Can you sell everything you own and travel when you have pretty much, um, nothing valuable? We’ll cut to it – the answer is yes, but you’ll have to get creative. The truth is, you’d be surprised by how much your things are worth, and there’s always somebody who will put them to good use.
We’ll be straight up: we did not own a car, we did own a house, we didn’t have any expensive jewellery or electronics or really anything at all. Even still, we were still able to save roughly $2,000.00 by just selling everything we owned. So let’s walk through it.
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Sell EVERY. Little. Thing.
We sold everything in our apartment down to the last fork. Here’s what we did:
- Start with the big stuff. We had one couch, a carpet, a lamp and a bedside table to sell. We had a bed at the time, but we lent it to a friend. This furniture sold online for about $40-$80 each.
- Sell small things in bundles. Even clothes. If you don’t have very expensive clothing, but you do have second-hand items that are still in good shape, bundle them up! Just because you don’t have expensive items, doesn’t mean you can’t sell everything & travel. Put together full outfits and sell them for $20. You can also do this with household items. Don’t have a full tool kit? Sell the tools you do have in goodie bag.
- Sell your kitchen all at once. We took all of our sets of plates, mugs, utensils. Put them into bins. Sold the entire bins.
- Use Facebook Marketplace – especially for the small things. We tried every platform and found Facebook Marketplace to be the most effective. Nick remembers putting a headlamp on there for $2 and meeting somebody at the train station that same night to sell it.
- No sale is too small. Like we mentioned, we would leave the house to make a $2 sale. If you want to sell everything & travel, you’ll have to swallow your pride.
- Put your savings in a jar. Ok, you don’t have to do this. But we found it extremely rewarding. Let’s admit it – it can be discouraging going across town to sell a set of plates for $5. If you put all of your earnings in one place however, you will be able to physically see the money pile up. It makes the process of selling everything you own way less draining.
Make the time for sales
We aren’t going to lie to you. It will be time consuming. So make time for your sales. Allocate a couple of months, or at the very least, a few weeks to selling everything. If you’re still working, utilize your lunch breaks. Schedule 2 evenings per week to sell. Organize your week so that you don’t have to miss out on the pleasures in life, but you still have time to get rid of it all.
Be open to trades
In Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and New York there is a great resource called Bunz. If you don’t live in or around any of these cities, research Facebook trading groups.
For example: when we were moving, I would trade small items (worth $5-$15 dollars) for bottles of wine. This helped me save on buying alcohol for all of our “farewell” social events we had planned.
Just post what you have and name your trade. You could trade your winter jacket for a travel backpack, or something that will be beneficial to you in the future.
Evaluate your valuables & your life
Be realistic. Do you have enough income and/or valuables to sell everything & travel without working? If you do, great! We still have tips for you! But if the answer to that question was a big “no”, it seems like you may be in the exact same position we were in.
We knew we wanted to travel the world, but we certainly didn’t have the income to reach those dreams. That’s when we decided we would live abroad and work while we travel.
Evaluate your skills
… and be open to learning new ones. There are plenty of ways to work remotely and/or abroad. If you’re thinking about getting up and running away from home, you’ve probably seen teaching English abroad a million times by now. Yep, us too. That’s what we decided to do.
Where are you qualified to work?
For example, we decided we wanted to teach – but neither of us have bachelor’s degrees. That’s one of the main reasons we landed on Cambodia. Think about where you’re qualified to work, if that’s going to have to be one of your first stops.
Research what the average-high range salary would be in the country (or countries) that you’re going to, and save up enough to get there
Let’s use Cambodia as an example one last time. In Cambodia, teachers make 1,200 USD a month, and we knew we were going to work, so we both saved a little more than the equivalent of a monthly salary in order to move there.
That gave us enough time and money to find jobs.
We used this approach when we travelled through both Asia and Australia. We knew we’d each need $1,200+ to travel through Bali for a month, and $3,000+ for Australia based on average salary statistics alone. It’s a lot easier than reading through millions of differing travel guides.
Buy your ticket – this is the hardest part
Once you have your ticket, you kind of have to go. This was, by far, the hardest part of the entire process for us – and it may be hard for you as well.
The good news? Once you have your ticket, you have a deadline to meet.
The point is – travelling isn’t just for people who have it all figured out. If you are open to working hard to sell your items, and open to working abroad, you are already on the right track to making a big change in your life.
Thinking of moving to Cambodia to teach English? Our full step-by-step guide is here.
Not sold on teaching English? Still considering it? Read: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Teaching ESL Abroad