Our little family consists of 3 members: Inbal, Natalia and the Nega (and she is not the only “Loca” here). Since we hope that one day you will also be part of our family we think this is the place to let you know a little more about us and what brought all of us together.
This is not your everyday average family. There are no “natural” circumstances here that could have brought us all together. It’s all luck, God’s hand or just destiny (or maybe all together). Anyway you would like to call it.
First, we are all from different places. Inbal is Israeli, Natalia Colombian and the Nega is Brazilian. Second – the profession. Inbal is an economist, Natalia a psychologist and the Nega is, I guess, just a Nega. Nothing that could have possibly made us meet, unless the Nega was looking for a psychologist. But you know what, let’s let each tell his story.
(Since we wrote this, a few years ago, the family grew, keep on reading, and you will get to know a little about the changes)
I was born in Nov. 2002 (unfortunately, in this case there was no sex involved), in the beautiful neighborhood of Santo Antonio. This neighborhood is part of the Historic area of Salvador and consists of old restored houses, pebble stone streets and a very homely atmosphere.
The whole idea of my creation was to make a place that people won’t be guests but will feel as part of the family. In the first place, we are all part of the same tribe. The travelers tribe and that’s family enough for me. Since Inbal is a long time traveler and had stayed in thousands of guesthouses in 5 continents I believe he will know to choose the right combination between giving the feeling of a home and still being a business.
I have 4 mixed sex dormitories, 2 double rooms and 1 single. There is also a fully equipped kitchen, free internet access, personal safe deposit boxes, a big balcony with plants & hammocks, great view and a few other surprises. Ahh, yes, I also have hot showers. Some of you might think ” that’s obvious, no?” Well, no! Many places here don’t have hot water and the locals think that you gotta be crazy, or a tourist, to use hot water in this weather. All around the house you can find photos & art facts from different places in the world, souvenirs from Inbal’s travels.
I’m located close to the only supermarket in the area and only a few minutes walk from the bus terminal where you can catch buses almost to every place in and around the city.
I’m perfectly located, in my eyes anyway, only a 3 minute walk from famous Pelourinho neighborhood but far enough not to let the tremendous amount of noise generated there from the pubs, shows and night life to disturb your peace and quite while staying here.
Your security is very important to me. I have a steel door at the entrance and a security camera films all that enter the house. The knowledge of being filmed usually makes people smile (nobody wants to get caught not smiling) and so they enter our home. My job is to make sure this smile stays on during your whole stay here.
Well enough about me. Let’s give the other guys a chance to talk about themselves.
Some people were destined to educate, some people to help, others to lead and I guess that some of them were also destined to travel. I belong to the later. How do I know that? Every time I put on my backpack I feel light. Yes, some kind of internal happiness that makes me walk light no matter the weight of the backpack. Traveling for me is the ultimate freedom. Eat when hungry, go where you please and sleep when tired. 2 days after I return I feel the urge to leave again. When I find my self in an unfamiliar surroundings, foreign language, don’t understand a word on the menu etc. I’m at my best. All my senses are sharp. If you are nodding your head in agreement now than you are also one. Welcome to the club!
But there are also less pleasant sides. The restless inside, that need to travel all the time. Sometime all you want is for that traveling bug to sit quite for a while and let you rest, but no. He continues nagging as if on Duracell batteries (maybe he is not a bug but a rabbit!?). Also the distance from your family, friends and people you love is hard. Most of my best friends are people I met through traveling and to get to see them again is very hard.
A smart man said once that there are only 2 ways to live your life. One as is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”. That man was, by the way, Albert Einstein.
Looking back on my life now, indeed I can say it was all a miracle so far especially the fact I turned out to be a traveler. In the beginning, it was all normal. Including me. After a regular high school I joined the army to serve my regular 3 years (it’s regular, unfortunately, being an Israeli). Than it was to university, to study Economy, and that’s where the first cracks in the walls of my education started. No, it has nothing to do with some course I took. It has to do with Jordan, not the river but my roommate. 2 weeks after Uni. started and still there is no sign of my roommate. One day there was a knock on the door. I open the door and there stands this guy with long hair and fisherman pants who looks as he has just been thrown out of India or Thailand and forced to return for Uni. “Hi, I’m your roommate” he says. “Don’t you know that Uni. started already?” I asked. ” I know” said Jordan, “I traveled until now and that’s more important”. ” How old are you, if I may ask?” I asked (he seemed a bit old to me).”28″ answered Jordan. “and only now you are starting to study engineering? It’s 4 years”. ” So I’ll be an engineer at 32. So what. Who said I have to be an engineer at 25?” he answered. I couldn’t find anything wrong with his logic and that’s how the first crack started (later the whole wall fell).
