The Week I Started Planning For Travel Abroad

This Week:

  • Why am I traveling abroad?
  • I was so close to selling it.
  • The Canadian wildfire smoke.

May 2023


Where In The World Was I?

  • Denver, CO

An Emotional Roller Coaster

This week has been a f*cking emotional roller coaster.

I’m just gonna make (part of) this public now since nothing else really happened this week besides this… It’s been such a big part of my life and focus the past couple weeks.

The TL;DR is that I’ve been trying to sell my 4Runner and have met with a couple buyers this week.

I unlocked some sections from the past 3 weeks:

Once it’s sold I’ll probably unlock the rest.

Unlock Icon This content was originally hidden upon publishing.

The story starts literally right after I post last week’s Life Update post.

A New Buyer Emerges

I post my blog post and pack up from Brew Culture Coffee, then I get a message from a potential buyer for the 4Runner asking if he can just stop by since he lives close to where I listed it.

I would usually eat lunch then, but I made the decision to drive out to the 4Runner to meet with this buyer as soon as possible. I thought about going fasted, but after my stomach started grumbling, I chose to squeeze a granola bar and some nuts in before doing a final clean up and heading out.

He was a nice guy, looking for an off-roading vehicle and something to potentially camp in. He reminded me a lot of my past self, as I originally bought it for the same reasons.

And funny enough, when I told him I was planning for travel abroad, he said he did the same thing a number of years ago and we had a chance to connect over that.

I showed him around, he gave it a test drive around the parking lot, then we talked numbers. He said he doesn’t have $34k and asked how low I’d go.

I told him $32k, (with a bit of an upward inflection).

He didn’t push any further or ask for any lower and just seemed to accept that $32k was indeed as low as I’d go (it wasn’t). He kinda scratched his head and said he’d check his finances and let me know.

As he was heading back to his car I told him if he has any other questions, to reach out. I forget exactly what I said before this, but I asked him what price he had in mind. He said he was thinking more like $30k (also a bit softly and with a hesitation).

I told him I’d do $31k and he could sleep on that. We shook hands and he headed off.

I thought that would surely do it.

He was thinking $30k, I offered $32k, then I met him at $31k. It was a perfect close in my eyes.

I started thinking, man, I might have a deal here! This could be it.

Until later that evening he messages me (paraphrased) “Thanks for showing me the car. I can offer $27,000 and could meet on Wednesday if you’re available.”

I was taken aback.

Like hold up, you told me you were thinking of $30k and now you offer $27k?

I was willing to come down some more from my offer of $31k, but $27k was a big jump and felt like a lowball, especially since it had been less than a week since it was listed.

I told him that $27k was too low, but that I reflected on our conversation and would meet him at the $30k he mentioned during out conversation.

I felt a little confused, but I thought since he literally admitted earlier to $30k, he would feel the need to be consistent with himself and might accept (or at least come much closer to $30k).

No response.

No response for a full day and a half.

So I reach back out asking if he had any updates. He responds rather succinctly saying (paraphrased) “I can’t do $30k, thanks for meeting with me and good luck.”

It felt like a slap in the face.

And you’re not gonna negotiate any further? That’s it? You’re just out?

I ask him if it’s the price or if he’s no longer interested and he says very confidently “oh it’s the price” and that the KBB value is more like $21,500.

Another slap in the face.

And see here’s the problem with selling anything unique. You don’t have comps.

My 4Runner is in excellent condition, basically like-new interior, brand new tires, over $5,000 worth of upgrades (just the cost alone!), and I haven’t seen a single other 4Runner on the market or on the streets with this setup.

It’s unique.

Which, to my benefit, should let me get more money for it. But it also means that it’s harder to value and a lot of people don’t see it with this added value.

I try to be respectful but explain essentially what I just said. I tell him I do still have some wiggle room in the price (in case he sees this perspective and wants to meet me halfway) but that I understand his perspective.

No response.

I was shocked honestly. Mostly because he doesn’t seem to negotiate… Like at all… I was expecting more back and forth than this.

