October 30, 2012
“Chris gave notice at work. The estate sale is done. The last few things are either in our storage unit or donated. Plane tickets are bought. Shipping the car is arranged. Our friends and family think we are crazy. I have researched all my brain can handle. Everyone is freaking out about Colombia – we won’t even be there for 10 months! Family worries about Chris taking a year off from work. I do to. I hope I did not ask too much of him. Perhaps we can figure out a way to make money while we travel“
All the preparations were exhausting. I had spent a few months selling stuff on eBay and CraigsList, but the majority of stuff was sold at en estate sale. I am glad we used a company that does just estate sales. We worked our ass off too, but it would have been impossible without their help. They have the experience and tools to do it right. It was a lot of work even with their help, but in the end we sold 90% of the stuff in our home. (We had a lot of stuff – it should be mandatory to move every 4 years just to unload). The rest we donated. We had put a few things into a small, 5 by 10, storage unit; our super comfy, king size Tempurpedic bed, some clothes (like Chris’ suits) and some items of personal value we couldn’t part with …. yet.
We went to the extreme of selling everything, but you definitely do not need to do that. We also shipped a car which we liked for various reasons, but you may not want to.
Overall, our family and friends thought we were crazy to leave for a year in South America. Actually, it was not until the estate sale that the kids truly believed we were going. One concern expressed by many friends was for our safety in Colombia. Everyone thought of South America as a continent of third world countries. They remember the headlines about the drug cartels. But, that was from the 1980’s! We did a lot of research and Colombia has worked very hard to change. It is not the same country it was back then.
Oddly, most of our friends now say they wish they could do what we are doing. Instead, they will live vicariously through us. I wish others would realize anyone can do what we are doing. There are always reasons why not to…..but we would encourage others to consider doing it. We are having a blast.