Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Update: The We're Nearly Homeless Edition

With five days to go before the big move (actually the big leave because we aren't actually moving anywhere since we will be traveling), here's what we've been up to:
  • After three garage sales, we were able to get rid of most of our stuff. On Sunday I called some friends and family over to the house and said "help yourself, it's all free". The stuff included everything that was left over from the garage sales, the food in our cabinets, knick nacks, and everything else except for things that we are keeping which were put aside in another room. Everyone had a funny reaction to this. First everyone kind of stood around looking at stuff, unsure if they should actually go start picking up things they wanted. With some encouragement, people started picking up a few things, often asking if someone else wanted something they were looking at. After a while it turned into a free for all and with amazing speed, pretty much everything was snapped up. The things that were left over will be taken to a local thrift store. It was great to see people hauling stuff away because I know they will enjoy the items. It also made me realize that giving really is better than hoarding because the stuff will be in use instead of gathering dust in a closet. (My sister did say that it felt weird because people don't just open their house up and say "please take everything in here")
  • It was hard to have such a little bit of food left after the big give-away. We emptied out all of our cabinets and pantry which included nearly all of our food. Almost all of the food was snapped up quickly as well (even the salt and pepper shakers went!). It is great that the food will go to people who will eat it (again, as opposed to gathering dust in the back of the pantry) but it was a bit disconcerting to see that we have literally only a day's worth of food left. For my entire adult life, having a fully stocked pantry made me feel secure and now, the opposite, having no food on hand, is making me feel insecure. So today I went to the store and picked up a bag of healthy food that we will eat before we leave (cheese, baby carrots to nibble on, a couple of apples, etc).
  • We're still discussing our future. Hubby was a little freaked out about just heading off overseas next week so we decided to spend a month in Atlanta, a month in Connecticut, then a couple of months in Asia. Our thinking is that this will kind of ease us into travel mode (besides, Tokyo in April is way better than Tokyo in February!). We bought our plane tickets, and next week we will be on our way to the East Coast (which based on the weather report today makes me...um...worried. It is a beautiful sunny day in the Pacific Northwest today and we will be heading into the so-called 'storm of the century'.) Yikes.
  • We are storing some of the basics (bed, couple of TVs, personal papers and pictures, and other things we don't want to part with such as my favorite cast iron pan and a couple of antiques) at a local storage unit until we decide whether we even like the continuous travel lifestyle. Everything we own will fit in the smallest unit--a 5'x10'--but we were pleasantly surprised that when we went to rent the unit today, they gave us the next bigger size--5'x15'--for the same price as the smallest size because they didn't have any of the smaller units available. They also gave us one month free. Kaching!
  • Our final plans are still a work in progress. Hubby very much likes to be rooted in one place but I really feel like we need to get out and explore the world so we will travel for six months and then re-evaluate. We may end up renting a small apartment as our home base or buying a much smaller house as our home base (as opposed to the very generous offer by my sister in law to "home base" from her house at very, very little cost) and then travel more often but not continuously. I guess we will figure it out when the time comes.
  • We're busy. For the past couple of months we have been "getting ready" to leave but it was kind of a slow process. Now that we are getting down to the wire, our "to do" lists are growing exponentially!
  • Overall it is kind of a surreal experience. I have owned a house since I was 19 years old and to not have a house is just odd. I don't think it will totally sink in until after we move out. It's a little scary.
  • Everyone we have told about our adventure has been super supportive. Word travels fast and we were even stopped in the parking lot at Walmart today by a lady we know who had heard from another friend about our plans. The overwhelming consensus is "I wish I can do/could have done something like that, it will be a great adventure." At least by us doing this, we won't have to wonder about what we "could have done". Come to think of it, there hasn't been a single naysayer that I have heard of. No one saying it is a crazy idea. No one saying we will fail and literally end up homeless. I guess that is something. I hope they are right.


  1. It sounds like everything is falling into place. It's going to be such an adventure! I wish you all the best.

  2. Wow...this really sounds exciting! Congrats, have fun!

  3. Wow you are really doing it! Have a safe trip, a safe adventure.

    I'm not sure if you know about it but there was another couple, I believe, Europeans, who one day also decided to tour the world. Its just him and his wife and their old car. Guess what? It has been 10 years already and now with 4 or 5 kids, still with their car, they are still traveling. They are happy.

  4. There have been quite a few people ditch everything and become vagabonds. One family I am particularly excited about is Family on Bikes (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/) who decided over three years ago to bicycke with their ten year old twins (!) from the north pole to the south pole. They are only a few weeks from completing their goal! I hope I can be brave like that!