speaking engagements we've been blessed to have. Enjoy!

Friday, July 29

Our New Nomadic Family

As a nomadic family, we are touched by the kindness of strangers-turned-friends along the way. While living on the ranch in Costa Rica, so many community families adopted us as if we were their own. These simple, good-hearted souls opened their homes to us; and filled us with laughter, good food, love.. This entry reflects some of the kind angels who wrapped our family in their wings, and became our new extended nomadic family.

Jesus Talk

We’ve had a lot of ‘Jesus Talk’ since our day in San Ramon, Costa Rica.  And for a family of Jews, ‘Jesus Talk’ is pretty exciting.

The Grandparents in Houston

Our kids know very, very little of Gabi's parents. My mom and her husband live in Houston; my dad and his wife and daughter live in Panama; and we have lived for the past 7 years in Israel. This trip was a great opportunity for us to reconnect our kids to their grandparents. Here's a mix of video and pics that we captured in Houston that reflect some of the grandkid/grandparent bonding we hoped for.

Sunday, July 24

Ugly Gifts Too

We’ve spent a week travelling from central Costa Rica to Northern Panama. While in transit, we have had the joy of briefly meeting beautiful souls who have blessed us with their unique gifts. These gifts have come in all sorts of packages. Some of them I didn’t like. They hurt. But those, too, have left us with something precious we’re supposed to receive.

En Route to Panama

En route from Costa Rica to Panama, we discover all sorts of fun things: our rockiest movie yet, candy health commercials, and It's your typical family road trip but in Central American!

Monday, July 18

La Lucha School

Volunteering in the rural school of La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica changed our lives. We were welcomed and loved whole-heartedly by an entire community. We spent whole days in the school, after schools at friends' houses, and many weekends with overnight company, mostly Ever. Our kids marched into classrooms in which neither the teacher nor the students could speak a word they could understand. As an ad hoc English teacher on the road throughout Latin America, the rewards of teaching has  ALWAYS been watching my kids gain friends from it.

Free Rainforest Exhibition

en route with my son's new best friend Ever
We know many who have paid $100 a person for a day in the rainforest. WE DID IT FOR FREE!!! So cool, and just one example of what is available to you when you are a nomadic family:  travel slowly, live with the locals, and get to experience EVERY TOURIST ATTRACTION IMAGINABLE for free! We've had so far over a dozen such experiences. This exhibition was led by our neighbor Oscar who took us for a four-hour exhibition through rain forest, fields, and valleys. We went with my son's new best friend Ever. I still can't seem to write about  Ever too much.

Sunday, June 26

Best Friends, Cowboy Gatherings, & Pineapples

"Oracio es me mejor amigo"(orazi is my best friend) Ever (the boy's name) says, as he hugs my boy.Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. My motherly heart is overflowth. The rest of our day pales in comparison, it's just details compared to that. But, it's still worth sharing cuz it was amazing. We spent our day 100% with the locals of La Lucha celebrating a country fair!!!!

Friday, June 24

Costa Rican Shabbat

As a nomadic family, we are honored, when (once in a while) we get to share magical moments with our new friends. Here, on the ranch in La Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica we had so many magical sharing of cultures.

Wednesday, June 22

Stay or Go

When you are a nomadic family scaling the globe, you have total freedom to decide each and every next step. Very cool, and, at the same time, very over-whelming. These two videos reflect our confusion and how we're trying to wade our way out of it.

Tuesday, June 21

What I've Learned This Week- June, La Lucha de La Tigre, Costa Rica

As a nomadic family living on a remote ranch in Costa Rica, we discovered new and marvelous things. In this entry, I want to share 11 surprising and wondrous insights from our lives here.

Saturday, June 18

Sonia and Don Jose Ramon

Living on a secluded ranch, off a dirt road in La Lucha de la Tigra Costa Rica was our first nomadic family Latin American immersion. We dedicate this entry to all the magic and love that Don Jose Ramon and Sonia brought to our lives in those weeks.

Friday, June 17

Joy in the Simple Things

I know I'm the mom, but Ithink they are just amazing. My kids refuse to be bored. Life as a nomadic family has allowed them to become even more inventive, creative, imaginative, and full of light. Watch this collection of videos from our slow-paced life on the ranch; and their magic, as they wait at a bus stop,create marvelous worlds out of boredom, and learn to enjoy hanging out with their parents, and themselves.