Hello! Katie here.
This is my first post, and I feel the need to put this out there before you read any further: I am not a writer.
And, as you have probably have noticed from reading previous posts: Mark is a writer. (And a damn fine one, too.) So, there will be an obvious difference in the writing style, voice, grammar, spelling (Ack!), etc.
Just hang in there and I promise to attempt to be as literate as possible.
And now, the purpose of this post:
One of the biggest challenges most people have with the whole “Travel as a Lifestyle” choice is selling their stuff. I’m not sure if this is just the American Way, because, honestly, I haven’t seen the majority of the world yet, but people seem to really like their stuff, myself included.
It was especially difficult for me to sell nearly everything I owned because we had just moved into a new flat less than a year before, and most of the things we acquired were our first purchases together. The superfly houndstooth chair we found together at this incredible secondhand warehouse felt symbolic of the beginning of our life together.
These pieces of furniture were the first we’d owned together, furnishing the very first home we’d ever have. Sometimes, things like these are hard to part with.
Side note: I did not sell that chair. How could I? I gave it to my sister for safe keeping.
Just look at this chair. When I posted this picture to Facebook, people congratulated me. I mean, come on.
Hand it over
So, this is a good opportunity to give you a tip:
You don’t have to sell everything. Sometimes things are too precious to part with. Instead, give it to a friend or family member to hold onto for you. Just make sure it’s someone you trust to give it back to you when you come a callin’.
I guess at this point I should be completely honest. What followed selling most of our stuff, leaving our flat at the end of our lease, and moving in with the in-laws was a bit of depression on my end.
It kind of crept up on me, so I didn’t really pinpoint the move as the cause of it at first. I actually went to see a therapist to help me uncover what was at the root of these feelings, which I was able to determine pretty early on.
Still, I continued to see her weekly, probably just because she was so cool.
But what I was feeling was a loss of self. I’d lost that comfortable world I’d spent a year creating. I’d lost a home I loved, furniture that really meant something to me, a space of my own, a community that was so great to be a part of.
The realization of this was crushing.
But now it’s okay. It’s better, even. I am looking forward to the future, and shedding that past brought a lot of life lessons for me.
To deal with all the stuff, we had two pretty successful garage/yard sales. I’m not sure how we could have possibly had so much stuff to sell, seeing how tiny our little flat was, but afterwards we were able to condense our worldly possessions down to a few boxes.
And it’s not over yet!
Before we embark on our Vagabond Road Trip to the west coast, we need to shed a car, a Mac desktop, a ton of winter clothes we (hopefully) will never need again, and other various things that won’t fit in our little Honda hatchback.
Give it away
I think at this point we’ll be giving away most of the small things.
My girlfriends seem to really like picking through my clothes that are up for grabs. My aunt (and the only other woman I know who wears the same size shoes as me) doesn’t mind taking my heels, wedges, and pumps off my hands. I doubt I’ll get any use out of a shoe I can’t take more than three steps in without wanting to cut my foot off at the ankle, the way my life is headed.
All in all, it feels pretty good to give your stuff to people you know will get some use out of it. At least then you can always visit the stuff when you’re feeling weak.
Baby steps, guys.
Even my conditioning’s been conditioned
We’ve been conditioned to be consumers our whole lives.
No one said this was going to be easy.
But I like that Mark and I have been slowly letting go of a lot of things, slowly downsizing our lives, and taking it day by day.
I’d recommend this over going whole hog and selling everything, save the clothes on your back.
You might experience an even more severe case of withdrawal than I did.