So I sold everything I owned to adopt a nomadic lifestyle of travel. It wasn’t easy, by any means. I actually had to sell a lot of stuff three or four separate times while moving from Columbus Ohio to Atlanta Georgia, then moving around Atlanta in different living situations! At one point, I owned enough stuff to fill a 1,200 square foot apartment. And before that, an entire three bedroom, two bath house… So here are some tips and pointers I’ve learned along the way.
Make Lists of What You Actually NEED!
This part is pretty easy! Consider how you plan to travel. For me it was backpacking and road tripping. I really only needed a handful of bathroom supplies, a handful of clothes, some bags, luggage, and some camping gear. Beyond that, everything I owned I decided I could sell. Including extra TV’s, dressers, book shelves, bed, clothes, camping supplies that were too bulky, instruments and audio gear, and so much more!
For me, traveling is minimalistic, but that’s not true for everyone and their goals. As an example, if you only plan to travel for a few months then return to your daily life, it would be best to just put your things in storage such as your bed and other furniture. However, getting rid of things you’re not using would be a good idea!
But What About the Things Too Sentimental to Part With?
A lot of my things that I collected over the years are very sentimental to me. Thus, instead of selling them, I put them all into a large box which I stored at my parents house. It really wasn’t easy picking and choosing what I should keep and why. But one thing really helped me. After I would make a pile of what I wanted to keep, I would go through it again. Then again. Then again. A lot of things I actually decided to take pictures of, so that I still had the memory accessible (or something I may stumble across later) but the physical thing I didn’t have. Eventually, I got down to one large box and decided that was good enough for me!
Take Pictures and Know Your Worth!
This part is pretty important. When you try to sell everything you own, sell the big ticket items first. For me, this was mostly recording gear, instruments, and other pro audio gear. These sell by themselves quite often and have some really good going prices. After doing a little bit of research, I found some were worth more, others were worth less! While you may have a price in mind, the market may not agree with that price. And your goal is to sell everything you own, so you must (unfortunately) bow to the basic economics of supply and demand.
Once you’ve sold your big ticket items and individual things, you can take pictures of the smaller things, all together. I grouped mine mostly by what room they were in or what use. As an example, my shower head, over the toilet shelves, humidifier, hair clippers, and a bunch of other things I keep in my bathroom, I took a picture of all together. I also did this with all the things in my living room which didn’t sell immediately. My side table, coffee table, Roku Box, etc. Which brings me to my next point…
Use Social Media!
Sell to your friends and social networks first. If you’re sociable, your friends have probably seen the things you have, maybe they have even used them as you’ve spent time together. They know the quality of your items and if they’re good friends, they’ll want to help you. After posting most of my stuff on Facebook, many of my friends even shared my posts and helped me to sell my things. It went pretty quickly! After I sold all my major stuff, I was left with a handful of major things and mostly smaller ticket items. I was able to group the smaller items together and move to the next steps! Some of the posts I made had images such as the one below...
Use Sites Designed for Selling & Buying!
There are so many apps and websites now to help you sell the things you own. LetGo, eBay, Craigslist, even Facebook Groups and Yahoo Group pages! Selling through these means took a lot more work. A lot of picture taking from every angle, negotiating, scheduling times for pickups or drop offs, emailing back and forth, answer phone calls, and more. But the good thing about it is that that it really helped to get rid of the majority of my medium ticket items. Though the downside is that to get rid of it quickly, I had to offer slightly below market price. People on these sites scourer the posts for deals. Often times for days or weeks on end. And it’s not all that uncommon that people make a living buying good deals, then flip them! Sometimes even refurbishing or simply just cleaning the items really well to sell at a slightly higher price. While these sites can take a lot of work, they will help you get things sold at reasonable prices. Which again, brings me to my next point!
Use Garage Sales & Yard Sales!
What About The Things That Don't Sell?