I struggled here. Do I come down and accept $27k? Can I get more than that? If I accept, it’s a decent offer and all this process can be done with. But I just feel like I can get more for it.

So I let it go.

A couple days pass by until Friday.

A New Buyer Emerges (again…)

I’m working at 2914 Coffee. It hits about noon, I pack up and head back to my van when I get a message.

A different person messaged me about my listing, saying (paraphrased) “I’m on my way to Denver literally right now to check out another vehicle and saw your listing. I like your 4Runner. If you’d consider $29k I’d love to meet and check it out.”

I’m at least 30 min from the 4Runner and another at least 20-30 min from driving to meet him, so I more-or-less panic again, drop everything, and drive straight to the 4Runner, skipping lunch and opting just for a quick snack.

We chat on the phone and he tells me his story, why he’s searching, and some questions about the 4Runner. He asks me how low I’d go for it. I was thinking, man I’d totally do $29k for it, but again struggled, do I try to negotiate? Do I just accept $29k? It’s so hard to know…

I tell him if he could do $30k we could make it a deal today. He kinda gives some silence (rejecting it) and so I change the topic.

I send him some more pictures he requested of the 4Runner and then says (paraphrased) “I like your 4Runner a lot. I’d be interested in checking it out but only if you can do $29k.”

So, I give in and say that I’d do $29k and drive over to meet him.

He and his wife check it out and are incredibly impressed with how clean and well-kept it is. They had just came from looking at the other vehicle and were NOT impressed with that one, so I could tell they were kind of surprised.

They discussed, then after, he reconfirms and says that if I can do $29k, they’ll take it.

I agree and we shake hands!

He says that they’ll need to get some financing for it, but that it shouldn’t be an issue and can maybe meet up the next day (Saturday) to finalize the deal.

I’m ecstatic!

I had waited a couple days from the last buyer’s offer, I trusted myself, and got an extra $2k from it! I was super happy with $29k and so happy to get a deal done and agreed upon. I started envisioning how I’d use the money, but kept in the back of my mind that the last thing in this process is getting a verified payment. I wasn’t worried about them scamming me, but it was more that once I get that money cleared in my bank and the keys over, THEN I can relax and have this whole thing over with.

Later that evening he messages me saying (paraphrased) “It’s not looking to good. Our bank’s lowest rate right now is 9.75% which is insane. We’re gonna try another bank tomorrow morning.”

I was thinking, like yeesh man you don’t need to start the message like that. I’m fine with you shopping around, but it got me a little worried about the possibility they’d bail on the deal.

I responded giving some possibilities and recommendations, and that I’d be willing to work with a bank if they needed that.

He responded somewhat pushing back to what maybe seemed like I was overstepping him and said that “they’d figure it out.”

The next morning he messages me again saying that they called around to a bunch of lenders and that the lowest rate they could find was 7.5%. He said they were considering just paying cash but needed one more day to talk to their financial manager.

I thought, well damn that sucks to not be able to get a low rate, but hell I don’t care how you get your money. That’s up to you, as long as I can get a verified payment. I also thought, I think the fed’s rate hikes must’ve hiked up the car loan rates. But with that perspective, 7.5% might not be too bad considering you can almost get 5% on your cash in a HYSA nowadays.

I respond saying sure take your time.

Mid afternoon rolls around and then he hits me.

He messages me (paraphrased) “Hey Peter, I really regret having to send this message, but we’re not gonna be able to go through with the deal. The rates are just too high for what we were expecting and it doesn’t make sense for us to pull from investments to pay cash for a 3rd vehicle.”

That shit hit me like a truck man.

This was LITERALLY the situation I was worried about the night prior and why I responded with those recommendations…

I don’t (and won’t) know how many lenders they called and how many options they considered, but it felt like he quit early.

I kept thinking about when I bought my van and I looked up every single way to get the money I needed. It seemed like he gave a couple calls to big banks (who never have competitive interest rates), got sticker shock because it’s not 2021’s interest rate environment anymore, then just gave up. There was more nuance to his message and he was respectful, but that was essentially the takeaway.

