How to Get Rid of All of Your Stuff and Move Overseas

4:37 AM

Step 1: Get rid of all of your stuff.
Step 2: Buy plane tickets

Yes, it really is that simple.

I'd read about minimalist living for years, practiced it for several, and penned several books on the subject, but moving overseas was definitely a challenge.

The truth is, though, that you can spend all of your time reading books on minimalist lifestyles or you can just do it.

The goal, for me, wasn't to live with 12 items or whatever. The goal was just to live a life I wanted.

My husband and I talked for years about living abroad. I know it's a popular topic. It's one of those things that everyone says they want to do, but that few people actually do.

Why?

Laziness.

Fear.

Guilt.

People are emotionally connected to their stuff and afraid to give it up. They're scared of trying something new. They're nervous they might make someone mad. They feel guilty about living a life that's out of the ordinary. They're afraid they're going to mess up their kids. They're too lazy to try.

If you want to live overseas, just do it. Seriously. That's really all there is to it.

We made our final decision to move overseas about three years ago. We knew it would be a long process and there were a few things we had to do first. Because we started planning so soon before the move, we made careful choices in how we lived. Namely, we didn't buy furniture or spend a lot of money on going out. We saved what we could. We practiced studying the language of our new country.

Shortly before we moved, I began getting rid of our things. I gave away almost everything. I did sell our television and my keyboard, as well as our cars. Everything else we either gave away or threw away. Some people want to make money off of their belongings. There's nothing wrong with this, but it will take more time than just giving things to people. For me, it's more important to be generous than to make a few dollars. Other people have different priorities and that's fine. If you choose to sell your stuff, you can easily use the money you make to pay for your plane tickets.

When it was time to move, we bought our plane tickets, cleaned our apartment, checked out with our landlord, and drove to the airport.

Yes, it was really that simple.

We landed in our new country, my husband found a job 2 days later, and we found an apartment to live in by the end of that week.

Do I regret moving?

No.

Do I think most people can do it?

No.

Why not?

Fear.

If you want to move overseas, you don't need to read a bunch of blogs or books on how to make it happen. You just have to take the leap and do it. Living abroad can be overwhelming and tricky, but it's also a ton of fun. Seriously, more fun than you can possibly imagine. We get to spend more time together as a family, meet cool people every day, and try more food than I ever thought possible.

The problem is that people don't really want to live abroad, they just like to talk about it, so they come up with a list of reasons why they can't do it. The same is true of bloggers, writers, artists, or linguists. "I wish I could learn another language" is simply code for "I'm too lazy to spend three years learning."

If you want to do something, do it.

This has been your motivational post for the day.

Good luck.

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