Sketch of a digging dog

Clothes streamed from within my closet like dirt from under a digging dog. I was piling up Goodwill donations, one of the baby steps that we’re taking in preparation for our nomadic lifestyle to come.

I suppose I’m not the only guy with a closet full of not just clothes, but e-toys, including cameras. I listed one of those cameras for sale on eBay Monday. Four hours later it was sold – for the lucrative “Buy it now” price I had listed. I was elated – until I noted that the buyer was in Argentina.

Do you have any idea what it costs to ship a camera to Argentina? UPS and FedEx wanted $194 and change. One hundred ninety four dollars! That’s more than twice as much as the buyer paid for the camera.

I checked the US Postal Service site. Postal delivery is a disadvantage for both buyer and seller: the buyer gets no tracking information; the seller gets no delivery confirmation. But it’s much less expensive: about $48.

Text of e-mailI contacted the buyer, who had already agreed to pay $15 for shipping (my estimate for shipping within the US). Would he be willing to pay another $33 for international shipping? His charming response appears at right.

Now the camera is in the mail and it seems I’ve made a friend in Argentina: we’re seeing hits on the blog from there.

Baby steps. They seem to stretch into infinity, but each one is an opportunity for adventure. Sell this; pack that; donate those to Goodwill; call this person, meet with another – the list goes on, but with each one completed there’s a new person met, or a lesson learned, or – at minimum – the small reward that comes when an item is crossed off the list.