How we turned our 750 sq ft apartment into two 50L backpacks

“Here we go – one month left until move-out day!” With our plane tickets bought, it just got real.

We posted to Facebook, Craigslist and taped signs on the street, “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” If you we’re looking to fill your apartment with more stuff, Sean and Jackie’s house was the place to be.

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Price check on aisle 1

Why were we getting rid of everything? Well, this wasn’t like any other move-out day because it wasn’t really a move at all. We were going “nomad” for a year and for the first time in our moving history we were NOT figuring out how to relocate our stuff into another set of rooms and closets. It sounds like a subtle difference, letting all the things you’ve accumulated over the years go versus “go somewhere” but the feelings were monumentally different.

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our soon to be filled backpacks

Our goal was to take everything we needed (and I emphasize *needed*) and make it all fit into each of our 50 Liter backpacks. So, goodbye couches, tables, blenders, utensils, and plates. Goodbye to our multitude of change-of-clothes options, Jackie’s coveted hairdryer, and, most notably, our current concept of home.

We’ve been planning this for years, well, at least talking about it for that long. You know the conversation, right? “Hey babe, what if we just dropped everything and just – went? Just you and I. Somewhere far away. Wouldn’t that be great?!”

Bowls of too hot, too cold and just right porridge.

The conversation would usually end with either an imaginative tour of all the top places we’d want to see or end with a comment like, “we have too much going on right now to leave.” Just like a modern day Goldie Locks it never feels like the right time to make it happen. The economy is always going too well or too poorly – when is the timing just right?

“Okay”, Jackie said, this time changing the typical end-game phrase, “If we did this what would it look like?” We talked about going to South America and making our way down to Patagonia. Maybe visit family in DC and then start in Europe? We could make the dollar stretch if we went to the South Pacific, right? How long would we go? Three months? Six? Sadly, the more time we gave ourselves to travel the more things we were able to do and thus – out of time again. In the same way our bag size grew and filled, it never felt like there was – enough. We were living Parkinson’s Law.

I won’t bore you with the play-by-play, but trust me in that researching locations, costs, transit systems and weather had us going back and forth between destinations, routes and timings ad nauseam.

But, now with our plane tickets bought there was no longer an ever widening gap between theory and reality. Our first stop is Fiji and we have 30 days to jettison what we didn’t need, pack what we do, and go.

Next up, making it happen economically!

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Jen C. and Jeff came by to lend a hand and take some stuff

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My view from the backseat of Jeff’s wagon after shoving our couch in it to quickly get it to his apartment on our last day in SF

 

 

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  1. Pingback: First stop: Fiji | Sean Shadmand

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