Leaving It All Behind!
The months before we gave up our flat to take off on our big adventure, were filled with finding ways to sell/distribute/give away our stuff.
About a year prior to leaving, we started to sell CD's, DVD's and books on Ebay, Amazon and Magpie. We put a few on every week to make it manageable, and our Sundays were spent packing, weighing and addressing parcels to be sent out. We also did regular boot sales. It was a perfect way to make some extra cash to add to the travel fund.
Closer to our date of departure, we gave our fridge and washing machine away on Gumtree. They were both gone within an hour of placing the ads!
Some friends kindly took a couple of our (very large) favourite pictures to take care of and they are hanging on their walls to this day (not sure if we will get them back!)
Various miscellaneous items were taken to charity shops.
On our final weekend, we had a big party, where many of our friends left with a parting gift of a piece of furniture! Basically, everything found a home and nothing was thrown away.
At the end, our belongings consisted of a few boxes of travel books (including all those of our favourite writer Alastair Humphreys!) and some bags of clothes, all of which went into storage in Ku's mum's garage.
It was a delight to cancel our direct debits - electric, gas, council tax and the DVD club we belonged to. We even got a refund from the council! All that we were left with was a direct debit for our mobile phones, which we had decided to take with us.
Hurray - we were free! Life had suddenly become less complicated! All we had were the (day) packs on our backs - we were ready for an adventure!
Fear And Security - Two Words To Banish From Your Vocabulary!
Life is about taking chances and living, rather than just existing.
When you are stuck in a job you don't particularly like doing the same thing day after day, the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years. One day blends into another and before you know, it's all one big blur. A week of travel expands, while a week in an office shrivels to a dot.
You live for your two week holiday, and just as you begin to relax, it's time to go back to work. It's barely enough time to unwind. And these working years are when you are at your peak physically.
You spend money on 'stuff'' - clothes, cars, useless household goods that you often don't really need to brighten up your dull days.
And what when you look back and wish you had taken a different path? Lived a different life? That you had cycled round the world? Backpacked through South America or hiked the Himalayas?
There are two words to blame - Fear and Security. Fear is what stops people doing what they truly desire. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. And people fear not having securtiy, not having a home, a job, a pension, and 'stuff'. Remember, as J.F.K. said 'Security is a kind of death'. It stops you in your tracks and holds you prisoner.
The answer is to act now, do some research, think about the alternatives, make a plan, stop consuming, save money and dream .....big!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour,
catch the tradewinds in your sails......Explore. Dream. Discover".
Follow that Dream
'If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you will fall into someone else's plan. And guess
what they have planned for you? Not much'.
Ever since as far back as I remember, I didn't want to live an average life. Sometimes it's difficult not to conform - there are so many pressures placed on you by society, and I certainly spent more than my fair share of time stuck in jobs that I didn't like. I got caught in the web of modern life......going to work, coming home, watching TV, overeating, getting into debt, going out for drinks and maybe a meal at the weekend. A predictable, but safe and cosy way to live. In many countries, this would be
considered a privileged lifestyle and don't get me wrong, it is. Many people are content with living this way, and indeed modern life is structured in such a way that it is not easy to get off the beaten path. However, there is an amazing world out there, full of exciting opportunities. I felt compelled to escape form the conventional life every few years and get out there and be a part of it.
Although, for me it was an easy decision, many live their lives with niggling indecision, knowing that they want to take a risk, but being too scared to act on it. People often say to me, 'You are so lucky. I wish I could do what you do'. I explain that it's actually nothing to do with luck and that they too could do it if they really wanted to, and they then come up with a hundred reasons that they can't!
Luck is something that happens to you by chance, rather than by design. We only have one life (or maybe not, depending on your spiritual beliefs) and it is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that life is lived by design and not luck.
My theory is that if something excites you, puts fire in your belly, so to speak, then that is what you should explore. Intuition. Instinct. Call it what you will. For me, that 'something' was, and still is, travel. Even now, I can have a random conversation with another traveller who will talk about 'how amazing backpacking through Columbia was', or their 'incredible roadtrip on the Silk Road' and the excitement resurfaces.
'Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing'. Helen Keller
Looking back, there are of course, things I wish I had done differently, but the one thing I have no regrets about is my travels. Unlike possessions, which come and go, memories stay with you, ultimately more precious than any object. Possessions are transitory, but experiences make us grow.
When you look back at your life, you will only regret what you didn't do, not what you did. So, if the
thought of having a adventure of any type puts fire in your belly (or even just butterflies!), don't delay. Make the dream a reality while you can, while you are physically still able to and while you have the motivation. You won't regret it!
'Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it'. Goethe