Top Ten/FAQ's

Top Ten Reasons I Didn’t Want To Go
Top Ten Things To Do To Afford Family World Travel
Top Ten Things To Pack For Your Kids For Your Adventure
Top Ten Scariest Moments So Far
Top Ten Regrets
Top Ten Favorite Foods
Top Ten Things I’d Rather Not Admit
Top Ten Reasons I’m So Glad We’re On The Road

Top Ten Reasons I Didn’t Want To Go

10. Why leave my perfectly nice, cozy, safe life?
9.   But my growing practice and a radio show it took me a year and a half to get
8.   Friends and family I dearly love
7.   The kids should have just one more year in school
6.   All those scary things that can happen out in the unknown
5.   Not having time alone
4.   Not working= no income coming in (terrifying!)
3.   How will I stay sane with my three darlings (and Kobi)  with me all day, every day?
2.   Intimacy? Going out on dates? Couple time? Sex? (how, when, where?)
1.  “one day”- it’s lovely.  “today”- I’m scared to death

Top Ten Things To Do To Afford Family World Travel

10. Stop buying all that stuff you think you need, but you really don’t
9.   Don’t go into those stores that tempt you most (especially during “sales”)
8.   Guesstimate your world travel costs and push all extra monies towards that goal
7.   Learn to live off of a fourth to a third less of your salary
6.   Set automatic monthly withdrawals of a fourth of your salary to your trip fund
5.   Read Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James
4.   Create a website/blog and start tinkering with it now
3.    Learn as much as you can about passive income streams and e-marketing
2.   Read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robins
1.   Open your heart to trust the Universe and he/she/it/God will provide all you need

Top Ten Things To Pack For Your Kids For Your Adventure

10. Your kids
9.   A deep backpack that’s comfortable with lots of zippered pockets and sections
8.   Books you’ll enjoy reading (and rereading) to them
7.   Workbooks (you may ditch them later, but it'll help you gain confidence and direction) 
6.   Art supplies for each child to call his own
5.   A small zip-lock bag full of small toys (we recommend play dough too)
4.   At least one really important comfort item from home
3.   Small collection of photos, cards, or memories from family and friends
2.   Fleece zippered sweatshirt for airplanes, buses, cold weather, and as a pillow
1.   Refillable water bottle (teach them to be responsible for well-hydrating  themselves)

Top Ten Scariest Moments So Far

10. Seeing that car at the traffic light flips over three times –Houston, USA
9.   Walking into a brown horse off the mud path at night-Lucha de la Tigra, Costa Rica
8.    Firecrackers which we thought were gun fire-Boquete, Panama
7.   The girls being pulled under the current of the hot springs waterfall-La Fortuna, Costa Rica
6.   30 seconds of Kobi driving down the freeway, the wrong way- can't recall where
5.   Red coral snake in the river – Quepos, Costa Rica
4.   Drunk Indian putting a curse on us – Utah, USA
3.   Almost getting run over too many times to count - everywhere
2.   Being positive that a snake is about to bite my ass every time I “go” in nature
1.   All the things I imagine and worry over that never happen

Top Ten Regrets

1. Leaving my cat Bareket (she ran away and was never found)

Top Ten Favorite Foods

10. Flor’s chiribiscus (homemade frozen coconut/sugar treat)
9.   Sonia’s homemade cheese
8.   My mom’s slow-cooked lamb chops (Houston)
7.   Boiled, salted yucca root
6.   Mort’s sourdough bread
5.   My first bite of Gawabana
4.   Coconut, eaten alone, facing Volcan Baru
3.   Bombon SuperCoco Coconut lollipops
2.   My dad’s homemade hot peppers (Panama)
1.   Anything I don’t have to share with my kids

Top Ten Things I’d Rather Not Admit

10. How rarely I remember to put sunscreen on us
9.   That I broke into someone’s room once for a hot shower
8.   How often study time gets really ugly
7.   How rarely Kobi and I get intimate
6.   Me fantasizing about 20-something year old Latino men (directly related to #7)
5.  That I tell my kids “no sweets at night” and gobble it all up when they’re in bed
4.  That I tell my kids “don’t scratch” as I precede to do so until my flesh is raw 
3.   That I keep getting dehydrated and can easily prevent it, but don’t
2.   How often I’ve wished my kids would go away so that Kobi and I can travel in peace and quiet
1.  How often I’ve wished they’d all go away (including Kobi) so that I can be alone

Top Ten Reasons I’m So Glad We’re On The Road

10.Sleeping as much as I want!!  (8 hours a night, and some days,  I even nap)
9.   Can’t escape family issues anymore, so we’re actually dealing with them
8.   Talking (often, deeply, quietly, spontaneously, really) with my kids
7.   New places, new foods, new languages, new cultures, new friends
6.   Exercising 4- 5 times a week (go, baby, go! Slimmer me, here I come!)
5.   Feels sooo good to volunteer  again  (and with my kids)
4.   Now I know what life would be like in that remote village, farming town, or country
3.   Time, blessed time to do with as I please (sleep, dream of being with Kobi, write, read)
2.   Teaching my kids those things I never got around to 
       (floss, Greek Mythology, Spanish, meditation, reading Chronicles of Narnia aloud)
1.   Learning to appreciate what we have as we experience very content people with so little


