Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Twenty eight days to go. I'm going to sit here and let that sink in for a moment. Less than one month. Slow inhale. Slow exhale. Relax. It's all going to be OK.

We decided to take five weeks off of work before we leave for Romania, so we've been off for a week now. For both of us it was the bittersweet ending of great jobs. But we haven't missed work once. I'm sure that part of the reason we haven't missed work is the insanity of getting ready for our garage sale and selling things on craigslist. On Saturday,we sold everything we can't carry on our backs. (This is not entirely true. Family and friends will be kindly babysitting a few choice items such as our flat screen TV, Dean road bike, Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers, and a few other things we couldn't bear to permanently part with.) We've made enough money to pay for a used MacBook and all of our new gear (e.g. long underwear, backpacks, more long underwear....).

We've met people from all over town, and all over the world, through craigslist including a guy who bought (and subsequently returned) our kitchen table and chairs. He had lived in eastern Europe for fifteen years and returned to the U.S. about a year ago. He told me, "We're trading places in the world." He also mentioned that he hasn't owned a kitchen table in over a decade. What a concept! I wonder what's changed so that he feels as though he needs to own one now.

Most of the people who have bought stuff from us this week have wondered why we're cutting so deeply with this sale. This is a move unlike any we've experienced. We're selling items that people simply don't sell in a "normal" move. It isn't even normal for most people entering the Peace Corps. Many are either just starting their careers or just finishing them. They either don't have a life's worth of stuff to get rid of or they will likely come back to their home when they're done with their service. We're shedding our stuff so that we can be open to anything this life changing experience brings. After all the questions about selling our stuff, I'm wondering if one of the biggest reasons people don't do what we're doing is their stuff. Stuff can be a comfort, but it also feeds into our culture of consumerism. Buying and selling stuff keeps the economy growing. Owning stuff keeps people from getting bored. The amount of stuff a person has is a way of keeping score. Maybe we are nuts for selling everything, but at this, point being nuts is just fine with me.


  1. Wow - I am inspired! We are going back to Colorado next week to sort thru our stuff before we put it into storage out here. Maybe we can be as nonchalant about getting rid of things... I totally agree about "stuff" and consumerism. We are living in the throes of it right now (Northern Va), but that's a whole other topic.. that I may blog about... Anyway if we have time to grab coffee or something while I'm in town I would love to. I'll ping you once we get there.

  2. "We're shedding our stuff so that we can be open to anything this life changing experience brings." That's the ticket dudes. Selling your stuff sounded like an adventure in generosity too. I thought dean only made that tasty french onion dip, nice that they decided to branch out and find a product to reverse the calories of their initial genius. Anyhoo, glad to read that you are not the Peace corp norm, it seems like you're in a "more to loose category", Which is healthy -I don't live with that abandonment enough... Carry on!

  3. Thanks for your encouragement. We really shed our stuff when we sold out house last week.

  4. You don't still need anyone to look after those B&W's do ya? ;-)

    I left mine in the UK 9 years ago and have missed them ever since...