Brooklyn Parents Leave It All Behind

Selling Everything

Photo illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: iStockphoto, flickr

Craigslist ads are almost always kind of weird. But a message posted yesterday morning in Brooklyn’s Household section stood out. “Selling All Worldly Possessions — $8,500” read the headline. Beneath it was a long list: MiniDisc player. Kids table. White corkboard. Gucci shoes. Buddha painting. “Figurines.” There was even a Vimeo slideshow of said possessions. We wondered what had prompted the sellers to give up everything they owned: Were they redecorating? Suicidal? Buddhist? (And, if it was the latter, why would they sell Buddha?)

The ad anticipated that we would have questions: “Why would you do this some people might say,” it read. “Well, the short of it is our family is changing our lifestyle and we need the money to start anew.”

To us, this just raised more questions. What new lifestyle costs $8,500? We called to find out.

K.J., a 27-year-old who works for the government (she asked that we use only her initials and not identify her occupation), and Christopher, a former video editor and a stay-at-home dad, have a 5-year-old son and a daughter who turned 3 this week. Last year, they moved to a two-bedroom apartment in Bed-Stuy, from a three-bedroom Baltimore house, which necessitated the shedding of plenty of stuff. But not enough.

When their lease is up, on July 1, K.J. and Christopher are packing the kids, a few toys, and some clothes into a 24-foot RV and hitting the road, hoping to visit Mexico and maybe South America. “[The kids] know about Burger King and all the latest movies and toys,” K.J. explains, but they’d like to show them there is more to life than “just buying stuff,” as K.J. puts it.

Both parents traveled a lot growing up — K.J. was an “Air Force brat,” and Christopher is a reformed “hardhead” who was given $300 at the age of 15 and told to leave the house and possesses a Kerouacian love of the Road.

While Christopher says the trip is “spiritual and philosophical,” he is quick to point out that they “are not hippies.” K.J. admits she’s “terrified,” but if things ever go seriously wrong, they’ll sell the RV and rebuild their domestic lives. In the meantime, they started a blog two days ago,, on which they’ll chronicle their adventures. “We are two parents who want to show our children the world while it is still within our reach,” it says.

That’s the grand plan,” K.J. said. “To encourage others to do the same thing. We just want to do something different.” —Mac Montandon

Selling All Worldly Possessions [Craigslist]
Seeing the World on a Budget [2Adults2Kids]

Brooklyn Parents Leave It All Behind