Meet The Nomadic Family

At the Petronas Towers with The Nomadic FamilyHi everyone, we’d like to introduce you to The Nomadic Family – Kobi, Gabi, Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai. We began following their blog about a year ago, and in April Jeff had the luck to meet them when they were visiting Singapore for a couple of weeks. Then, our family met with theirs in Kuala Lumpur in May.  They are a “normal” family who left their comfy lives in the March 2011 for a nomadic one. They left thriving careers, an experimental school they helped found, a loving community of family and friends, and their lovely mountain-side home in the Upper Galilee Valley of Northern Israel. Now, in year three of non-stop world travel, they see that this dream, also, must come to an end. 

In the summer of 2014, the Nomadic Family will no longer be nomadic. But, before they hang up their backpacks, The Nomadic Family wants to make one more big dream come true. This Fall, they will embark on a 8-10 week adventure in Nepal to hike the 300+km Annapurna Circuit and volunteer in a Nepalese orphanage.

In her first blog tour, Gabi, mother of insanity at The Nomadic Family, shares behind the scenes developments and the drastic changes looming ahead.

Gabi, what made your leave your lives back home and become The Nomadic Family?

The kids had a fairytale sort of life, but Kobi wasn’t a part of it. He was the breadwinner in a soul-draining, back-stabbing, hi-tech job. Somewhere after mild heart attack number two but before Breakdown Number 57, we decided that there must be another way. We read some inspirational books that changed our definition of success and made us realize that there were other options out there. We thought we’d last 6 months, and well, here we are, currently in the Philippines in month 29.

What would you say to a family who wants to travel?

Save, save, save. Easier said than done, I know. But, we both took second jobs, cut expenses to a bare minimum, and found creative solutions to get our finances in line. We got out of debt and then started shoving every shekel we could into savings. We talk a lot about finances on our site for we know that that was a huge hurdle for us. We’re asked all the time how we afford this lifestyle and feel honored to share realistic information that can help others make their dreams come true too.

Why are dreams so important to you?

Dreams are what keep us alive. We believe that the imagination is stronger than reality and that that vision of what could be can fuel us to greatness far beyond our wildest dreams. We don’t take ‘no’ for an answer because, we believe, that this one chance at life is all we’ve got, and therefore, it is our obligation to make the absolute most out of it. We are all about pushing towards our dreams. Even though you’ll find us whining from time to time about why they are not happening faster, after we kick and scream, we take action.

We have been honored to share this make your dreams come true message on our blogs, in media channels across the world, on the net, in our e-books, and in live talks every chance we get. We will continue to write and share the details of both the beautiful and painful parts of overcoming one hurdle at a time to make our dreams come true. We have seen how this inspires more and more to make their dreams come true, and feel honored to be a part of that sharing of the light.

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 coming 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 world travel 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.

Where have you been?

USA – 2 ½ months. Time with family & friends in Houston, RV through the Rocky Mountains.
Costa Rica – 1 ½ 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 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 21 days 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.

What’s to come?
Philippines – we’ll be here until mid-August = 2 ½ months
Malaysia – 2 weeks for visas, passports, and other errands before Nepal.
Nepal – 2 – 2 ½ months, Annapurna Circuit Hike and Volunteer Mission
India – 8 months, Kids attend Waldorf school in Goa
Israel – ????? – Welcome Home! (breathe, Gabi, breathe)

What are you most looking forward to next? 

From late August, we’ll be in Nepal for our Annapurna Circuit Hike and Volunteer Mission. This is a huge, ambitious dream for our nature-loving family. We’re terrified and excited to climb on the tenth highest mountain in the world, and debatably the world’s most beloved hike.

From November 11, 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 8 months in India.

Is there anything you wish to add, Gabi?

Yes. Thank you for allowing me this blessed space to share our adventures and our dreams with your readers. We dearly appreciate you believing in us enough to let us share.

The Annapurna Circuit will be the second to the last ‘big thing’ before we assimilate back into normalcy. 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!

Thank you dearly. It has been an honor to share with you,

Nancy and Dahnya


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