Travel

Seven Continents or Bust!

I’ve been watching a lot of travel shows lately. I find it helps to keep my wanderlust up during periods where I’m not actually traveling. They also provide me with ideas on where to go next. I like finding ideas on new and obscure travel locations, and then daydreaming as I might actually get there one day. It’s a good use of brainpower.

It seems that, as of late, all the travel shows seem to have converged upon a theme. I’m not sure if it’s intentional or if it just happens as a matter of volume. The longer one travels, the more of the hit list locations get checked off, and the more one needs to move farther afield to find new travel destinations. I suppose it’s a natural side effect of longevity.

The theme that I am alluding to is the need to visit all seven continents. Stepping foot on all seven continents is seen, in some circles, as the mark of a real traveler. In other circles, a real traveler is someone who has gone to a new land and learned how to live in a new culture. In other circles, one who has thoroughly explored a region is considered a travelers. Everyone uses the definition that best suits the way they view the world.

So, I guess my question of the blog post is this: Do you need to step on every continent to consider yourself well-traveled? Where I would think the answers are either yes or no, there are as many justifications for those answers as there are people answering. And that, is the beauty of individuality.

My personal answer to this question is no. I am also sure about my answer. Let me explain why. In my experience, travel is NOT a collection of places. A bunch of pins on a map, or stamps in a passport, without the experience of those places, is just a bunch or pins or stamps. When you go someplace new, you learn. You may learn about the difference in how people travel from point A to point B. You may learn about other people history in a specific country or region. You may learn how people get on with other people, or the things they hold sacred, or the way they grow food, or the things they teach their children. But, above all, you learn something. If I have gone somewhere and learned only that I didn’t want to go back there (Which has rarely ever happened), I still learned something. That something is the thing that give travel meaning. It is the thing that you try to pass on to others. Travel stories and barroom tales are all just collections of you telling someone else your lessons learned through traveling.

Here’s a small diversion to maybe help prove my point about a collection of pins. I have managed five of the seven continents. They would be North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. I have spent excessive amounts of time in North America, and Europe. Would I say that I have traveled through them enough to know them and learned what there is to learn? Absolutely, no.

I live in the US, and have travelled to all but five of the states. Yet, there are still probably over a hundred things still on my US to-do list. Places I want to go and things I want to do, before I stop travelling around the US and call it seen. Obviously, those hundreds of things don’t all hit into five states. They are still scattered all over the US.

As I said, I’ve been to Africa. It was in 2000. I took a Contiki trip to see Egypt. The trip was excellent and I saw a great deal of Egypt. I definitely did things that I would not have done if I had solo traveled around the country. (I am not necessarily endorsing Contiki. I’m definitely a solo traveler by nature. BUT, if you’re not the go it alone type, I will say that if you’re 18-35 and want to get out and see the world, Contiki is an excellent company to utilize. I have countless good things to say about my experience travelling with them, and the people I met.) Did I see all that Egypt had to offer, no. Did I get to plant my pin in the African continent, yes. Because I’ve been there, and planted my pin, should I not go back? I say, no. There are a whole list of places I want to visit in Africa as well. I plan to have grand adventures in and around the African continent.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the idea of saying you have been to all seven continents, as if you’ve accomplished some great task, means you’ve missed the point of travelling to begin with. Travel is supposed to enrich your life. Travel is supposed to open your eyes to new cultures and to new ideas. Travel is supposed to be – rewarding, not simply a collection of pins.

I have met people that have spent all of their time simply travelling their own country. They never escaped to farther fields, yet they are definitely more travelled than I am. They went out and saw something new, and with opened eyes were rewarded with new experiences. Those are the people I love to talk to. Their passion for places just over the hill or across the state make me want to go to those places too. To experience the same things they did.

That, in my opinion, is why we all travel. Not to collect pins (Though we all collect pins), but to have new experiences.

Now get out there. Go.

 

Two good friends of mine I was motorcycling around with, somewhere in the US Southwest. I’m thinking sometime around 2010 or 2011. Even though I had been to the southwest several times before, I had never been there – until then.

 

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Travel

Getting Around Town.

This stream of conscience is more about internal travel than it is external travel. We will cover getting from country to country in another episode. Today let’s talk about how to get around a place once you have already made it there.

