It was December 2017 when we decided to travel the world for a few years. To go for it. To live now. To quite our great jobs, sell our beautiful house, say good bye till we meet again to family and friends and leave WAZ: “ons mooie stekkie” at the coast in The Netherlands.
Many exciting thoughts we had. Where to go, what to see, what to do, what to bring. Our minds went everywhere in anyway. Outside it was dark, cold and raining. For us there was no point in waiting. So we set the 1st of April as the take off date. This left us with three months to get ready. Exciting thoughts about fascinating places quickly moved into preparations. Selling the house, resign jobs, taxes, insurances, health care, visa’s, vaccinations, train tickets and find a solution for all our belongings. We now understand why many world trip blogs mention at least 6 months of preparation… at times we had more than 60 items on our 2do list!
We never realized that the whole process of letting go of stuff is a life experience on its own. We started to sell, throw away, bring to second hand stores and give away. Slowly the house became emptier. We developed our “let go of stuff” skill and became experts. Items we would not have imagined to put away at the start, we easily got rid of some weeks later. We learned how to run an online ‘garage sale’ business, had to work hard on the relationship with the grocery store when we again and again were holding up the queue to send items to the new owners. We probably had one of the neatest, emptiest and most organized storage boxes you can imagine and the smile of the guy at the second hand store became bigger and bigger each time we dropped more stuff. It felt really good. As if, with each item you let go, there is more room in your head. More freedom. We still have no clue why we’ve kept some of the stuff for so long. We always considered ourselves as people who don’t own a lot of stuff. But when you reduce your belongings to a minimum, you realize how much you actually own.
We planned to rent a box of 9m2 at first, and reduced it to 5m2 along the way. This was for the stuff you always need, clothes, kitchen stuff, washing machine, furniture we really like, etc. The idea was to have something to start with when we return. This made fully sense and felt like a wise thing to do. The interesting part was that we forgot somewhere in the process why we needed this box. How can we know today what we need in a few years time? What we like by then? We don’t even know what we will be doing! How will this trip change us? Wasn’t this trip about living today? Why spending money every month on a box for a ‘just in case’ future scenario? All of a sudden it felt really strange to secure our cutlery and crockery for some day in the future. And to be fair those things are not the most difficult thing to get hold of when you need it. In the end, we took it a step further and letted go of most things, including the rental storage box. Our belongings will be our back packs and some memorial belongings waiting in a corner of the attic of our parents (thanks btw).
In the end it’s just stuff, we will remember the memories and till today we have not missed a thing 🙂