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If only I knew then what I know now. How many of us have uttered that exact phrase? To be able to act with foresight would certainly allow the decisions that we make to be better, wouldn’t it? As luck would have it, Rebecca and I now find ourselves in that very position.

Facebook reminded me that in March 2010, 8 years ago, we were working hard to diverge ourselves of all of our stuff. The sale of our house was due to close and we would spend the next few months surreptitiously living out of an 8’x8′ closet in our martial arts gym.


Fast forward to today where we have sold virtually everything that wouldn’t fit into our bike bags, we will soon be forced to reverse that procedure, to acquire all the bits and pieces that one needs to live and earn a living on land. Knowing what we know now, how will our purchase decisions be different from what they were in the past? Think second-hand stores to start!

For those who are interested in the topic but are new to this site, there are quite a number of posts that talk about our stuff-purging process. Skip to the beginning of the blog and read from there to more easily find them.


  1. definitely right there!! When we bought a place recently we definitely went to second hand shops for almost everything – what a great resource!! When we “purged” years ago we remember all the “good stuff” that we donated to them and now we are getting other people’s treasures.

    • Exactly! Since returning to Canada all of the clothing we have purchased has been from second-hand stores. I picked up three almost-new-looking shirts the other day for $11.50 Canadian. 🙂

  2. We’re going to be there soon enough. We sold everything when we moved down to Mexico, and we’re renting a furnished place here. We just found out that we will (definitely) be going to Nova Scotia in July, and we plan to rent there — at least initially.

    If we can get a permanent visa AND if we can tolerate the winter weather, we’ll likely stay there, which will mean buying or building a house and re-purchasing all the stuff that goes with it.

    That said, are you planning to stay on land forever? Is it worth buying all that if you plan to return to the sea (or the bike) in the future? If we aren’t able to find a furnished place when we move to Nova Scotia, I can bet mattresses and a few dishes will be pretty much the only thing we invest in until the permanent residence is secured. (We *do* have our own desks and desk chairs already.)

  3. Facebook market place, craigslist and second hand stores are my weakness. The hunt is part of the fun and I am crafty enough to fix anything that may need attention. Bought a farm table and 6 chairs for $60. Cost me about $60 to refinish all of the chairs and I will be stripping and refinishing the table once the weather breaks. I priced this same table and chairs and new they would have been close to $2000.

  4. I also had to start from scratch after becoming a clod 3 years ago.
    Second hand stores, Sally Ann and garage sales were my friends.
    The only thing I bought new was a mattress and box spring….no headboard or bedroom set.
    The big surprise was how much I was given by my friends; dishes, towels, dresser etc.etc.
    It was a win win as they were happy to rid/ donate their extras.
    I’m amazed and freeing how much I can do without; ie: dishwasher, microwave……
    and I sure do not intend to re-clutter…..cause ya never know about the next adventure!
    Enjoy your new gig; you guys will be amazing at this.

  5. Craigslist (or Kijiji if that is more popular in Fernie or Kelowna). Avoid used soft furniture like couches and armchairs because bedbugs are a huge problem now. Craiglist free section is surprisingly good but act fast. Also alleys in Vancouver for office chairs!

    s/v Ceilydh

  6. After being back on land almost a year, everything we have will fit in our old suv. Our “loaner” cabin is fully furnished. We aren’t in need of anything that we once thought we couldn’t live with out.

    We sometimes discuss all the money we wasted keeping up with the Jones.

    Dispite our issues, life is so much more simple. Memories, friendships and new adventures rule!

    Best to you guys always, soon we will have the means to travel to the great north

  7. Not sure if you have one out there yet but there is a new second hand store called Talize. Personally I think it’s a step above Value Village. I’ve bought lots of new stuff there as well at second hand prices. Recently I bought a waist length leather dress type coat with zip out liner for $24. Can’t beat the quality and deals there. Good luck

  8. “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”
    Bob Seger
    Against the Wind

  9. No Mike, I’m not selling your tools back to you. L

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