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.

There is some odd builds up the climax of experiencing the most mundane there is- paying the toll. We got so used to paying outrageously high tolls in Colombia, every twenty minutes (and for awful roads); and gratefully paid really cheap tolls in Ecuador for excellent roads, every once in a great while. But, here, in Peru, toll booth after toll booth after toll booth, and nada. Those heading North paid each time; those of us heading South- nada.

Trust me, I know how insignificant this is the big scheme of things. Did the Klafs pay the toll or not? (Would keep me awake all night, too. I know).

But, in what seems the most mundane there is, there is also enlightenment. Strangely, we were honestly, truly upset by not being allowed to contribute, to follow the rules, to do what we were expecting to do. There was some unwritten obligation, some silent contract broken. You set up a toll booth, I enter the right lane, wait in line, ready to do the right thing, and then, you don’t make stand me stand up to my responsibilities.
 I’m sure there are deeper implications I can draw here. Something deeper than family travel road adventures. I know there is great learning hidden behind me feeling inadequate  in not doing what I thought I was supposed to do.  And how  do I find this reflecting in the depth of my soul? What contacts, obligations have I comitted to that I did not honorably stand up to?  What tolls am I meant to pay?
In all honestly, my brain is too fogged up right now to see the light of enlightenment that is humming near me. I’ve been up until the wee hours crying and writing to my best friend in Israel, in my very private journal, and to Kobi (who has left us now for a month to sell the car in Paraguay. Sigh.) I’ve been learning and witnessing my soul a great deal these passed days. And though it’s painful, I know it is only for my greatest good. How much I thought I would explore the world, and how much I am finding that I am only discovering my inner world. What a ride! What a ride!
 And I can’t see it, though it’s right there.
So, help me out here. Draw these conclusions for me, for I’m a bit drained. I would like to know what it is that occupied my thoughts so much regarding paying the damn toll? What is the deep, inner toll that I must pay? What am I supposed to learn here? What is the next milestone in my journey towards paying my tolls and finding my next oasis of inner peace?  I know only I can find these answers, but tell me yours, if you so inclided. Maybe I can learn from the tolls you have paid.
If you have slept decently last night (or even if you haven’t) but you can tell me what thoughts come up for you, do. I’d love to know, and learn; and hope that tonight I’ll get some sleep, and can grow from paying my tolls, but hopefully not in watching the rising sun awaken in my sleepless hostel window.
Join us on Facebook at on our blog (which is the best reflection of pictures, movies, and words. Tons of words…) at and on twitter at http://www.thenomadicfamil and if you spread the word to others who may enjoy our world family travel adventures, we’d love that too. Much love and light, Gabi, Kobi, Dahnya, Orazi and Solai Klaf


Perhaps you feel unsure about the whole social contract of a toll booth. If it's there, why is no one taking the toll? Is there no way to just contribute what you think is a fair toll? Are you worried that you just don't understand what the social construct is?

Perhaps it is not a toll that you need to pay but an acceptance of the gift of not having to. Not long ago, I had an amazing experience where I had to close my eyes and listen as many dear friends whispered into my ear what I mean to them. I sobbed for an hour. Ultimately, the realization for me was that it was ok to accept the gifts laid before me. It is ok to allow myself to be loved. And the most important is ok to love myself. Your time for contribution will come, but perhaps now is a journey of self-awareness and learning to accept. I wish you peace and love on your journey.
Your fellow nomad,
P.s. we leave in April and I have yet to set up the site, but I did comment on your fb page, so you can contact me there :-)

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