When I was 19 years old, I was having the same feelings you are probably having right now; anxious to get up and go; to wander, to explore, to experience, and to grow. In just a week's time, I sold everything I owned and set out to see the world. Tomorrow is my 24th birthday (it really is), and I am still traveling.
Sounds intimidating, right? Truth be told, the whole process has been much, much easier than I could have imagined. Here, I will break down how I did it.
The ultimate Cleanse: How to (easily) sell everything you own
Friends come first: Open house-
The first thing I did was send out a mass text and a post on Facebook telling everyone what I was doing (which made me rather excited), and that I was going to be selling everything in my house. I started an event called “Natasha’s Open House, Come Buy Anything and Everything You Want,” and I made a party out of it. A good amount of people showed up to the party. I put price tags on (almost) everything, we had some drinks and tunes, and my friends walked around my house and starting buying all of my things. Selling my drum set and favorite tapestry to a friend felt way better than to someone I didn’t know.
Neighbors come second: Yard sale
The next thing I did was the good ol’ yard sale. It was really easy, considering (almost) everything already had a price tag. A few days before, I posted ads on community FaceBook groups and calendars about the “Selling Everything to Travel the World” sale. The day of, I drove around and set up a few signs and brought all of my stuff out to my front yard. This was another success.
Strangers come last: Online selling-
I had very few things left over after the yard sale. Since I don’t like dealing with shipping and handling, I used a popular website for selling things locally called Craigslist to post the items I had left over. Anything else that remained (which wasn’t much), I put in my car and donated to charity.
The (not so) tricky part: How to maintain your travels
Long Term Stays: Travel by Trade-
By this, I mean work trades and volunteering. This works by volunteering in exchange for: gaining new skills, really getting to know the local community, learning about the location in depth, building long lasting relationships with other volunteers, and, oh yeah, free accommodation and (usually) food. Types of volunteer work you can do include, but are not limited to: working at hostels, farming, teaching a language, babysitting, and working in animal sanctuaries. Three of my favorite work exchange websites are:
These all require a small membership fee, but they are well worth the cost.
Short term stays: Hanging with the locals
If you are looking to explore an area for only a short amount of time, a friendly local to hang out with and show you around, and free accommodation, I highly recommend Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing links travelers up with hospitable locals who want to give them a place to stay for free, and offers a referral and reference program to make sure you feel comfortable with who you are staying with. A lot of my favorite travel memories have been from Couchsurfing; it’s also really good to know that I have reliable friends all over the world.
Maintaining momentum: Making money along the way
Making money while traveling can be easy if you get those creative juices flowing and think outside the box. Without having to get a work visa and settle into an actual job, I have seen people find some pretty interesting ways to keep the cash flowing as they nomadically explore the world. Here are a few ideas:
- Doing trade work, like massages on the beach or yoga classes; one time I even put up signs offering lucid dreaming classes. . . It was surprisingly successful!
- Selling fine art, like paintings, clothes, or jewelry.
- Street performing, like playing music, or (what I like to do) fire dancing.
- Cooking big meals at hostels and offering them to guests for a fixed price; it’s also a great way to bring people together.
- Setting up bonfires on the beach, finding people to play music, and buying beer/food in bulk and asking for donations; I have seen a lot of money being made this way.
The possibilities are endless! Just be open minded, creative, and aware of the fact that there are opportunities to make cash everywhere you go.
The most ideal way to continue your journey: Work remotely
I used to think that you had to be techy (computer programming, software engineering, etc.) in order to work online, but now I know that there is something out there for everyone. For instance, freelance websites allow you to get paid by clients for doing a huge variety of tasks. Here is where the possibilities open up: you can get paid for doing tasks such as blog commenting, graphic design, writing, programming, product reviewing, making and promoting music, branding, beta testing, editing, and so much more. Heck, I even got paid once to wear a Gumby costume and dance with a sign for a Halloween store. My three favorite websites for doing freelance work are:
Lastly, you’ve got this!
Once all of your stuff is sold and you are using the above resources to get free room and board, along with generating some type of income along the way, the world is yours! You can live freely to travel for as long as your open heart desires. It is much easier than you may right now believe.
So start now! Go! Send out that Facebook post about your plans. Set a “Selling Everything in Your House” party, put a price tag on your dresser; satisfy that inner craving to get out and wander, explore, experience, and grow.
By Kawartha contributing writer Natasha Lincoln who gave away all of her belongings, quit her job, and got a one-way ticket to Central America with only $380 in her pocket.