Goodbye Sweet Edna

Who is Edna?  Edna was our VW Westfalia camper van and she was a beauty!  We were her proud owners for the last three years and have had some great camping memories with her.  We have been trying to sell her for a while now as we will certainly have no need of her in Asia.  Last week a very lucky couple took her off our hands.

Now that we are without her I’m realizing just how attached I was to her.  I mean, she was just so cool!  And I felt cool driving her!  You know how people choose their cars for the status the car brings them?  Well, my little Westy did that for me.  It was the status of an uber-cool mama.  No minivans for me!

Good times on the road

Now I am car-less in Canada.  We still have Mike’s work truck so we won’t be totally stranded but gone are the days of outings outside of walking distance while Mike is at work.  It will be a hard adjustment but worthy sacrifice.  Not only will I be getting much more exercise from having to walk everywhere but it is another check off the list of things to do.

My attachment to Edna has got me thinking about my attachment to all of our possessions.  It is so easy to let material things define you.  It is also easy to form opinions of other people based on their possessions….their clothes, cars, homes (or lack thereof).  After we sell our house we will be homeless, a family of no fixed address.  We will be selling a whole lot of our stuff at a garage sale and storing the things we can’t part with.  I think it will be one of the most liberating experiences in our lives so far.  We won’t be tied down to anything or by anything.  There will be no more bills, maintenance costs, or insurance (except health insurance).  How much money will we be saving by simply not owning things?  Our possessions will be limited to what we can comfortably carry on our backs.  What a feeling!

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  1. Cristal says:

    I have to say, when we moved overseas the hardest thing to part with was my books. Seriously, that was sooooo difficult for me. Everything else – just stuff. Stuff that can be re-bought. The process was incredibly liberating. In fact we have done it twice now. It was a strange feeling to have our entire life packed up into just a few suitcases and a few boxes. Strange, but wonderful. Has definitely helped me see my world through a different lens, and I must admit I have never looked back. Embrace the process.

  2. worldschooladventures says:

    It really is a process. When we moved from our last house into a motor home (while we built this house) we got rid of soooo much stuff. Then when we moved into this house I got rid of a whole bunch more while unpacking and I thought Why did I keep all this? Now that we are getting the house ready to sell I’m going through closets and trying to de-clutter, still more stuff going to the thrift store. Every time I get rid of another box it just feels liberating!

  3. Tracy Burns says:

    Travelling and living without ‘stuff’ is very liberating. I love only having a small wardrobe to choose from – I used to spend hours getting ready to go out and feeling like I had nothing to wear even though I had a huge wardrobe. Now I just get dressed in my one nice outfit when we’re going for a night out!!! As you say, its too easy to let stuff define you. I used to let my clothes define me!

    We opened our storage shed for the first time in a year just before Christmas. I have to say I can’t believe how much stuff we used to think we need. Of course there are some things we’ve really missed – our bikes and our breadmaker are the two biggies. The rest … I’d love to get rid of most of it. Apart from my books! As Cristal said, I’m most attached to these … and unfortunately I have thousands of them.

    One thing we’ve really noticed back in Australia is the impact that advertising has on you. We just want to buy stuff! We don’t need it, we can’t carry it but we want to buy it. When your travelling overseas watching less TV, and when you do see TV the ads are in another language it just doesn’t seem to affect you. We’d never noticed how much advertising made us want to buy stuff!

  4. worldschooladventures says:

    Hey Tracy!

    Ah, clothes….I have a huge walk-in-closet full of them but I find I am always wearing the same few things (mostly yoga pants and comfy shirts!)

    I rarely watch any commercials now because they do their job of making me feel inadequate. The PVR was money well spent! I also only let the kids watch PBS and Treehouse because they have almost no commercials.

    One night our family was reading a book about Cambodia and everything Lan saw he said “I want that” after hearing it a few times I said that if he had everything he wanted all his things wouldn’t even fit in our house. I told him instead of saying “I want that” to say “I like that” and just appreciate its beauty. I think with children, languaging can be a powerful tool. I think it is also important when they are exposed to commercials to talk about what the commercial is trying to make them feel, to be aware of how it is affecting them, and then to make their own choices.

    Commercialism is so in our face in the first world and I do look forward to being a little more free of it in Asia.

    1. Colin Burns says:

      I have to completely reiterate what Tracy is saying about the advertising. I see all these new car ads and all I want to do is buy and have a brand new car!!! It is completely crazy.

      I have to fight really hard to curb the impulses of stopping travel and starting to accumulate STUFF again…


      1. The Dropout says:

        I sold some stuff in 2007 and put the rest in storage. Now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get rid of it all, especially when the storage bill comes in. What a waste of money!
        We had to buy lots of STUFF in Singapore because we ended up with an unfurnished house. But I really don’t feel attached to any of it and we bought it all with an eye to its resale value when we leave here.
        But bye-bye Edna. Thanks for being a great pal!

        1. worldschooladventures says:

          Luckily we won’t have to pay for storage. Since we have moved so many times in the last seven years we bought a 40 foot shipping container and put it on my parents property so we will just keep everything we can’t part with in there.

  5. worldschooladventures says:

    Colin, those commercials are doing their job then! No wonder so many people are going into record setting debt, hey?

  6. Jason says:

    We have had several VW’s over the years and had a lot of fun camping in our 1981 VW Westy when our daughter was a baby. But we outgrew it for camping and sol d it. 🙁

    1. worldschooladventures says:

      Jason, We felt the same thing this summer. We went camping with all our gear and it was just too crowded for the four of us. We love VWs too. We had a 70 Beetle named Blue Bayou, a 77 Westfalia named Eddie the Orange Crush, and Edna was an 86 Wesftalia. They are just such a cool vehicle and we love being in the VW “club”. (For those of you who don’t know, VW owners will wave at each other and strike up conversations in parking lots)

  7. Matt says:

    We are about to begin the great sell off of stuff. Our plan is to sell it all except for keepsakes and such. I’d love to get rid of everything except for a few boxes we could store for free with family. We’ll see how far that plan goes. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to sell our cars (low miles) and since we don’t own a home all we need to do is give 2 weeks notice. I worry that we have grown too attached to things we can’t use in Indonesia.

  8. worldschooladventures says:

    Attachment certainly can be an issue but most of it is just “stuff.” We are lucky in the fact that because we have moved about six times in the last six years we invested in a 40 foot shipping container. My parents have some rural property where we keep it so we won’t have to pay a penny for storage. It will be really convenient too for moving time as we can move our things slowly so the big moving day isn’t so overwhelming.

  9. worldschooladventures says:

    They are definitly a fun vehicle for camping in. Small enough to get off the beaten track but still have everything you need.

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