For the sake of good conversation, let’s start with Europe. It really doesn’t matter if it’s western or eastern Europe, I find the go-to answer to be the train. When I was younger, and lived in Germany, I drove almost everywhere. It was just a matter of get up and go. Now that I’m not embedded in the culture anymore, I find the train to be the best option. The train system in Europe literally goes everywhere. Seriously, I mean it goes everywhere. The small little town in the middle of nowhere will have a train station. I may only get one train a day, or a week, but it is still accessible. The other good note about Europe is – It ain’t big. I don’t mean that as a statement about the continent, but more about the cities in it. Most all the cities in Europe have one of two qualities. Either they aren’t very large or they have a metro system to get around. Any city of any size in Europe will have a metro (subway) system.

You can walk out of your hotel in London, get the tube to the train station, catch a train across the channel to Paris, and take the metro to your next hotel. No rental cars or cabs required. After hitting up Paris, you’re on the high-speed train south to Barcelona or Nice. Maybe, you head east to Frankfurt. Maybe it’s farther on to Rome. Wherever you’re headed in Europe, I personally think the train is the answer.

Now, the rail system does have some downfalls. The real downfall of the rail system is that you’re going wherever the train is going. If you like to do the random stops and check out the unmarked roads, then the train is not going to be your first choice. It’s cool, you have to travel the way you like to travel. Getting off the beaten track with a rental car in Europe is pretty easy. All of the major rental companies that operate in North America also operate in Europe. There are different requirements for insurance and such, but the process is basically the same. You may be required to possess an International Driver’s Permit, and should definitely check the requirements of the country you plan to visit. If you are required to possess an International Driver’s Permit, you can pick one up at your local AAA Car Club office where you live. Most major car rental companies will also offer deals to vacationing travelers. Check with the car company you intend to use or the booking agency you get your plane/hotel through as they may have incentives and saving plans available that can lower your cost.

If the train is for you, then there are options here as well. Both Rail Europe and EURail offer multiple day/multiple country train ticket options through their websites. The ticket packages need to be purchased before you leave North America, but can be bought in advance and activated when you arrive. Depending upon your ideas about what you want to do, buying single use tickets at the train station can be a cheaper option, as the rail passes are fairly expensive. If you plan to visit several parts of a country or multiple countries, the rail pass is definitely a money saver.

Moving on to Africa, Sadly here I’m not much help. The one time I was in Africa I used a travel company. Which one? Contiki. They were excellent. They also provided all of the logistics. Frankly, the traffic in Cairo was something I had never seen before. I didn’t know traffic and action sports could be blended together until I made it to Cairo. I’m sure there are good ways to get around, I just haven’t scouted them out yet.

South America. South America doesn’t have the infrastructure that North America has. It lacks any of the serious between city/country services, except for buses. Buses and planes are the between country services in the lower part of the Americas. The flights across country are also reasonably priced. The bus is the cheapest, but is also definitely sketchier. You can catch an internal of to-country flight quiet reasonably. Once you land, its cabs and buses around the city. The rental car option is also available in most major South American cities, but with a cab service it probably isn’t necessary. At least, that’s me. Some people like more independence of travel. If you’re looking for on-the-cheap, then a rental is probably a good option. You can burn up a little money running from one side of a city to the other. I just tend to find cabs easier.

South America is much more based on buses and cabs in the cities, and buses or private drivers from city to city. When I was in Costa Rica, I used the private driver option. Travelling up into the cloud forests, it pays to have a driver who knows where he’s going. It’s also nice to be able to talk to a local for a while, about whatever.

My time in the Caribbean has been a mix of cabs and rental cars. Seriously, beaching it is easy in a rental car. And, like North America, the car companies are everywhere. If you’re headed out for the night to party, leave the rental at the hotel and cab it. You will be happy you did on the way home.

I have utilized trains, cabs, buses, horse and carriage, and private drivers while traveling abroad. It really depends on how you want to get around. If you are the typical North American traveler, you want freedom of movement. That is easy enough to find, depending on your definition of freedom. If it’s I-want-to-go-right-now, then it’s rental cars probably. If its lets-go-and-see then it’s the train, or a bus, or a cab. Most cities and city to city connections in most parts of the world have a bus service. I recommend that if you plan to use the local bus service, you research it before you go. The ideas of safe and prompt vary wildly across the globe. If you’re thinking that you’re going from Lima, Peru, down the coast to Nazca, Peru, and that you’re going to be taking the Greyhound, you’re probably going to be sadly mistaken. You’re also going to have a bad travel experience.