I felt betrayed and incredibly disappointed.

We shook on a deal. He told me they would figure it out multiple times. And despite all that, they back out.

From the highest highs of getting a deal I’m happy with, envisioning this all being over with…

To the lowest lows of feeling like the ground beneath my feet crumbled into oblivion, betrayed and disappointed.


That’s essentially where this week’s story ends.

I worked out and did some walking, thinking, and processing later that evening.

My change in mood was visible… Hopefully when all this is over, I’ll put together a montage of the clips I’ve taken.

Since then, I’ve more-or-less cooled off and these are my thoughts:

  • I fortunately didn’t lose too much from this. I’m back to where I was just only 2 days ago time-wise. It still sucks to be back at ground zero, but at least he didn’t string me along for a week or more.
  • The bigger toll from this was the emotional and mental roller coaster I went through in those 2 days. That was hard.
  • Lastly, it’s still only been about a week and a half since I listed it. I still have lots of time and can still lower the list price to potentially generate more interest. I keep thinking to myself, “abundance mindset, abundance mindset, abundance mindset.”

Part of me questions how much of this emotional roller coaster, skipping lunches, uncertainty, and stress I’m willing to go through for the extra money. I question if it would’ve just been worth accepting $27k, but you can never know the future…

Give it a couple weeks and this whole process will be over with.

It’s been a challenge, but I knew going into this that this process would be a huge growth opportunity for me. It’s definitely living up to that expectation.

I can’t wait to just be able to look back upon these couple of weeks.

Until next week…

🛫 Travel Planning

The rest of my focus this week (and most of my coffee shop focus time) has gone towards planning for travels abroad. Yes, selling the 4Runner is the first thing on this planning list.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this formally, but I’ve started planning for traveling abroad long-term.

I did some journaling to start this process off and first and foremost consolidated my “why”

  • Curiosity – I know what life is like in the U.S. now, what’s life like in other countries? (particularly those with less car-centric designs…)
  • Personal growth – I’ve proved I can do van life and I enjoy it. That said, I see a huge personal challenge in traveling abroad – the chaos of new places, not knowing the language, new and awkward experiences, failing in public, and lots of social experiences.
  • Timing – the timing is never perfect and never will be, but macro-wise, now is the time to invest in travel and life-changing experiences. The ROI is high.
  • Experiences – I’ve heard from more people than I can count on with two hands how life-changing traveling abroad is. I’ve also just been influenced heavily by the creators I follow on YouTube.

As for how long I’ll be gone, the current vision is: hopefully indefinitely…

My hope is that I can build my financial plane while I’m continuing to fall through the sky. TBD on that. But if I’ve learned one thing in the past year, it’s that I love this lifestyle and just need to figure out how to fix the income side of it.

Besides that, I can’t project out a year to know how much I’ll like the travel (abroad) lifestyle and/or how I’d tweak it to get something I do like, so we’ll see. I have a feeling I’ll like it (or maybe a slower version of it), but it’s all hypothetical right now.

And no I don’t know when I’m leaving yet. Someone needs to buy my 4Runner then we’ll talk.

Planning Progress

  • My why
  • High level research
  • Budget expectations
  • Credit/Debit card expectations abroad
  • Travel insurance research
  • Phone plan research
  • Visa requirements expectations
  • Clothes/Packing list
  • Storage decision
  • Cancelling subscriptions
  • First travel step plans
  • Financials
  • Phone plan
  • Data & tech
  • Health
  • Other things to do
  • Documents
  • Final packing list
  • Leave!

🇨🇦 Wildfire Smoke

Got some smoke rolling in this week from Canada.

That should be the Denver skyline down there…

In fact I think the whole U.S. got some of it…

Park Walks

Coffee Shops

  • Brew Culture Coffee
  • Frank & Roze
  • House of CoPa
  • Stylus & Crate
  • Tennyson St. Coffee & Books
  • 2914 Coffee

What’s Next

More 4Runner buyers and more travel planning.


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