What it really feels like to sell everything you own to travel
Now obviously we can only give our own personal account from our perspective, based on our opinions and experiences. We feel that its important to show the bigger picture of how it all came together (or not) for us! After all it’s our journey and personally we would much rather document something that we remember to be real rather than a heavily glossed over edited version of our lives. Also I’m a bit of a technophobe and not great at making it look super nice and pretty anyway, sorry not sorry!
Initially we weren’t sure which one of us came up with the idea or how we even decided to do it but around four weeks into it when our house had gone on the market I asked my husband “How did we end up doing this?” – “I don’t know.” Even though we were both on the same page and feeling driven to do it I felt like I should’ve remembered maybe a profound conversation we had amounting to us both being sold on it and agreeing to move forward.. Like the kind you might imagine having if you were to plan on selling everything and risking your kids inheritance on a spontaneous idea. Well I can’t remember so it seemed that nope, here we were really just going for it!
Strangely enough you may imagine that we would sit down and methodically plan and budget our route. (Note: This is what you probably should do!!) Except we didn’t. I think our notion to do it was so strong we felt that we wanted the lifestyle change that much we would just aim to sell the house and work on the trip after, as there’s enough to focus on with three young children alone to be honest. More so, we didn’t actually know WHAT we wanted, so how can you begin to plan when you don’t know what you want! Also because we stayed in Australia for six months before having children and actually ended up being too overcautious, at the time we were so worried about finding work and somewhere to live that we almost instantly settled with a rental contract and setting up work that even though we had the security we desired we actually cut ourselves off from travelling and finding out where we wanted to be. So drawing from previous experience we knew that over-planning could close us off to new opportunities.
Around eight weeks after going on the market our house has sold and we’re wrapping up for completion. We had both said hopefully it will go fast and we won’t have time to change our minds!! Well it did! Anyone who’s ever moved can probably relate to this, MOST.STRESSFUL.THING.EVER I mean where does all the stuff come from you never knew you had and yet it decides to unwelcomely present itself, what’s worse is you didn’t know you had it but now you do it’s kinda cute and you wanna keep it. I’m thinking seriously, we need to downsize massively. Get rid. So we scale down the belongings of a family of five into what we assume is a car and caravans worth of stuff, along with ALL the things you didn’t have time to decide their fate so you sling them in the car at the final hour of departure for good measure. It’s also funny what you get sentimental about, I mean we’ve sold our most expensive and treasured items yet here we are saying “maybe we should put the bag full of coat hangers in storage, because, you know, they’re useful” I think if ever you’ve had to do it I’m sure you’ll agree, sorting through personal belongings is really hard work. For days I remember wandering around looking at so many things, piles of random, but somewhat necessary things and not knowing WHERE TO START. Now I don’t think I’m really one to be giving advice on this as I feel like we spectacularly cocked up the process of moving, but in hindsight what I would say is this;
- Start now. Even if you haven’t thought about moving yet you should probably already start packing your things.. Or maybe at least begin downscaling your possessions.
- Clear storage boxes are like little saviours that will help restore some of your sanity when it’s drifting out the window.
- Plan meals accordingly, you never know if you have to take your oven to the skip and you’ve just sold your fridge freezer poor planning could leave you eating unhealthy takeaways for a week. APPARENTLY.
- Take breaks. Seriously, schedule in some time for a walk or meet up with a friend to take your mind off of the enormity of it all.
So we’re out of our house, and it’s emotional, we asked the kids to say bye and it was like they were popping to the supermarket “bye house” with barely a second glance. Where as I was labouring many thoughts and emotions, the first place we bought two of our children home to, the house they all spent their first birthdays in, first steps had been taken here, the first house we owned, a place we had shared many memories some of which with people who are no longer with us, the significance of closing the door on those times was actually pretty heart wrenching. Though I felt we had to be strong or we never would have left, and as the saying goes ‘keep doing what you’ve always done, and you’ll keep getting what you always got’ which is great if you’re content with what you’ve got. Though I have to say we were – with the exceptions of the niggling feeling of wanting to experience something different, a life that would afford us to spend more time with our children and allow us, just for a while to slightly slow time down. We couldn’t wait to be free of the financial burdens and responsibility that come with home ownership and the hours we were putting in just to sustain this lifestyle. Interestingly many people said we were so brave (stupid, maybe but not brave) to be doing what we’re doing but I wouldn’t say that’s how we felt as I think when you’re doing something you feel is right and something you want to do I’m not sure that bravery comes into it.
So we embark on our new journey and begin living in the caravan and initially, it’s not pretty – there’s stuff EVERYWHERE, no really you can’t move for the stuff. I’s like de ja vu we have all these items to sort out again yet this time we have to cram it into a CARAVAN, our worldly belongings. As one of my friends said it would be quite cleansing to scale back and really cut down on all the unnecessary items, I’m still hanging onto that as I feel we’re gradually making it out the other side and I’m starting to feel that she was right, we are beginning to see the wood from the trees! There’s generally not been much we’ve missed (space aside of course – remember we’ve got kids) I don’t think I could tell you probably half the stuff I got rid of and can also say I haven’t needed it either, so that’s a win. It’s a real period of adjustment still, we’re swinging between feeling liberated and free yet still hanging onto wanting the stability and routine of our old life. The children have been pretty positive about the whole thing though and whilst I think we need to get used to being in each others company constantly they have actually settled in pretty well and seem happy – as parents their happiness is priority so that at least feels like we’re doing the right thing for now. xx