I tend to think that have a good travel experience has as much to do with travelling like the locals as it does with interacting with the local society. If you’re in a place where everyone travels by bus, then get out and travel by bus. If you’re in an area of the world with good trains, then take the train. Believe it or not, moving around is actually part of the travel experience. Personally, I can’t wait to get to India or South East Asia and take my first ricksha ride!

The train station in Monte Carlo, spring of 2013. I was in town for the Monaco Grand Prix. It was a really nice train station.

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Travel, Uncategorized

Packing.

There is a truism about traveling the globe, I think. That truism is that you are always going to come back with more stuff than you left with. It habit, especially for us first world people. You buy cool stuff found along the way. You pick up gifts for people back home. Lets face it, nobody can resist that souvenir T-shirt from the street vendor. It’s a fact of travel. That being said, I like to leave space in the backpack to allow for newly acquired stuff. Not a lot of space, but enough so I can come home with one bag the way I left home.

Backpacking is a style I have been employing so long, I can’t remember another way. Well, that’s not completely true, I used to take a large blue hard-sided suitcase to summer camp as a kid. I held everything I needed for the week at camp and was basically indestructible. I think it was one piece of a set my mother picked up when she was young. It was old and showed the signs of many, many places. But camp was a learning experience. So, was the military. You go into the army ad they give you a fancy green backpack. You put all your stuff in it, and then you put it on your back. I learned fast during those days that LESS IS MORE. if you don’t have it, you don’t have to carry it around.

I have never forgotten that lesson. I still travel that way today. Still, less is more. Whether your in Cairo or Paris, Lima or Honolulu, if you need to find something you usually always can. Dragging around a lot of “Maybe” items doesn’t happen. You can rent gear or find a place that sells it. It’s a great world out there, and they have stuff.

As far as my individual travel style, I pack for a week. If I’m going out for a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, I pack for a week. 7 days worth of pants (shorts and jeans), 5 days worth of shirts (I will have bought a couple by the time the week’s out) and 10 days worth of underwear and socks (Cause sometimes you don’t actually find the laundry mat where you think you will). It’s really that simple. It also takes up surprisingly little space in your pack. Extra space is god when you’re on the go. It allows for the rest of the crap you need to pack.

My standard packing list is pretty much like this:

Kelty Backpack (2600)

Rip Curl drawstring bag

Journal with extra pens

A cloth Royal Crown bag containing toiletries, Zantac, and Imodium

A small backpacker first aid kit

A small cloth zippered bag with passport, shot records, travel itinerary, diving cert card and log book (If Required)

A couple of trash bags for the odd rain event

5 shirts, 2 shorts, 1 pair of jeans, good long sleeved shirt, 10 days underwear and socks, hiking boots, Tevas sandals, a rain shell, and a hat (usually bought along the way)

Multi-country electric adaptor

Apple phone charger

Camera battery charger

digital camera

and an external battery for the iPhone

That’s really about it. That amount of stuff will fill the backpack about 85 % full. The drawstring bag can be used to carry stuff onto the plane or as extra storage. I pull the drawstrings full out and tie them off to the carry loops on the backpack. Sometime, you just end up buying extra crap.

I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of stuff. It’s not. It’s what I need to get around wherever I’m at. If something really comes up missing, I go buy one. To be completely honest, the only things you actually need to travel are a passport and a good credit card. The rest of it is just stuff. Back in the days of the tall ships people went abroad with just the clothes on their back. They all had a good time. You can too.

I can just images the thoughts at this point. I can’t go on vacation with just that little bit. I have to have changes of clothes. I have to have extra shoes. I have to have my computer and my dvd player and my big thick book (Okay I admit I drug a copy of On the Origin of Species all over Europe one summer). The truth is , you don’t. You don’t really need it. You certainly don’t need to be dragging it everywhere you go. Trust me, your back will thank you if you don’t.

This is the way I roll. I understand that other people don’t roll this way. I have lots of friends who have multiple bags all the time. If that is what you need for a security blanket, then do it. I have found a way that works for me. It may or may not work for you.

The one thing I absolutely do recommend is leaving a little room in your suitcase or backpack for the stuff you pick up along the way. The first time you find yourself in Heathrow, watching a bunch of shocked people trying to stuff all of the crap they brought into one piece of baggage because the customs people at Heathrow will only allow a single piece of baggage through x-ray with you, you start pack less. You also laugh when you get to the other side of the x-ray line because you only brought one bag and breezed right on through. Just sayin.

