It’s finally happening. After weeks of anticipation, planning and fundraising, I learned yesterday that I am flying out of Miami International Airport for Bogotá, Colombia with WorldTeach on January 1st, 2014. I’m thrilled, not only about the itinerary, but having time to visit with my friend Marcos and his girlfriend Esther who live near South Beach. I can’t wait to explore the neighborhoods and enjoy some delicious Cuban food!
The past few weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion, from sheer frustration to joyous gratitude, as I eliminate possessions and prepare to leave the US. My plan is to eventually travel to other parts of South America, including Ecuador and Perú, leaving no room in my suitcase for teak chairs or clock radios.
Lately I’ve been reading about material ownership, clearing clutter and being free of excessive things. I’ve read some interesting articles about selling everything to travel the world and tried hard to find ones on how to not be surprised when your friends don’t want your stuff. Most mention the freedom that is felt from having fewer tangible items, and giving up things in exchange for experiences (which at this point in my life sounds great).
Special or family items have been packed for storage into a large box, leaving the rest to sell and fund my year ahead volunteering. At first I thought people would be clamoring for a pink “gossip bench” telephone table or an aqua blue rotary phone, but few things have been selling as planned. Many items have been reduced to far below what you might pay at antique store in an attempt to find them good homes.
Last weekend I held a Super Sale of vintage items, art, home decór and more. Accompanied by a loyal friend, I was moved by complete strangers who stopped to admire (and buy) my original artwork, and wish me well in my journey to Colombia. “You are so brave!” “It’s going to be great!” “How wonderful and exciting!” Encouraging words flowed freely from people passing by.
I had originally planned the sale until 4:00 pm, but bailed around 1:30 after slow sales, knowing Mariachi Alas de México from Guadalajara were scheduled to play at the Pantéon de Sacramento. I could either sit at a table full of my stuff, or go watch live Mariachi music on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The choice was easy!
Mariachi Alas de México performed the night before and I was impressed with their finesse and talent (not to mention their handsome outfits). After the show, I chatted with a few members, who seemed excited to hear I had lived in Tlaquepaque, famous for Hacienda del Parían, where many Mariachis perform when not searching for work at Plaza de Los Mariachis in el Centro.
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On Sunday (after the Not-So-Super Sale), before settling in to watch Mariachi Alas de México, I stopped by the AeroMéxico booth at the Panteon de Sacramento and won some swag. Although Volaris was the airline I flew when moving to México last year (and also who brought Mariachi Alas de México to Sacramento), I couldn’t resist the friendly faces (and the free photo) from AeroMéxico.
Following the wonderful Mariachi Alas de México performance, the band graciously posed for a photo along with Miguel Figueroa from Mariachi Los Gallos in Sacramento. ¡Ay, Dios Mio, gracias por los Mariachis!
As the weeks draw near to departure for Colombia (via Miami!), I am determined to be free of nearly all my things. I have faith it is going to work out, and my favorable outlook beats the crap out of the negative. I feel empowered when the positivity kicks in, and it seems to bring great things my way.
This weekend I have a fantastic opportunity to sell with HelloXOXO in Midtown on Saturday, November 9th, 2013. I’m thrilled to be working with this all-inclusive community organization, and 2nd Saturday is definitely one of my favorite things about Sacramento. While it’s not quite as exciting as Miami followed by Bogotá, it will get me one step closer to the leave date, and that makes it a total Win-Win.