It’s no secret that some things just don’t sell very well. These things are often small ticket items, clothes, shoes, things that cater to unique tastes, silverware, dishes, and more. Well, there’s all kinds of ways to get rid of them. Your clothes, take places like Rags-O-Rama or Plato’s Closet, they buy gently used clothes that are in fashion. Look up some other local businesses as well that buy used clothes. I sold some clothes to a company I had never heard of simply by asking where I might be able to sell some of the clothes that didn’t sell at Plato’s Closet or Rags-O-Rama simply because they were out of season. Check with your local thrift shops, I had a few buy some electronic cables and coffee mugs, plates, and glass cups that didn’t sell. And finally, check for your local charities, recycling centers, and more. I found a local charity that took all of my clothes that didn’t sell and that sends them to those in need. I also found a local recycling center that took literally the rest of it and sends nice things to charities they partner with. After that, I literally had one carload of stuff my parents agreed to keep safe for me while I traveled… oh, and a motorcycle and car. And yes I had two motorcycles to start with, one for adventuring (a Kawaskai 650 KLR) and a luxury ride (Honda 750 Shadow). Just for fun, I'll include a picture of the KLR below!
Planning is Key!
So like anything else in the world, you want to have a plan of action if you’d like to be successful. That being said, you need to consider when you’re leaving to travel, move, or whatever other reason you’re looking to sell your things. It took me roughly four weeks to sell literally everything I owned to be able to get to a point where my parents said they would store things for me. That was it! But it took some planning…
You need to plan for what you’ll need and at what speed things you’re getting rid of will likely sell. Smaller ticket items might take a long time to sell. Bigger ticket items, they vary depending on the item. Electronics like TV’s sell quick. Furniture can take a long time. That being said, I didn’t try to sell my shower stuff until about a week or so before I moved. And even some things, such as my bed set (including bed, frame, headboard, pillows, and sheets all in a package deal) I found a buyer but scheduled and took a down payment so that they would pick it up the weekend I left. Without thinking things through, you may sell your bed, then sleep on the floor or air mattress for a few weeks while trying to sell everything else. Imagine selling your dresser but still needing one for a month. The point here is, work it out so that you can transition as comfortable as you’re okay with.
Brush Up On Your Skills!
This is important as you can get rid of a lot of stuff quickly but offering a slight discount. The discount comes in that your time, stress, and overall peace of mind can be translated to a dollar amount. People also often like buying things in packages that include everything they need. As an example, I sold my entire bed set as a single package. I also sold all of my furniture as a single package. I also sold some guitars, amps, stands, straps, cables, and a “Beginners guide to playing guitar” in a single package. Had I tried to sell each of those things individually, I’d literally have to try to make 30-50 transactions. Instead, I was able to make three. It saved me a lot of time, hard work, and saved me a lot of peace of mind. Below is a few shots of things I bundled including an entire kitchen camping set, amps, and even a surround sound system with a bass amp!
Whatever Works, Works!
While I listed a lot of ideas that come directly from my experience, I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot of points, things I’ve done, and even things that work well. So research! Educate yourself! Get creative! I didn’t come up with the idea of taking pictures of the things that I wanted to keep but were too bulky or took up too much space. My friend Kat Moenk did. In fact, she’s super creative, check out her project Pocket Universes. Whatever works for you, works for you. These are just some stories, pointers, and suggestions from my experiences. If you think having an eye catching sign with lots of art on it will work better for you, go for it! If you want to try taking out a radio ad, sure, why not! Maybe a flea market space might work better for you? The point here is that, don’t think for one minute that there’s only one way to do something. Worst case, you try, it fails, and you learned something new. Isn’t that what this is all about?
Hello from Denver Colorado!