Try less. Just a little less. You find it’s not that bad.

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What’s in the pic, It’s all you REALLY need.

 

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Seriously? I can travel for that?

I guess we’ll address one of the great internet myths regarding travel. Well, maybe not a myth but definitely a miscommunication. This would be the statements that you see saying “travel for 50$ a day” or “you can travel for 30$ a day anywhere”. These things drive me just a little crazy. Why? Simple. They apply to a specific type of traveller, but are always given as generalizations.

(What I’m about to say applies to Western Europe.)

If you are an 18-25 year old backpacker, bumming around the globe, YES, you can PROBABLY survive on 50$ a day. Will you have a great time? Hard to say. That would depend upon your idea of a great time. If you consider walking tours, hanging out in the park, and free exhibits a great time then you will make it okay. If you plan on couch surfing, doing the group bunk room at the hostile, or the rare house sitting gig, you can probably get by on 50$ a day.

If you have managed to make it to adulthood and have matured out of the Hostile crowd, making your way through Europe for 50$ a day will be much more problematic. Why? Simple. Hotels cost money. Decent meals cost money. Good museums cost money. AND, let’s face it, decent booze of your country of travel costs money. As you get older, and your tastes become more refined, living on the cheap becomes an issue.

I firmly remember my younger days, bumming around Western Europe while in the military. Living out of a vending machine at the train station. Buying whatever beer was on special at the local bar in town. Staying at the seedy hotels because they were cheap and I wanted more money for booze. They were good times! Do I travel like that now? Of course not. Well, of course not, all the time. I still have the random meal out of a train station vending machine just because it’s easy. I still buy the local beer at times just to try something different. These days I do so because I choose to, not because it is a necessity.

The main reason for this is because I have gotten older and my style of travel has changed. I like a good hotel. I like good meals. You can learn a great deal about a country by its food. I love great museums, and cathedrals. Therefore, I budget more money when I travel now. When you’re younger, I think that you’re expectations about a country are different from when you are older. That. Or you are looking for different experiences from your travel choices. The difference usually always costs more.

Okay, now that I’ve complained about the low-budget, what is my opinion? For Western Europe (Definitely any country in the EU zone, yes I mean add England) a realistic number for a middle-aged traveler who is looking to have a good experience and be On-The-Cheap is probably 150$ a day. Now, stop the freaking out. That number has a real world value behind it. Your standard Western European hotel is going to run you just shy of 90$ a night. (In my opinion, the difference between the 15$ Hostile bed and the 90$ ** Hotel room is worth every cent you pay for it, but I’m not 20 anymore either.) Now, you have 60$ left. Running around a European city that has a decent metro system will set you back 8-10$ a day. Okay, we’re at 50-52$ left for the day. A good meal, at a local restaurant will bang you about 20-25$ per meal. So, one good meal, one breakfast at the hotel, and a quick snack stand stop somewhere throughout the day, and you have spent another 25-30$. This leaves you with 20-25$ to spend throughout the day (Museum entrance tickets, t-shirts, and the like). It’s not a lot of extra cash.

That is what I consider the baseline. If I’m only going to be traveling for 10-14 days, I usually budget 1000$ on top of hotel costs, and subdivide it by the number of days I need to survive. Yes, this isn’t budget travel. This is real world travel. Now, do I actually spend the whole 1000$? Almost always, no. But, running out of cash sucks! I don’t like that. I would rather take a hit on exchanging my Euros back into dollars than running out of cash. By the way, almost all exchanger companies will give you a receipt stating the original exchange rate and exchange unused currency back for the same rate upon your return. The rate is usually always bad, but still better than whatever their posted “Buying Rate” is.

Like I said earlier, that piece is specifically for the Euro-Zone, and England. There are a great many places on the planet that a middle-aged traveler can do quite well for 50$ a day. It requires research and investigation, but it is definitely doable. South East Asia, Indonesia, chunks of India, chunks of Central America, parts of South America can all be done well for 50$ a day. I would caveat that the price is minus airfare. Airfare these days is a topic all its own, and is usually always considered an item outside of the standard expenses. At least in my world. Airfare can be reasonable and it can be expensive, but it is seldom cheap these days. Cheap flights are accidentally finds, or heavy research items. Again, I’ll jump off that bridge later.