The answers to the more common questions we get. Ask us more; we'll be happy to answer.
  • What is a Nomadic Family? How does it work?
  • What impacted your decision to go?
  • Do you have money for this?
  • How will donations be used?
  • Aren't you scared?
  • What about their education?
  • How did becoming a Nomadic Familiy come about?
What is a Nomadic Family? How Does It Work?
A nomadic family is a family who decides to make up their own rules in the game of life. A nomadic family has the courage (some say "insanity") to leave all they know, and explore the unknown.  Nomadic families life out their dreams. A nomadic family has the blessed time for real family bonding, self-reflection, exploration, and whatever it is that is most dear to them.

Most nomadic families either work as they travel, sell everything they own and "retire" early, or just happen to be lucky enough to have the dough. Nomadic families may travel by boat, RV, on foot, on bike, or any other creative combination imaginable. We did not sell our belongings. We have a home and car waiting for us in Israel whenever we decide that we've been nomadic for long enough.

Like every other nomadic family, wee have our own very personal vision of how we want nomadic family to taste like. In addition to exploring and breathing in new worlds; we settle down in this and that small village for about two months at a time. We "work" in whatever we can; and get whatever others can give us in exchange: free room and board, food, a taste of life with the locals, friendship. In the rural La Lucha de la Tigra, we taught in the local school; they let our kids attend for free, and fed our family a hot lunch daily. I taught a"Clean Your Soul" class to the locals; they brought fruits and veggies from their lands as payment.

For us, being a nomadic family is all about no longer living the hectic, modern daily lives we were used to. It's about slowing down and investing in what is most precious to us: regaining our health, educating our kids (and us) in things we never had the time for, seeing the world and meeting its lovely citizens, volunteering, and figuring out how to share our expertise as a form of continual income online.  

What Impacted Your Decision To Go?

A lot of things over time. We've always liked to do things a bit differently. We've always looked at the 'norm' and challenged if it is really in line with how we think we should be living our one shot at this amazing life.There were songs like Jason Mraz's I'm Yours:

"I won't hesitate no more, no more.. It cannot wait. I'm sure.There's no need to complicate. Our time is short.This is our fate.There ain't no better reason;To rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons.It's what we aim to do; Our name is our virtue."

And books like Vagabonding, Four Hour Work Week, or The Traveler's Gift.


Do You Have Money For This?

Well, not totally. We have part of the money, and trust that the Universe/God will bring us what we need as we go. We're highly creative people and are happy to work at we go. We sell some inspirational products on Gabi's parenting site and starting October 2011, on this site as well.  We're holding our fingers for a few donations, but not our breathes.  Gabi continues to treat clients across the globe via Skype (see the New York Times article on Online Therapy)  We'll make enough money to travel and volunteer to our hearts' desire. And when we run out of ideas; we'll go back to Israel.

Once we made the decision to go, we guesstimated that we would need $50,000 to get us going. We divided up the sum by 40 months and started vigorously withdrawing that amount monthly into a separate account. There are months (like now when Kobi is unemployed) that we simply do not have the funding and either live in excessive frugality or stop saving short-term till we can get our head above water again.

You don't have to be rich (AT ALL!!!) to do this! We are far from it. You do have to be very focused and not buy all the spontaneous things that taunt you, not 'spoil' yourself through material purchases, and aggressively lower your standards of what-do-I-need-to-be-happy. We found that we really far, far less than we imagined to be very satisfied in our lives.

Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez . Helped us reformulate our views about our time, our life energy and our money This life-changing book teaches you to go from Financial Intelligence to Financial Integrity and finally to Financial Independence through a very straightforward eight step program. It helps you identify what is 'enoughness' and how can you live completely satisfied without the ever-growing demands of consumerism. Very powerful.

The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard
Awesome movie by an economist that gives you the entire picture about the economy of goods and how we have all become part of the mass consumerism story. She is just genius and very much challenges things we just always took for granted as true and right… but we don't believe that anymore. Tell us what you think…

We must mention this in here that traveling the world is not as expensive as people think. Right now, in Central America, our family of five is comfortably living at about $1200 a month. Kobi and I always jokingly say that, one day, when we go back to our lives in Israel; if we find that we can't afford it, we'll just hit the road again!

How Will Donations Be Used?
Lovingly :-).