We arrived here last night rather late. It's been quite an adventure since the last update from Vegas! Since then we've visited Yosemite, Zion National Park, San Francisco, the Sierra National Forest, the Redwood National Forest, Crescent City California, Spoken Washington, Glacier National Park, Yellow Stone National Park, Teton National Forest, and are now currently in Denver Colorado. So far, we have definitely gone over our budget, but it's hard not to experience cities when in them. Being a budget traveler through New Orleans or Las Vegas didn't seem very reasonable. By that I mean, not going to shows, and otherwise really drinking in what the city has to offer. San Francisco was surprisingly affordable. We did Pier 39 where I ruined one of my shirts by placing my arm on the railing of the pier to get a photo, turns out there was a bunch of bird shit there that I didn't see. Then we camped for a few days in the Forests, which were mind blowing. While hiking through the Redwoods, I wound up injuring my knee. We had to take two days at "cheap motels" for me to recover. Essentially, we hiked too much with too much weight without proper hiking equipment... So... Injury ensued. From there we continued to the National Parks, Glacier and Yellowstone. While we were there, we saw so much wildlife and amazing views. We wound up finding quite a few really good campsites all throughout this leg of the journey. These produced amazing pictures and I can't wait to show you all. While up there, Kylie actually wound up getting a tidbit of altitude sickness. And after that we headed to Denver...
We're a bit crunched on time so, sorry if this update is quite short. But we were planning on staying in the Rocky Mountain National Park for the next two days. But the weather forecast is predicting it will rain for the next week, pretty much non-stop while we were planning to be there. So currently, we are sitting in my friend's dining room, looking at maps, destinations, and more. That's sure been one constant on the trip... Planning where and what we'll be doing right before we do it. It's been fun, it's been a literal adventure, and it's been amazing. I'll likely get a better chance to update a good bit more once we get back to Atlanta. We've been on the road now for about three weeks, maybe three and a half. Our adventure is almost over, and once it is we have a good bit of time to relax and recuperate! This whole trip, I've been brainstorming how to categorize and present our entire trip. So keep an eye out for that! Lots of words, pictures, topics, so much to cover... I'm really excited for it, and I hope you are too :)
Zion and the Desert!
Sierra National Forest!
Yosemite and Southern California!
Redwood National Forest - Nickel Creek!
Redwood Forest - Gold Bluffs Beach!
Glacier National Park!
So I've been playing with my new toys lately. The other night while I was seeing how well the overdubbing worked on the Zoom H4n, Kylie was pouring us some whiskey and the audio of that bled over into the lead track I was recording. So I decided to keep it and upload it for the world wide interwebs to hear. Check it out below! And be sure to like my Sound Cloud Page at www.soundcloud.com/BobbyTaylorMusic and if you haven't already liked the Facebook Page, you probably should go do that about now; www.facebook.com/BobbyTaylorAdventures
Hello from LAS VEGAS BABY!
That's right, we made it. A whole 2,000 some odd miles away West! After this, we are going to Yosemite then San Francisco before we head North up the coast. We are about a quarter of the way through our trip and I can definitely say that I wasn't expecting how exhausting it is to drive this much, constantly figuring out where we're going to stay, what we're going to do, and otherwise just winging it as we go.
After my last update, we stopped into a BBQ Joint in Austin TX. It was amazingly good, albeit a bit pricey. So far, apps like Yelp and Google Maps have proven super useful. We wound up exploring a dried up creek bed in Austin where fire ants attacked my exposed ankle. That really sucked. I thought I walked through a prickly thorn bush or something, then looked down to see about 5 or 6 ants wiggling on me, their heads plunged into my skin. It's been nearly a week and the bites just now starting to close up and heal properly.
After Austin we continued onto Roswell NM where we wound up sleeping in the car for the first time on that leg of that trip. Roswell was pretty far away so w decided to stay at a truck stop for the night. The bed we built in the back of the Element is surprisingly comfortable but between the noises, it was a bit difficult to sleep at the truck stop. We needed to sleep there though because we drove through the night and it was crazy how many deer and animals we saw along the side of the highway. Thankfully none jumped out into the road or anything!
On the way out to Roswell, we stopped at Bottomless Lake State Park. Check out the pictures I got below and the VR Panorama on my Facebook page!
While in Roswell, we stopped into the UFO Museum and spent a good bit of time there. After that we wound up getting some tacos, resupplied our food stock then decided to continue on.
