Stuff: options for getting rid of it while on the road

A hairdryer with the wrong type of plug.
Books you’ve already read.
Clothes that are off-season.

Once priceless, now practically worthless. What to do?

Even when you simplify your belongings at the start, that moment months later in front of your backpack is inevitable. All of the things you accumulated don’t seem to fit inside, and the only apparent choice for that shirt that you’ve been wearing so often seems to be the garbage bin.

Once while about to leave Sydney, only mid-way through my trip, I ran into two strokes of luck: friends who were visiting me agreed to take some of my things with them; and a hostel happened to be hosting a sale. The sale was easy—everyone at the casual marketplace was responsible for pricing, setting up, and selling his/her own goods. And after getting rid everything that I was selling, I considered it a few hours well-spent: earning money, lending others a hand, and reaping good karma in one fell swoop. Most things were right there and easy to carry out of the hostel, but if I remember correctly someone was selling his car, which he advertised with a photo.

What are the options?

• Ship it home—On the slow boat home for cheap.
• Send it home with a friend—Safe and secure (as long as it’s not to the detriment of your friendship).
• Sell it—Post an ad at an internet cafe or hostel. Or organize a grassroots sale of your own with other travellers.
• Swap it—A win-win situation, if what you get in return is something that you need.
• Donate it—Give it to a local charity if it’s in good shape, or to a fellow traveler who is staying in the area.
• Keep it—If there’s no parting with it, maybe you can be creative and use it differently. Or else wrap it up tightly to take up less room.
• Toss it—If it’s on its last legs.

Any other ideas?

Posted by | Comments Off on Stuff: options for getting rid of it while on the road  | January 30, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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