Do you have an end goal? My ultimate goal is to acquire a piece of land in a nice tropical location where I can build the RB40 villa. We will build several small, eco-friendly cabins for vacation rentals. It will be like a luxury camp where family and friends can get together or have a yoga camp. Readers will get the discount rate, of course. 😉 I’ve had this dream for about 5 years now and I think Mrs. RB40 is slowly realizing it. We are city people so this would be a great fit for us. However, Ms. RB40 is getting sick of the madness. She could still convince her to move somewhere tropical.
We visited the Big Island of Hawaii in 2014 and we loved it. You can buy a house with 5 acres at a somewhat reasonable price. We probably won’t go off the grid because we need the internet. Hawaii is nice because it’s still in the US. There are differences, but it’s much more family-friendly than, say, Costa Rica. Anyway, I was thinking about what to bring when we move to our retirement paradise. Of course we would bring all the necessities like our laptops, old photos, documents, clothes and so on. I’m thinking more along the lines of things that aren’t completely necessary, but I just couldn’t bear to leave them behind. Look at my list.
*Updated 2023. I wrote this post in 2016. My move to paradise is on hold until RB40Jr graduates from high school. However, my dad is going to build a beach hut for his retirement in Thailand. It’s not Hawaii and the land is pretty small. However, this might be the closest thing to living in paradise for me. I would still like to live in Hawaii. We’ll see how it goes. As for the rest of the post, let’s see if I change my mind about what to take with me.
10 things I will bring when we move to paradise
1. My stereo system
I love my 2 channel stereo system. I have a Harman Kardon 2 channel stereo receiver. and a pair of AV123 X-sls tower speakers. I got this setup for under $500 about 15 years ago and I love listening to music on it. If I get rid of these, I’d probably spend over $1,000 on a better music system.
My stereo is still going strong after 15 years! We use it almost every day for music, TV, and movies.
2. My ukuleles
Of course I’ll have to take my ukes to heaven, that’s a no-brainer. I can’t leave my custom made Glyph ukulele behind! I got it about 17 years ago when Glyph, a Dave Means one-man shop, was relatively new. His shop is closed now and this is one of the few Glyph ukes in existence. I heard he did about 200 total. This is my only collector’s item. I would also bring my other 3 ukes. They’re not prime ukes, but sometimes it’s fun to play a different size. If I had to pick just one, it would be the Glyph.
Unfortunately, I don’t play my ukulele much anymore. I’ll have to do it again when I’m in paradise.
3. Kitchen knives
I would take our 6 inch chef knife and our 5 inch Santoku knife. These are good Calphalon knives. We’ve used them almost every day for years and they’re still in great shape. If we ever lose them I’ll probably upgrade to Wusthof. Oh, I’d bring my cheap china cleaver while I’m at it. I don’t use the butcher knife very often and it’s easily replaceable, but if I’m packing up the knives, I might as well take it with me.
I still love these 2 knives.
4. Asian Tea Set Collection
What can I say? I collect tea sets. My grandfather used to drink tea all the time and that’s my image of him. I have tea sets from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Japan. The one I use the most is the teapot from the local museum store (top left). I really like small Chinese clay teapots. It’s a great way to enjoy tea.
My collection of tea sets is a bit faded. The teapot in the museum shop is chipped, but still usable. The delicate Chinese tea set from Taiwan (bottom right) has a crack. 🙁
5. DSLR Camera (Cut)
My Canon Rebel T1i and lens are great. I plan to take a photography class some day and would need a serviceable DSLR camera. As a lens I have a Sigma 30mm prime lens and a Canon EF-S 15-85mm zoom lens. Wow, the fixed lens is $499 and the zoom lens is $799 new on Amazon. Surely I didn’t pay that much for these glasses? Unless my photography skills improve drastically, these are all the lenses I would need.
I still have this camera, but haven’t used it in years. I don’t think this article will make the cut anymore. The cell phone camera has improved a lot in the last 7 years.
6. Works of art
We have some nice works of art and we would take them with us. Ms. RB40 is very attached to her Snoopy lithographs and she would never leave them behind. There are no changes here.
7. Snorkeling stuff (cut)
We both got a set of prescription snorkel masks. They make a world of difference when you have strong recipes. Diving is much more fun when you can see marine life.
I lost my prescribed snorkel. 🙁 We don’t snorkel often enough to justify buying a new pair.
I would take most of my tools. It’s taken a long time to build my little collection of tools and I don’t want to start over. I’d probably give away some of the cheap old tools though.
My collection of tools has grown over the years and I still plan to take it with me. You always need tools to fix things around the house. I guess I’ll hire someone to do everything at some point. But that is very far in the future.
9. Dad’s Buddha Collection
My dad used to commission and sell these bronze Buddha statues when he was younger. These are so much nicer than the mass produced gift shop Buddha statues. They were made by artisans and are worth around $500 to $1,000 each to the right buyer. Of course, I do not know where to sell them. These statues are for veneration, not for decoration. We have 10 of these around the condo. I would probably take just one and leave the rest with my brothers. they are quite heavy
10. Weber Propane Grill (Cut Out)
I love my Weber Propane Grill, but haven’t used it much lately. Grilling is no fun when it’s cold. I will grill more in the summer. However, I cook the food inside before it ends up on the grill. It is much easier and healthier. We are trying to eat healthier and grilling means carcinogenic. These days, I cook the ribs in the oven and then quickly give them to the grill. I can probably remove this item from my list.
- old family photos. What can I say? I’m more sentimental as I get older. Those old family photos are priceless.
Material things can also bring happiness
This list actually took me a few days to compile and I almost didn’t get 10 things on the list. I’m not very attached to material things so I don’t mind getting rid of 95% of our possessions. Our stuff is not legacy quality. Most of them are just functional. These 10 material things bring me a lot of pleasure. Who says things can’t make you happy? 😀
Ms. RB40, on the other hand, is very attached to her things. She’ll probably want to bring her piano from her childhood and a bunch of other things. Her piano is a solid walnut upright Wurlitzer. She already shipped it from California to Oregon. Oh man! Shipping to Hawaii is going to be expensive.
What would you take with you if you have to move and can’t bring everything? What material things bring you the most happiness?
Image by Olga Osadcha
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have a lot of projects in the US so check them out!
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