From Roswell NM we continued onto Santa Fe. While in Roswell, we discovered this really cool site, www.FreeCampSites.net which, so far, has proved to be very accurate in providing us with free camping sites. You simply log on, put in the city you’re going to, and then it will tell you areas around there that have free camping. We plan to use this for the rest of our trip. We’ve already used to two or three times and it’s saved us a lot of money. In fact, with the money we saved from not having to pay $10-40 for campsites, we bought ourselves a couple’s massage yesterday in Vegas!
Our first free campsite was Cow Creek in Pecos NM, just outside Santa Fe. Essentially, we had to drive over a mountain to the over side to find a campsite just outside a waterfall. To say it was gorgeous is an understatement. Between driving through the dirt roads at 10mph, that climbed to an elevation of around 6,000 ft, never just driving to a place to go camp in the woods without checking in anywhere or anything, we were pretty nervous. However, after finding our campsite, we felt much better. And the views just blew us away. We got a lot done there and were even able to do our laundry in the creek. The water was freezing cold and perfectly clear. We even hooked up our solar shower and wound up taking showers out there. This experience was very affirming of our choices to travel.
After Santa Fe we headed off to Albuquerque for a day trip. We stopped into Explora, which is like Discovery Zone or COSI. It was pretty fun and rather affordable; we got stuck at an exhibit that is pretty much a Zen Garden. I plan to make one once I get back home. On our way out, we got stuck in a storm and saw a double rainbow!
After Albuquerque, we were off to Vegas! But with such a long drive, we decided to use FreeCampSites.net and found a pretty epic place to camp in the Coconino National Forrest near Flagstaff AZ. Again, we slept in the back of the car in the bed we made. It’s proved super useful for camping. I think we’ll only need to bust out our tent in places where we have to hike away from the car to camp, such as in the Redwood National Forrest. The view from our campsite, again, was amazing. I really can’t explain how humbling it was to be out there. I snagged a few pictures, check them out below.
After Coconino, we started to head towards the Grand Canyon. We made a pit stop at Bearizona and at Rock Shop where they let me take a lot of pictures! At Bearizona, we got a lot of pictures of animals and ever got to catch a Birds of Prey show which was amazing. One of the birds flew so close over us it even touched Kylie's head with it's feathers when it flew by. There were bears, wolves, deer, sheep, bison, and all kinds of other animals. At the rock store, Kylie picked up some rocks and gems and from there we headed off to the Grand Canyon. I can’t even begin to explain how vast that place is… From the top of it, it looks like you’re looking at the ground, or rather the base of the canyon, but you’re not. You’re just looking at more ledges in the canyon, the real floor of the canyon is 4,000 ft below.
Rock Store pictures!
Grand Canyon pictures!
After taking a million photos and thoroughly freaking out my travel companion, we got some pizza and rode to Las Vegas. The drive through New Mexico to Arizona made me feel very small and grateful for this experience. The mountains were huge, the sun was setting, I couldn’t help but realize that in that moment, I was driving across the US with a wonderful companion by my side, heading to Sin City, after traveling 2,000 some odd miles over a week, with another three quarters of an epic adventure in front of us…
Right now, I am writing this from our Hotel Room in Las Vegas. If you’re not familiar with Kayak.com or Booking.Com, that’s what we use to get cheap rooms. As an example, we’re only 2 or 3 miles from the Las Vegas Strip in the Arts District, a block from the main strip in the Arts District, and we got our room for only $36 a night. On top of that, our hotel upgraded us to a nicer room! Which is so nice! So far, we gambled a little; we walked in with $20, spent a few hours gambling, and walked out with $11 so… While we technically lost, we got some drinks and had fun, and that’s the important part... Having fun! We gawked at how dry the air is out here, drinks don’t even get condensation on the outside of them. We also got a couples massage yesterday, and today rented a scooter and will ride around the strip, get a show tonight, and otherwise relax, recuperate, take it easy, and unwind. From here, we go to Zion National Park, then Death Valley, then Yosemite, then San Francisco before we were off to the Redwood Forrest. From the Redwood Forrest (about our halfway point) until about Denver (second to last stop of our trip) we will mostly be camping, so relaxing is important to us right now. Which also means you may not get a nice lengthy update for awhile during that time…
But keep up on the Facebook page as I’ll post when I can! Mostly Facebook is just pictures and panoramas of the views we’ve seen that I take on my phone. After this trip, I plan to write out how to planed, preped, budgeted, and otherwise how we are doing and decided to do the US in a series of blog posts. We’ve also taken well over 2,000 pictures so far, so there will be galleries, information, organization, and all kinds of things on this blog here soon.
