The Fear of Selling Up

Old, Happy Man, Kathmandu

I’ve mentioned before that Tyrhone and I are selling our apartment to allow us to follow our dream of long-term, indefinite travel and adventure, and on days like today, the idea totally freaks me out.  But this is something that we have wanted to do for a long time, and when my company offered voluntary redundancy to anyone that wanted it, it was as if the universe was speaking to me saying, “it’s now, or never.” Never is too horrible a thought to even consider, you see, this journey is not just about seeing places. We have already done more travel than most people I know. I work for an airline for goodness sake! I have been traveling for the last ten years! But not in the way I want to, and I definitely haven’t been living the life I want.

This journey is about doing what we love. For me it’s traveling and writing, and hopefully learning another language. For Tyrhone, it’s all of those things, with some photography and art thrown in. Why can’t we do those things now, with the life we have? BECAUSE THERE’S NO TIME. We both work full-time, to pay a mortgage, gas, electricity, strata fees, health insurance (look into the ACA), home insurance, car insurance, car registration, water, land tax, maintenance fees, and when we get home after a long day, all we want to do is eat and sleep.

That’s not to say that we don’t have very fortunate lives, because we do. Our jobs are actually pretty good jobs. Our home is lovely, and the city of Perth where we live in Western Australia is beautiful, with gorgeous beaches. So why aren’t we happy? Some might argue that we’re just restless, that if we’re not happy here, we’ll never be.

Sometimes I’d agree with them. But on the days when my spirit is aligned with that of the creative force of the universe (yes, crazy as it sounds, sometimes I feel like that) I just know that this is not the life we are supposed to lead. That despite all of the great things about our life that we are grateful for (steady employment, a roof over our heads) we are slowly dying inside.

You see, Tyrhone and I are both creative people. He is an amazing digital artist, and a creative thinker. He sees the world differently to anyone I know, and that’s why I fell in love with him. I am a dancer and (as I am finally admitting to myself) a writer. I love connecting with people through the written word. For me it is the most powerful medium of expression.

I chose not to follow a career path as a dancer. The opportunity was there, but I lacked self belief. Mostly, I was afraid of not being able to make a living. I was financially insecure and wanted to make sure that I would always have money coming in. I needed that security at the time. Tyrhone and I both come from single parent families. His dad died when he was four, mine left when I was ten (cue violins).

I won’t tell Tyrhone’s story, we’ll be here all day, and it’ll make you sad. But he had it tough, real tough. He grew up in South Africa and they were really poor. He suffered a lot as a kid. I didn’t have it anywhere near as tough, but being raised in a house with an alcoholic father took its toll. Thank God  for my amazing, loving mum, who made sure we never went without.

So we have both worked and worked and worked to etch out a living for ourselves. Tyrhone has supported his family a lot, and they are doing pretty well for themselves. My family (my mum, sister and me) are financially secure and happy. And now I’m going to throw it all away!

But we cant see it like that. Timing is everything, and I truly believe (despite my head telling me otherwise) that we are going to be okay. Better than okay, that even if we make mistakes, which we inevitably will, that our lives will be richer because of the lessons we learn along the way.

I let one creative path pass me by, and I really want to give this one a shot. Something tells me that half measures have no place in this dream. That if we really want to follow the path we believe we are meant to be on, then we have to give it everything. We have to allow ourselves the freedom and openness for the universe to give us what we need, what we know we are lacking in these safe, adequate lives.

Will we fall flat on our faces? Maybe. Will we go broke? Possibly. But we will still be the same people who can get jobs and earn money should the need arise. We still have all the same survival skills that have gotten us to  this point in our lives. And we will be able to tackle any challenges we face along the way.

I read a great article on inspirational blog the other day about the fact that taking a year out of the rat race to allow ourselves to pursue our dreams, is only about two percent of our lives, providing we are lucky enough to live through to old age. Two percent! Don’t we all owe that to ourselves? We have felt ‘trapped’ in our lives of unfulfilling jobs and mortgage repayments for a couple of years now, but we have no-one to blame but ourselves if we don’t make the change when all signs point to yes.

They say nothing that is worth having is easy, and we are definitely making some sacrifices in pursuing the lives of our dreams, but somehow I think the only real casualties of this journey are going to be our old ideas and attitudes, as we make way for renewed perspectives.

Somehow my fear of selling our house doesn’t seem as strong now…


The Fear of Selling Up — 8 Comments

  1. I always believe that as long as you own your decisions, you will never regret it. Follow your hear. Thanks for sharing this. And I’m happy I found this post.

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. It’s true, I have made plenty of mistakes in my life, but even they have led me somewhere positive, so I just have to let go and trust my instincts! Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to connect! Sarah :)

  2. Good luck to both of you and keep us posted about your adventures along the way!
    I love this post, it describes exactly how I feel.
    Follow your dreams and don’t look back until you’ve accomplished them.

    Life’s too short and as you well said we waste a lot of time working to pay for stuff we don’t really need.


    • Thank you for the words of encouragement Charlotte, that’s right, life IS too short and we never know what is around the corner. I know this, yet is still tough making the leap! Thanks for reading, and all the best for your own adventures, Sarah :)

  3. It is so uncanny reading your story because it is like we are the same people living across the world from each other!!! (but in an uncrazy, unstalker-y way, of course). Sometimes I find that the fear is so strong because we haven’t really dissected it. Once we break it down and look at the components we can see that one big fear is just a lot of tiny fears bunched together, and tiny fears are easy to tackle.

    I feel like you, that pursuing this dream I really need to be all in.

    As always, a million good wishes to you!!

    • Ha! I actually saw a therapist about this whole thing and she said exactly the same thing! When I was indesisive about whether to take a pay out and leave my job, she said, “so if things dont work out with the traveling, could you get another airine job?”, and I said “well, yes, but I don’t want to do that”, and she said,”that’s not the point, you could if you had too.” So you’re right, once we break down the individual fears, they are ungrounded. Thanks Kim X

  4. I love the statement you quoted, taking a year from the rat race is only 2% of your life. That seriously puts it in perspective, more people need to read that and reflect on it.