Simplify – Getting rid of ‘stuff’

Since we decided to sell our possessions and house and start traveling the world, we have slowly started to get rid of all of the stuff we have accumalated over the years. I started clearing out my equipment storeroom  and over the past month I have sold old camera and film equipment worth around R 30 000 ($2 500) which I’d almost forgotten I owned. Now that I have put together a light, compact travel kit of mirrorless camera’s, action camera’s, a small travel tripod and a small drone, everything else had to go. I also sold all of my Nikon equipment for around R 80 000 ($6 000), as well as three sets of studio lights and a portable light kit for another  R 20 000 ($ 1 500).  The R 130 000 ($ 10 000) I got in has more than covered the cost of the replacement photo and film gear we need for our travels.

Clearing out and selling the valuable stuff you own but will have no need for when you travel is the first step to getting rid of unwanted ‘stuff”. Next we needed to get rid of junk which was just cluttering up the property outside and also of lots of items in the house which were just taking up space. In order to sell the house, we need to make it look as appealing as possible, so an uncluttered property is essential. Today we took a major step by having the front garden and back courtyard cleared out. The junk filled an entire small truck :). The next step is to relocate two storage sheds to my parents house so that we have space to store those items which we absolutely don’t want to part with, or which my family could use. I also gave a lot of catering equipment and supplies to my two staff members which they carted off.

We will begin to wade through the house room by room, and get rid of anything which is unnecessary over the next month or so. The plan is to get the main business out of the front of the house by mid-June so that that area can cleared out and painted. The house needs to go on the market on 1 July.

I have simultaneously been selling my beloved 70’s VW camper van’s one by one since 1 May. Thus far three have been sold. Another one is still for sale at present. Another three are still being fixed up and will be sold as they are completed. I will keep just one of the nine classic campers as an investment. We will also sell one of our personal cars, my Tuscani sports coupe, and keep our little Smart ForFour so that we have transport when we visit our family and friends in Cape Town every two years or so.

Eventually we will own fraction of what now fills our house and parking. Everything we really need for daily living will either be in our backpacks or daypacks. A few items will be kept at my parents house – remember that we are not trying to wipe out our past life or forget it, we are just moving forward to a simpler, less cluttered lifestyle.

My advice to anybody wanting sell up and start traveling is to start as early as possible after making the decision. In our case we have loads of possessions – a large double storied house packed with stuff, so we really have our work cut out for us. With so much going on in terms of selling the camper van’s and also selling the main business, it will be a full-time job to get everything sorted out on time. But the Pacific islands are calling…so we have to knuckle under and just do it!



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Derek Antonio Serra is a photographer and filmmaker who has run several successful businesses in the film, tourism and advertising industries. He has recently embraced the nomadic lifestyle after selling his businesses and home. His passions are photography, travel and writing.