Even though many do not understand my life-style choice, I am free. I am totally, insanely free to do as I please, go where I want, and stay as long as I choose.
My family has lived with the indigenous in the jungles of Peru, hitchhiked on back of pick-ups in Costa Rica, scuba dived off the Sea of Thailand, and plan to trek the Annapurna Circuit this fall. We homeschool our kids according to an inspired curriculum that we’re making up as we go, and spend most of our time pursuing what we’re deeply passionate about. I’ve lost 28 pounds, written a few books, and have learned to strum the guitar competently enough to entertain my family, but obviously not good enough for public as I was booed off-stage in a Sihanoukville, Cambodia bar for trying. Though many claim we are abusing our children by gallivanting the globe, we cuddle in the mornings, take two-three hour lunches, and my husband is currently lulling them to sleep by reading A Wrinkle In Time.
When Nancy asked me to share the joys we’ve gotten from world travel, the seemingly simple task morphed into mammoth before my eyes. Summarize. How? Entering our now third year of non-stop world travel has been beyond unreal. How can you encapsulate the relationships, memories, and vistas from an RV, tent, ranch, village, home-stays, one tarantula-filled attic, and innumerable backpacker hostels? Though I’ve most famously conveyed it in I Know Nothing And 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me, I can never fully articulate the endless joy that comes with world travel, and with family discoveries such as that my oldest daughter is hysterical, my son composes songs with the words “boobs’ in it, and youngest writes me love letters with adorable, yet profound mantras like last month’s ” Sometimes, I miss myself.”
As if a kind-hearted angel sprinkled her magic dust upon us, we no longer fight, get lost and confused, depressed, mad, or over-tired. We are in perfect family Utopia. All is perfect in our nomadic family life, including this lie.
You see, friends, our globetrotting freedom has been a blessed gift that we do not take for granted. And still, we’re so normal. I still freak out over wet towels on the floor, incessant whining, and unwashed dinner dishes. And even though I have never felt more aware, awake, and alive, I am, and anyone who has traveled, is still, just a soul on their own rainbow journey through themselves to the light. If anyone tells you their world travel adventures have made them 100% worry-free and happy, be wary.
Family world travel has more joys than I can possibly verbalize, but maybe most notably is the gift of knowing that we are a normal, healthy family with all the natural stretch-marks and ruffled feathers that come when five opinionated souls grow intimately and experience real life together.
Insanely unorthodox, embarrassingly honest, and on a path towards spiritual awareness, Gabi Klaf blogs about her family’s ups and downs in their now third year of non-stop budget world travel. She is a guitar-stumming, energy-healing, ADHD wind-loving scaredy cat.