Online, we've done extensive research into volunteering overseas. Turns out, to volunteer, you need to pay organizations abroad lots of money. The communities we want to help do not have the financial means to house, feed, and maintain volunteers. In Costa Rica, for example, we found a great organization doing worthy community work that requires $2000 per person, per month. Thus, for a family of five, volunteering becomes a very, very expensive endeavor. At those rates, we can volunteer for a short few months and return home. And though that is an option, our vision is to vagabond with our family for many, many months meeting and helping as many communities as we can along the way.

We plan to come to communities, and through the churches and people we meet, establish community relationships and volunteer opportunties on our own. Thus, donations would be used for paying for our housing, food, and some transportation. As we get involved with particular communities with unique needs, we'll pass that information on and see if someone wants to help fund specific projects on behalf of those communities as well.

Aren't You Scared?  

[This was written before we left home and became a Nomadic Family.]
Terrified. [This is Gabi writing here. Kobi has very different opinions on this matter.]We have no idea where we are going, what we will be doing and where we will be sleeping. We have a hard enough time getting out the door and to the car, what are we thinking here? Are we bored? Can we not find enough exciting things to do with our lives that we have to create our own personal family Survival show? Life can be challenging enough with kids without voluntarily adding the components of homelessness, uncertainty, constant 24/7 quality time with the ones you love, and no social support network.

Really, what are we thinking?

So [Gabi is typing, but this is what Kobi would say and Gabi really does agree with when the voices of fear shut up for a little bit]. This is our one and only chance on this earth and no one is promising that when we get around to retirement we will have the health, the money, or the desire to go. Who knows if we'll even be around. And, we really do love traveling and doing all that cool stuff we did before kids, so let's go for it. Carpe Diem! If we love it, we'll continue. If we don't, we can always come back to our home and community and continue living happily where we are today. The world is a very big and wonderful place. Let's go out for a walk and see who we meet and where we end up!

I [Gabi again] went searching on the web for other families who do adventure traveling or long-term family world travel and it was pretty exciting what we found. Lots of families have done it and more and more are preparing to do it! I read about one family who talked about how it was so much harder to get everyone out the door and to the airport than it was to trek the Himalayas. That helped me a lot.

Another writes about all the great people they are meeting and how they register their daughter to a local school in Spain in the winters each year. How cool!

I admit I feel much safer writing about this from my cozy home facing the mountains and every time the date gets closer, I convince Kobi to delay it for 'just another six months'. But this time, May 2011 we're going and this website is a sort of cyberspace commitment to that vision. We do a lot of Louis Hay and believe that if we open our arms to the Universe then all good things will come to us. So, vamanos!

What About Their Education?

We had home-schooled our kids for two and a half years. We liked homeschooling and, once we go, our kids will have had almost two academic years in an alternative school. We're very open to the endless potential ways to learn and that 'classroom' education is not necessarily the only, nor the best form of education there is.

We think our kids are sponges who will attract to themselves all the information that their curious minds seeks. We are available to them and will have a laptop with us loaded with educational games and programs and internet when we have it. As we recognize that we all thrive better with some clear structure in our lives, we are playing with the idea of each of us sitting down for small sessions to study reading, math or whatever comes up. This is for the 'more formal' subjects.

They will be exposed to very powerful lessons about geography, culture, economics, languages, history, religion, and community service. And inspired by Leo Buscaglia's work, Gabi likes to think that their education will be well served to learn topics like developing my self-esteem and self awareness , expressing my emotions, finding creative solutions, developing curiosity and life-joy, family relationships, loving myself, money management, and healthy communication. . In summary, we think the world will be an excellent classroom.

How Did Becoming A Nomadic Family Come About? 

We, Gabi and Kobi, met back in '93 at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Since then, we moved to Houston for ten years of working, earning degrees, making children, and traveling. In 2004, with 2 1/2 kids, we moved to live quietly amongst the mountainside trees of Northern Israel. On a cool summer evening walk in 2006, we reconnected to something we missed from before the days of children and bills and acting like an adult and following the responsible ladder toward success. We missed traveling, and new places, new languages, meeting simple people, connecting with others, exploring, and simply... being. We missed the idea of the wind on our faces and joy in ours hearts and a backpack on our shoulders. We reconnected to our days of volunteering and giving to others and felt that somewhere in the rat race of raising children, keeping a home, and earning a living; we had lost our freedom to fully give to others. And here on the walking promenade outlining the farmers' crops of the Jordanian Valley, a dream was born.

The Klaf family would begin living modestly, saving, and learning all the professional and personal skills they could imagine to prepare them for the nomadic family life. As a family, we're doing our best to balance living the here and now AND preparing for our early May 2011 departure. Though we don't have the funding to live out this dream to its entirety, we trust that the Universe will bring us all the opportunities and funding we need for our volunteering and traveling the world. We plan to update this site as often as we have internet access with how we're handling the endless unknowns of preparing for our adventure. We're really mixed in our feelings of excitement for embarking on new adventures and unsureness in leaving behind careers, friends, family, and a school community we love.