My journey to selling everything I owned to travel started with, “Hi, my name is Carly and I’m an addict.” It was just like you see on the movies or tv. We all sat next to one another in a circle and introduced ourselves and admitted our addictions.
Except, it wasn’t just like you see on tv. I was crying so. damn. hard. that I had snot oozing out of my nose in the most disgusting way you could imagine.
Thank God the group didn’t care and more importantly, they didn’t judge. They just handed me the box of tissues. Or, as I later found out the group lovingly calls it, “tissues for issues.”
Man almighty did I have issues.
To clarify, I’m not a drug, sex, or alcohol addict.
I almost wish I was because at least those addictions are self-satisfying. I found myself in a group called Celebrate Recovery which is a 12-step program open to anyone dealing with hurts, habits, or hang-ups.
My life seemed completely and utterly out of control. And the ol’ 12-step plan seemed like an attractive option to having a roadmap or process for the madness of my life.
The majority of members were not drug addicts, but just people like you and I who experience something and need healing from a situation, anxiety, stress, or depression.
I came into the grouping thinking, “Oh this is just a situational hiccup in my life. I don’t personally have any problems. It’s XYZ person in my life that has the issue. I’m just here recouping from THEIR drama and destructive behaviors.”
I thought, “I’m a strong, healthy, and fiercely independent woman!”
Well, that image of myself quickly faded. I found out, I’m not an independent. Instead, for my entire life, I’ve struggled with being codependent.
Shock. Of. My. Life.
“WTF?! But, I’m an entrepreneur. I have my own business. I empower others to get out of debt. How in the world can I struggle with being codependent?!”
I received a pamphlet on codependency and initially denied that was my struggle. “I’m sooo independent. I don’t depend on others.”
Then weeks passed and I was like, “Oh snap. I struggle with codependency.”
Here are some of the questions to see if you’re codependent:
- Look for approval from others?
- Feel controlled or manipulated by others?
- Feel responsible for the feelings, actions and choices of those around you?
- “Give in” to boundaries you previously set?
Yes. Yes. And Yes.
Yep, so I struggle with codependency. That means I often do for others, what they need to do for themselves.
In a nutshell: I’m a recovering people-pleaser.
I’m addicted to giving to others at my own expense. After 30-plus years, that gets freakin’ exhausting. It’s a massively unsustainable way of life that led me to seek out a recovery program. And to take a few months off to travel to Hawaii.
Here’s part two of how I’ve taken off 3.5 months off to travel with no income or tapping into my emergency fund.
If you missed part one of the series of traveling with no income, check it out here. In three words how I have traveled without using savings: I SOLD EVERYTHING.
That’s the final piece of how I’ve financed this time off without pay. I’ve had very minimal expenses. I have no debt, no rent, and just the basics like insurance and cell phone to pay for.
To pay for flights, sight-seeing, lodging, etc. I sold everything I have! Here’s four lessons I learned from selling everything I owned with exactly how I did it in a month and a half.
First, a big warning about selling EVERYTHING.
KIDS, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
For 99.99% of the population, I would never ever recommending selling everything you have. It’s a super-far-fetched idea that serves no purpose unless like me, you want to travel and start over.
When I say that I sold everything, I mean I literally only have a backpack of clothes and shoes, plus a massive duffel bag with sentimental items like my high school yearbook.
Side note on why not to sell everything you have; people will look at you like you have a dead body you’re lugging around in your 100-pound duffel bag.
Yes, between switching from one Airbnb to the next, someone looked at me, nervously shook their head, and proceeded to quickly run away from me highly distressed.
I wish that was a story, but I can’t make this s**t up.
I’ve never had anyone seriously (like for real) look at me like I’m a murderer.
It does a number to ol’ self-esteem, that’s fo sho. The people-pleaser in me wanted to run after the guy and open my scrapbook from high school to prove I’m not a murderer. I’d also show him my report cards too from kindergarten through 8th grade. Straight A’s most years, bitches!
Here’s why I decided to sell everything.
I realized that almost everything I owned was purchased because someone else wanted me to. So lame, so humiliating, but so the truth.
The moment, I realized this (thank you Celebrate Recovery) I had an urge to purge and get rid of EVERYTHING. Everything I had sold online through Craigslist, Offerup, and had a massive garage sale. I sold my furniture, car, and everything in between.
To clarify on why I did this, I felt that it was necessary. Here I am the personal finance advocate who recommends others to look at your cash flow to see if what you spend money on matches your values. Then I’m sitting here making purchases based on what others want from me.
For example, at age 22, I bought a brand spanking new Mercedes Benz, more or less because of peer pressure to “fit the company image.”
This was almost 12-years ago now and I’ve been saving for four years ALREADY for my next car.
It was finally time to pull the trigger and sell the beast. The same thing with my furniture. It was beyond time to replace. It was all over a decade old, mismatched, and falling apart. Somehow it was all furniture that someone else a decade ago, convinced me that I needed.
I decided mid-March that I was going to sell everything and then travel. It took me a month and a half to sell everything (having a garage sale is work!). I also got multiple trade-in offers on my car that were nothing short of a joke. I ended up selling my car privately and got about $2,500 more than the trade-in value.
Selling my car privately was worth the extra time and energy.
Also, the cash from my garage sale was not chump change. I earned 4-figures from a freakin’ garage sale. I mean, I had hand sanitizers that were half used and sold them for a quarter! Apparently that s**t adds up!
I’ve been able to take a few months off and travel from having almost no fixed bills and from the cash from selling everything I have.
Now of course, after the trip there will be a massive: back to reality. I’ll need to buy another car, furniture, and the whole-she-bang. Luckily, as I mentioned I’d already been saving up for this for about FOUR years anyways and plan on rockin’ the simple life to live with less. It has now been over two months without a car. It’s been crazytown. Here’s how life is without a car!