And this is how, at the age of 26, I found my self standing in front of a cross road. Do I accept the great offer I received from The “Dead sea works”, where I worked as an economist, or that I finally fulfill my life dream and go traveling. As far as I was concerned, and the same goes for “Dead sea works”, it was “To be or not to Be”. What did I choose? My surname is the answer (for those who don’t know it’s Tubi).
So, on the 5.6.96 I found my self on a flight to Kenya, together with Ayelet. 10 months we traveled in Africa – my biggest Love . From Kenya to Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire (during the Ebola outbreak), Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique – right after the end of the civil war (there wasn’t even a Lonely Planet yet) and all the other countries on the way until South Africa where we bought a car in order to get to the Himba tribe on the Northern border of Namibia.
Since money was running low, we flew to Australia to work. From there to the Pacific Islands hopping. New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia and especially Papua New Guinea, the country who is in the no. 1 place on my all time favorites.
Now it was time for a little Asia. Thailand, Philippines, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Amazing China and Mongolia which I’m sure that God was stoned when he created it. What amazing colors. Red skies, in all 4 directions, during sundown………….Ahh, I miss Mongolia. Since money was short again it was Japan’s turn to supply us with work. 3 months there and we found ourselves in Hong Kong not being able to resist doing some shopping. A few more months in India & Nepal and 3 years after we left we found ourselves back home.
Now what? Back to routine? I decided to try. It didn’t work. I separated from Ayelet and suddenly found myself in Brazil visiting a woman I met on the net. Since living in Brazil didn’t seem a bad idea at all, I did just that. Almost 2 years it lasted, during which I traveled to all corners of Brazil.
After the Brazilian chapter ended, the same question came back again. Now what? I decided to try and find work in the tourist business and stay in Israel for good. Ideas are one thing and life is another. One week it took until the first “cracks” started to show and 2 months until it totally crashed and this is how I found myself on an Ethiopian airline flight heading to West Africa. Mama Africa, it’s so good to be back. Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. Now what?
The idea of a guesthouse has been traveling with me around the world for a few years already. I knew that as the years pass it will get harder and harder to find these circumstantial jobs I was getting on the way to finance my traveling. Since I can’t see myself sitting behind a desk in a florescent lit office (I’ve tried that) I was looking for something that would allow me to stay close to the most important thing in my life, the traveling world. A guesthouse seemed the perfect solution. Will be hanging all day long with travelers, work in the high season and travel in the low. Since I had no money of my own, if I did I would have continued traveling, I needed investors. 2 potential investors I had and just when things were getting to the final stages, this idiot came along and together with the Twin Towers took down my dream and my investors will to invest. Now what? A combination of a cousin in NY and an empty pocket are a good enough reasons to land in the “big apple”. For 6 months I was frying fries than took a month vacation, mainly to Europe and Iceland, and then came back to fry some more fries. All this time I was working in front of the STOMP theatre until that wonderful day that I decided to finally go. A day that changed my life (and I thought they were good before. What did I know). At the entrance stood this beautiful Spanish speaking woman who to my surprise was looking and smiling at me. I don’t remember much of the show because I was waiting for it to be over so I could see her again. And there she was still smiling at me (At the time I didn’t know that the smile is glued to her face always). Since I don’t smoke I needed a killer pick up line. “Do you speak English” I asked (This may sound like a strange question but in NY you never know). Lucky for me she did. We never stopped speaking English since………….and this is how I met my queen.
It didn’t take any convincing to make Natalia change her life completely and to walk beside me on the route to fulfilling OUR dream. I truly thank her for that and will also let her say her things because as usual I talk too much…………………….
Life never stops surprising me. Every person has a story, and every story some magic, some amazing turning points… Who would’ve imagined that I would be sitting here in a non-finished, soon-to-be Guest House, somewhere in Brazil, having the luck of being part of this dream?
I was born in Bogota-Colombia and lived there for my first 25 years. Had a happy childhood surrounded by a very loving family, went to school, studied Psychology, and saw a promising professional life ahead.
In June 2001, I packed my bags and left home for the first time. The plans were to be out for one year, which sounded forever, work in a Foster Care Agency in NY, learn something new and go back home to apply my “new knowledge”. But, life rarely turns out like you plan it, and sometimes it turns out to be better.
About 2 months before leaving NY, with not much hope in relationships and wanting to go back to my regular life, I went to STOMP with some friends. For the first time, I saw Inbal, standing in life (oops, I meant line). I didn’t mean to, but I couldn’t stop staring at him. Well, he noticed, looked back, smiled, and at the end…. surprise, he even talked to me and gave me his phone number…. To call or not to call… Well, as you might imagine I did call, and from then on, we started building a life together. I found the greatest treasure and now just thinking about him makes me smile. He had his dream, and he became mine… and now we are building ours. Love is something real.