So stay tuned and take care of yourselves!
Until next time <3
Hello dear readers!
Sorry for the delay in updates. I am currently on the road at our third destination of my first big trip! Which is a total of 17 Destinations, 20 States, 6,808 miles, a total of driving for 2 days and 13 hours, over 35 days across the entire US; from Atlanta, out West, North up the coast, then back to Atlanta! ... Then back to Ohio!
To prep for the trip we modified my Honda Element by taking out the back seats and adding a bed frame and mattress. I got this idea from looking through different blogs and threads. Since the Element doesn't have a door handle in the truck, we had to modify it so that when we sleep in the back, we can get out easily and not through the suicide doors. Below are some pictures of the car mods, I'll make a more detailed post later about how we did it all.
We left Atlanta and went south to the Providence Canyons, better known as, "Georgia's Little Grand Canyon". Unfortunately, when we got there, a server lightening storm hit so we didn't feel comfortable going down into the actual canyons themselves. Instead, we hiked the rim and got some pretty cool shots. Check em out below!
After visiting the canyons, we went to stay with a good friend in Birmingham Alabama. It was a great time where we got to try some Trim Tab brews before passing out and leaving early. But I forgot to bust out the camera and take pictures! I only got one of the sky line.
From Birmingham, we went West to New Orleans! If you've never used AirBnB before, I highly suggest it. We wound up renting a rather nice apartment that was just under a mile from the French Quarter for only $50 a night. That reservation included a full kitchen, extremely comfortable bed, fridge, full bath and shower, as well as a decently nice TV and living room. We spent a total of three days there and had a blast. On the long drive, we wound up listening to about two hours of Alan Watts lectures. We wound up getting some bike tubes because, as it turned out, the bikes we were lent had some slow leaks. Ironically, we never wound up using the bikes in New Orleans. Instead, we opt'ed to walk to prepare for the hiking we will have to do in the very near future. We explored the French Quarters and Mid City mostly. And wound up getting an amazing brunch at Katie's Restaurant! We tried everything from Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms to Hurricanes, Daiquiri's, wound up on Bourbon St and had some fun there, even trying Gator Sausage, Gator Bites, and even a Crab Cake & Shrimp Po Boy. All in all, we walked at least a total of 18 hours, about six hours a day. I can't wait to go back and visit again! Below are some pictures we snagged on the second day we were there.
Also, if you're interested in some promotions for AirBnB, please use my code to sign up and you'll get some discounts and so will we! Use promo code, "BOBBYT29" to get $30 off your first booking!
After New Orleans, we continued West!! We wound up stopping for some road side Cajun Cooking and it was delicious. We even ventured over to a small Alligator Attraction where we got to hold baby Alligators. At the time of writing this post, we are in Houston TX staying with a good friend I haven't seen in a long time. From here we go to Austin TX, Roswell NM, then the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco, the Redwood Forest and drive up the coast, Santa Fe, Portland, Glacier National Park, Yellow Stone, the Salt Flats, Denver, then Rocky Mountain National Park. We may even wind up stopping through Nashville and doing some other East Coast destinations such as Asheville NC and Cumberland Island if we have enough time.
Otherwise, stay tuned! I'll update soon and post more about the mods to the car, how we choose what to bring, how we figured out our budget, destinations, how we're making money while traveling, and more!
Just your average, not so average, guy! Here you can follow my travels, learn to travel yourself, check out some cool photography, and otherwise follow along as I explore my interests from performance arts to traveling to philosophy and more!
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