The nugget of advice being parted out here? Not really sure, probably it would be stop and evaluate what type of traveler you really are. If you are young and carefree, you probably read this and thought I was crazy. If you’re older, you may be looking at my thoughts differently. Once you understand how you like to travel and the experiences that you want to have, you can budget accordingly. Some people travel very well on very little. I like to have a little more comfort at this point in my life. I say do what works for you. Whatever you chose to do, make sure it fits who you are and what you want to do. Do not just head out based on what somebody told you on the internet. That includes me! Your best experiences are the ones where you are happy and comfortable. You can’t be happy and comfortable if you are constantly worrying about cash. Just sayin…..

No go. Get out there!

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The view from my hotel room in Bruges, Belgium. 90$ a night. Circa 2015.

 

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But, I want to see that place. with the thing. you know.

One of my favorite lines from any movie is one from the movie Eurotrip. “We can to see Europe, not some crappy statue.”

I think this statement leads to an important question about why people travel. It leads to an interesting thing, which is how you set up your travels and where/when you go. Basically, this would be: what do you travel for?

Personally, I’m an art and architecture guy. I like big, old, historical building and monuments. I like history. I love good paintings, specifically the Old Masters. The big cathedrals, the classic basilicas, the coliseum, the area lines of Nazca, that’s what I find interesting. I like god statues and excellent paintings. The Hall of Rubens in The Louvre is possible my favorite place on earth.

This is me. That what I dig. I have friends that are all about new experience. They like meeting new people. They like to interact with individuals and meld into different cultural settings. If that is your interest, that’s awesome. However, you will need to set up your travels differently than I set up mine. And that, is good!

I have other friends who are about new personal experiences. They want to skydive, scuba dive, BASE jump, or surf. They want to ride motorcycles in the desert (I do enjoy this). They want to test themselves against something new. That’s cool too. These people set up their travels differently than the two groups above.

It is important to know why you want to travel, and what new experiences that you want to experience. This way you end up travelling the right way. You also end up travelling to the right places, at the right times. And, most importantly, for the right reasons.

I structure art and architecture into my plans, and I go to new places to see new things. I understand what I want to see before I decide to buy my plane tickets. I know the experiences that I want to have before I start looking at new destinations. When I do start looking, I look for the things I wish to find.

I have to admit that I also have traveling friends who have no preconceived ideas about what they want. They simply want something different than what they currently are experiencing. I think these people may have to hardest problems in choosing a new travel experience, simply because everything presents itself as new and exciting. I’m happy I don’t have that problem.

I guess all of this boils down to: understanding what you want makes it easier to get what you want. Sitting down and thinking about what you want to do is a solid use of your time. I do this a lot. I do it while watching TV or doing other residential tasks. If I see something on a TV show and it looks awesome, I put it on the list of new places. Sometimes I go there, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it takes five or six years before I get there.

Case in point. I watched a show on Machu Picchu back in 1995. It looked cool. I really wanted to go there. I did. In September of 2012 I bought a plane ticket to Lima, Peru, and went to find the Not-So-Lost city of the Inca. That’s how it happens in my world. Never just let the idea go. Because, it may not be the best idea this year, but it may be THE BEST idea next year. There really is no explaining it sometimes.

No matter what possesses you to go exploring, embrace it! Figure out what makes you happy and chase after that. Find that things that gives your travel meaning and do that. Travel should be a lot of things, but most important is that it should not be something that you don’t want it to be. If you like old building, like I do, great. If you like meeting new people, great. If you like having new experiences, great. Go do that. And, take a lot of pictures while you do. You’ll be happy that you did.

Now, go. Get out there.

Aaron.

 

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Machu Picchu, September of 2012. Taken by yours-truly, from the corner of the entry path. It is one of those places on the globe that will make you happy you put forth the effort to go there. Seriously.

 

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All the way around, or just part way?

One of the great questions in the traveling community is that of distance. Do you need to go all the way around the world or can you just go pat way? Can you go a third of the way, and do another chunk of it later? Personally, I say yes and no. The two acts of travel are different things. Or, at least they are in my opinion. When travelers say that they have traveled around the world, it’s a different statement than saying that you took an around the world trip. The first one indicates that you have traveled a great deal and covered a large amount of ground. The second one means that you have circumnavigated the planet, in one fashion or another.

I am a proponent of the partway and then partway method. Why? Simple, it requires much less planning. It requires fewer logistical problems. It can be done in a reasonable amount of time, whether that be a month of six months.

