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Four months ago, I watched this TEDx talk by Man vs Debt. If you’ve got 15 minutes, watch it now or after you’ve read this post… especially if you’re wondering how to escape the daily grind and travel full-time.

 

“Sell your crap. Pay off your debt. Do what you love.”  

 

I knew selling up and hitting the road full time was the dream but I had yet to make any steps to make it a reality. Mentally I was on board but physically we had a lot of work to do to reach the point. We had a house that wouldn’t sell, a bunch of shit we didn’t need and it all seemed a bit insurmountable.

Our house (a huge debt but also a major asset) just won’t sell no matter how hard we try. Over the past three years we’ve tried to sell it on four different occasions. We’ve given up and now we’re going to rent it out fully furnished.

 

Packing Chaos!

Downsizing from a five bedroom house to three suitcases hasn’t been easy. I’ve spent the last three weeks working solidly on decluttering the house, deciding what to keep, what to throw away and what we can sell. We’ve used a couple different methods for selling our stuff – we had a huge garage sale, we’ve been selling stuff online (like computers, Ninendos etc) and asking on Facebook if friends want particular items (which has worked really well).

We’ve waited until the last minute to sell our car so we’re dropping it at a car auction just before we leave and will have them sell it on our behalf. Going down to one car between us was a huge money saver for us. We did this back in 2011 before a big trip to the US. I highly recommend it if you’re a two-car family. It’s easier than you think to make it work, it’s less stress and a good way to kickstart your savings.

 

 

This is all the stuff we’re storing… I still feel like we have too much. If I’d had more time I would have sold more of it but, with only four weeks from decision to departure, we simply ran out of time. The thing you realise when you go to sell your stuff is how worthless most of it has become. As soon as you walk out the door with that special something you just had to have, the value of it drops to almost nothing. This realisation has just made it all the more easy for me to get rid of it all.

 

We’re now three days out from our dream life. In a few days we head to Sydney, Australia to begin our permanent, slow travel, RTW trip… Living the dream!

 

Sell your crap. Check.

Pay off your debt. Check (almost).

Do what you love. Check… and I can’t wait! 

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Showing 22 comments
  • Kathryn
    Reply

    Am so excited you’re leaving in a few days. Hope Reuben isn’t too upset about leaving his room behind!

  • Izy Berry
    Reply

    I’m so excited for you!

  • Reply

    Really looking forward to reading about your trip. I’ve gotten into the nesting phase in my life…and it’s freaking me out!!

  • Wheres Sharon (Sharon)
    Reply

    Love love LOVE this ted talk!!

  • Simon
    Reply

    Very excited for you. Really inspiring

  • Monica
    Reply

    Wow, I can’t even imagine downsizing from a 5 bed house to 3 suitcases! When I came home from 2 years of travelling I promised myself that I wouldn’t build up loads of unnecessary crap but, 2 years on, it’s slowly starting to pile up so this is a great bit of motivation to start de-cluttering again!

  • Heidi Wagoner
    Reply

    Good for you! I know how overwhelming it all is. We sold our house and downsized exactly 1 year ago and came to Spain Late Aug. We got rid of almost everything “for nothing” and stored some. I am sure if and when we get back to the things “we just had to store”, they won’t be as precious to us anymore. Have fun!

  • Ruby Ella
    Reply

    Wow, great post on down sizing and very inspirational. I loved the Ted talk video as well! I don’t have as much stuff, considering it’s just me but you’ve given some great tips on how I can go about getting rid of all the junk I’ve accumulated.

  • Reply

    WAHOO!!!!! Can’t wait to cross paths across the globe. Europe in October right? 😉

  • Charli l Wanderlusters
    Reply

    Oh well done guys! We went through this just over two years ago and I have to tell you when you’re sat on that plane in a few days time you will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders! All the luck in the world for your new adventures 🙂 I can’t wait to follow your updates!

  • Renee
    Reply

    A friend of mine posted your story on FB. I’ve been trying to rent my condo out fully furnished since January. I’ve sold everything of value that a renter wouldn’t want, sold my car & bought a Jeep as, until my old dog dies, I’ll be traveling solely in the US & Canada. I already knew I wasn’t alone in this desire but it’s nice to read your story! Good luck!! I hope to hit the road soon!!

    • Bethaney Davies
      Reply

      Thanks so much Renee! It’s great to hear some encouragement from someone else who’s actually doing it too. 🙂

  • Sheralyn
    Reply

    Only 3 days away from leaving for good? That’s incredible and totally awesome!

    We’re planning on leaving next year for some long-term travel ourselves (will start off in Penang, Malaysia), and will homeschool our kids while on the road. But we’re thinking for the first few years, we may come back “home” for 6-8 weeks every summer to work a bit. Hence why I think it’s so awesome that you’ll be gone for good – that’s our dream! (Not that “home” is bad or anything… but it’s just not quite what we want long-term… you know, the rat race and all that…)

    Anyhow, I wish you the best of luck on your journey! 😀

  • Chris & Angela
    Reply

    Good job guys! We wish you the best of luck during your travels. We too began our journey partly because of that very TEDx talk!

  • Kathryn
    Reply

    What a massive project but so worth it! So exciting you are hitting the road again!

  • lola
    Reply

    I’m sooooooo excited for you. I’m sure we will cross paths at some point too. I sure hope so 🙂

  • Lex @ Lex Paradise
    Reply

    This is getting serious! I am happy for what you are doing! Good luck for your world travel! 🙂

  • Sky
    Reply

    So exciting! Congrats!

  • Reply

    Your journey sounds exciting. And it will be interesting to see how much of the stuff you’ve stored has meaning for you when you return. We stored stuff when we lived overseas for nearly a decade. Upon our return, I was thrilled to see some of it — but much of it had lost its charm and went right back out the door.

  • Jenna
    Reply

    Oh wow, that is very exciting. I would love to do what you’re about to do, but I have reservations, too. Maybe following your journey will be what I need to do it. 🙂

  • eemusings
    Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS! What an amazing time for you guys. Happy travels, fellow RtWer 🙂

  • Craig
    Reply

    You’re right about the value of the stuff you collect over the years. You may have paid 300 for a nice chair three years ago and gotten a lot of use out of it, but on Craigslist, it’s worth about $75 now. Less than half of the retail price. That’s what online buyers look for. They want to pay less than half of the retail price.

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