I did go back home to say good-bye and hug my family. When the heart is so sure of something, there is nothing to think about… Put on my backpack for the first time, and felt the joy and the absolute freedom of traveling. My traveling days had a great beginning, I don’t thing it could’ve been better… sailing in a boat down the Amazon River from Tabatinga (Colombia-Brazil border) to Manaus. Four unforgettable days that set something free inside me, and I can’t wait to see some more. I’ve seen the world through Inbal’s eyes, and I’m sure I’ll get to see a lot more with my own. In the mean time, I’ll be waiting for you all in our home (and “our” means Inbal’s, mine, and of course, yours!).
I came to this family some December Sunday morning. Quiet Sunday until the doorbell rang and one of our neighbors placed me in Natalia’s hands and ran away. This crazy people were nice enough to keep me, even though by that time I had more fleas than hairs. If you are still wondering….. I’m a cat.
I don’t do much around here, just wait for this strange people that look like turtles when they first come in and then again when they leave. I play with some huge trees that are around the house, but for some reason I only hear “no, get out of my plants” when I do so… I’m telling you, they are crazy. Another of my hobbies is to catch flies. Oh, that’s so much fun!! (The funniest part is looking at this silly people stopping everything they are doing and stare at me and laugh… ha, and they claim they are smart…”)
Yeah, the Nega is a nice family and the right place to be in Salvador. I ran away once, but one day was enough to realize that I want to be here. Especially because it was only one day that I was gone, and the nice bald guy who I call daddy, brought in this stupid little kitten, called Mitu.
Update: Died Jan 13th, 2016 2 days after Loco. They were inseperables in life and in death!
Hey, don’t know what to say. I’m a cat, and I meow, and I looove food!! And I follow Stomp around because he is a lot of fun. Cool guy that Stomp. Daddy calls me silly and stupid cat, but Mommy says I’m not that stupid, just a little bit slow. I like to sleep on daddy’s belly. He, he. Daaah. Don’t know what else to say. Let Stomp talk, he is really cool. I’m getting hungry, gotta go to beg for some food.
2009 update – Mitu has disappeared and probably ended up as a BBQ on someone’s back yard. It’s not easy being a cat in Brazil!!!
This people dared to call me Loco and then expected me to be more or less normal (loco in Portuguese means crazy), nice ha? Well, I’ve been around for a while already, but had a hard time thinking about what to say about me. Don’t know if it would be better to show my sweet side, that one that everybody loves and makes them give me some good food and a pat on my back, and throw the ball a little bit around the house. Yeah, that’s cool me. So cool, that I’ve taken Mitu’s and specially Stomp’s place in this family. Mitu is more fun ’cause he lets me bite his whole head! That’s how big my mouth is! I can put all of his head inside my mouth, and even if he meows, nobody comes cause his meow goes down my throat!! He, he’s a nice buddy that Mitu. Stomp is pretty stubborn and doesn’t want to have anything to do with me, just when I leave my food unattended! I have a beautiful girlfriend in the balcony. She is only a yellow pillow but for me she is much more! But daddy says I can’t do “my thing” with her when there’s people around….
Mom and Dad are getting on my nerves recommending people to be aware of their sandals. I love to chew them and now it’s hard to find any around, so maybe you can be nice enough and forget yours in the balcony….. don’t worry, they are so nice with guests that they will end up paying for it. They threatened that they will cut it off my food allowance but never do that…. I just have to make my face…. I’m soooo sweet.
Yeah, it’s also true that I’m always in the way, specially when mom is trying to make breakfast or dad trying to fix something or somebody trying to open the fridges door, but what can I do? I’m so adorable, and I’m just looking for some attention. That’s why I kind of love it when I have this blood suckers ticks, bc they spend hours and hours patting me and killing the enemy.
I have plenty of tennis balls, but I can’t play inside the house because I slip and hurt my legs, which reminds me, I had such a great adventure once….. Pame took me to take some money out of the cash machine, and there I saw the perfect opportunity to chase to loud huge 4-wheel things!! The stupid thing hit me bad on my leg, but it turned out to be good ’cause I got more attention than ever, and daddy came earlier from a trip he was doing.
Right now I’m fine, it’s good to have so many people coming. Nobody can resist my charming and likes to play with me or give me a pat or two every once in a while.
Update: Died Jan 11th, 2016
Evita…… our saving angel. the only real nega here, the best juice maker, the best way to get to know the beautiful naivenes of young Bahianas. For her every blond gringo looks like Leonardo Di’caprio, Non of the girlfriends are worth having such beautiful gringos, but go talk to her, and you’ll see how black can turn into complete red in a second. I think she remembers the almost 4000 people that have been around here, and know exactly where they forgot their t-shirt or towel, that is if Loco still didn’t eat it. Thanks god, or whoever, for putting Eva in our way!!! Needless to say she is completely in love with her washing machine!!!
March 2012 update: Our beautifull Eva is pregnant. Yehhhhh!!! Will be expecting a grandson around September this year.
Update September 2012 : Mateo was born