I very much like the idea of the grand adventure. The idea of circumnavigating the planet is a quest few undertake, and fewer complete. It’s a life’s pursuit type of thing. It is on my list of things to accomplish, before I die.

Getting back to the chunky-clunky travel in sections theory, I would say that to claim a “around the world” status you do need to go around the world. If you go a third of the way and then a third of the way, and then finish it off later with the last third, that’s okay. If you skip a section, that’s probably not okay. (My one exclusion to this statement would be war zones. no need to travel through the war zones.)

A great many people travel around one continent, and then on another trip travel around a different continent. I have done this as well. I would say that this approach is fine, as long as it adds up to around the world. Many people use this technique to accomplish a different travel trophy. That would be setting foot on all the continents. This too is a worthy goal, if you chose to attempt it.

I would say that as long as you understand the reason why you travel, go travel and enjoy! If you can pull off a full around the world trip, Awesome. If you do it in smaller pieces, that’s cool too. Either way, get out there and cover some ground. sooner or later, we’ll all make it all the way around to where we started.

Now go! Get out there.

 

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The author, traveling around Egypt with a bunch of crazy Australians. Summer of 2000.

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Stuff part two. The small stuff.

This section of dealing with stuff is based around the smaller stuff in your life. You will also find that it requires easier decision making paradigms.

If you have decided to keep your house, condo, apartment while you are away traveling around the globe, well then, this decision is easy. You leave your stuff right where it is. See, that was easy!

If you decide to downsize, some more relevant decisions need to be made. First question, do you keep anything? If you’re like me and have been a bunch of places, the answer to this question is yes. Realistically, by the time that you have made it to the middle of your years, you have collected a certain amount of things that are not disposable. However, you’ll be amazed at just how little stuff this actually is. Seriously, it’s not as much as you think it is.

It needs to be noted at this point, I hate junk. I hate clutter. It’s probably left over military living or something. Maybe it’s a side-effect of 20 years of traveling for work. Stuff that doesn’t have a specific place and need is junk. Junk needs to be disposed of. It is my opinion that if you are going to traveling, even domestically, for any amount of time, you need to develop a less is more strategy.

For most people, separating themselves from piles of possessions is much more of an emotional issue than it is anything else. It is a capitalist mantra that people need stuff. People that have stuff are well off. More stuff is more good. That way of thinking is, once again in my personal opinion, a bunch of rubbish.

Once of dispose of your home’s furniture, there will be a big pile of stuff leftover. That stuff, is the stuff we are talking about. The furniture in any home can basically be replaced with no great loss of equity later on. It is also a good source of extra travel money. If you have family heirlooms, or antique pieces of furniture, that is a different matter altogether. On that specific note I would say store those items for later on. Usually, antique furniture equity cannot be recouped later on and should be retained. Otherwise, dump the furniture.

That pile of randomness left in your apartment or house is what now remains of your life, to date. You will find that probably 20 percent of that pile is actually stuff that says something about your years on this planet. The other 80 percent is just stuff. The stuff, that’s what you want to be separating yourself from. This point, right here, is where many people emotionally fall down.

Everybody has that friend. That friend that has a house full of stuff. Fancy painted signs on the wall, little stuffed do-dads in every corner. Different sets of dishes for different days of the week. Travelers are NOT these people. Don’t attempt to be these people. If you are honest with yourself, you’ll understand that all of this “stuff” is junk that can be expunged from your life. If you truthfully, emotionally can’t bring yourself to part with your knickknacks, you may want to rethink a traveling and adventurous lifestyle. It’s probably not for you.

For the rest of you, Trust me when I say that a well appointed two bedroom house will fit comfortable in a 10-foot by 10-foot storage unit when you’re down downsizing. I know it will. Personally, I think 10×10 is a little too big, but it’s a standard size in the storage unit business.

As far as disposal goes: I say either list it or just give it away. You would be amazed how many of your friends will take knickknacks from you. (More stuff is more good.) The listing side is also easy. There’s Craigslist, Facebook, A dozen stuff selling apps, and the newspaper want ads for starters. Once you cut the emotional cord, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to actually get rid of.

Moral, less is more. The emotional freedom of not having to look after your stuff is worth the effort made. Less is more. Experience will always outweigh stuff. Always, and every time.

That’s my two cents.

Now, go on. Get out there.

 

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One house in a 10×10. Probably should have dumped the bike, but we can’t all live by our convictions, can we?

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