Our story!

For several years now I have had the urge to travel which has been a dream of mine before marriage and children. My husband was never keen on the idea until one afternoon last year he said, "let's do this!" The next day I began to sell, donate and give away items from my home. He was a bit shocked when he got home from work. I immediately called a realtor and our home sold within 24 hours for more than we were asking. I had sold, donated and given away EVERYTHING so that the day we moved we didn't even need a truck because we were able to drive away with everything we had left in both our vehicles. We moved to a smaller place directly across from the beach to enjoy the sunrise and sunsets for the following year before taking off to travel full time!

1st Stop ~ Texas!

We decided to begin our journey actually before we retired. It began by looking online at the most economical places to travel and go from there. I had been wanting to see my brother in Dallas so I checked on when the prices were best and found tickets for $100 each. I have flown to Dallas many times but usually holidays or vacation times which cost me almost $400 just for myself. 

Everything we read about the "nomad" life said to plan your travels based upon cost to decide where to go. We began to plan ahead for the next 6 months and found prices cheap enough to go to Europe as well. How exciting to purchase such affordable tickets to Dallas in the fall and Spain in the spring. 


Now we are looking a year down the road where to go next and making plans to travel to California, Germany and England. A really great site for good airfares is www.fareness.com - easy to use!



Dross

The definition of "dross" is something regarded as worthless; rubbish, junk. Of course, one person's junk is another one's treasure! It is amazing how much is accumulated in 30 years. There are things in our home that are my parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. At least five generations of "stuff!"

Everyone's first question is "how did it feel?" Honestly I have always planned to die with my "stuff" and in my little home. So I was expecting it would feel much like putting my dog down when she became so ill - gut-wrenching! I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it wasn't like that at all but instead it was like paying off a school loan or a car loan instead - liberating!


I'm not sure that is the status quo for everyone who does this and to be honest I don't believe for one minute that this is for everyone. Not at all! It's just right for us right now. Am I terrified? Of course, but fear is something I deal with even in the safety of my home. I find that I am so full of excitement and anticipation that it is overriding my fears. Each time something is either hauled away or sold it feels closer to making our dream into a reality. So right now in this journey it is pleasant and fun!



Selling

The first thing I did when I realized that we were really going to do this was to go through the attic - drawers - cabinets - closets - etc. Now I don't like organizational or cleaning days to ever become a day of bondage so I choose a much simpler method. This is how I do my chores: Walk around the house (doctors orders). As I enter each room I open a drawer, closet, whatever and remove something to throw away, give away or sell. I have a large IKEA bag to hold the give away stuff that I keep in a designated area so once it is full I can put in my car and drop off at the Goodwill on my way to work.

Five car loads of stuff that we didn't want to bother selling at a garage sale were dropped off at Goodwill. Then I was able to begin selling the nicer items online. Facebook garage sale sites make it easy to do by taking a picture and posting with the information and sale price. Immediately people began calling. There were 2 designated places to meet that were safe - one in the plaza where I work and the other the main post office by my house. In a couple of days and only 4 items I made over $300. It actually only took minutes to do.


The more precious items I boxed up to give away to younger family members. It was fun to put together small boxes with our treasures to pass on to them. Our children requested some of the bigger things in the house which we will give to them when the house sells.


We left enough furniture and accessories to show the house when potential home buyers begin to come. Also, just enough things to make the house look like home and for us to enjoy until the last day. We are excited!!!






Planning

My favorite part of any trip is the planning stage because I love having something to look forward to. It's like Christmas to me because I love the planning part of the holiday and preparation. Once the day comes it is over so quickly. So this has been so much fun as we plan and prepare much like Christmas without all the stress of time constraint. There needs to be time to make the plans of traveling for long periods of time.

Our first concern is my husbands health and well being. He had a kidney transplant eight years ago and still has to follow up with blood work and check ups. Plus with traveling overseas it is vital that we are insured properly. We have terrific insurance here in the states but it doesn't help us over there. Fortunately there are policies and companies to choose from and we need to be sure they are accepted in the country we plan to visit.


Also, it is a good idea to know where the doctors, hospitals and clinics are located in those areas. We don't want to leave that for the last minute in case something should happen. So that is the part of the planning stage we are now. We began by changing his doctor to one that is closer to our home instead of an hour away. It gives us an opportunity to see what we need in order to make this change and then we can look for new doctors wherever we go and have a better idea of what we need to do.


When traveling abroad there is a great link to check out to give you an idea of what to prepare for
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/checklist.html

This picture was taken of my grandkids.