An amazing story is approaching its conclusion today - earlier this year an expat Brit in Australia announced that, following parting with his wife, he would be selling up in order to make a fresh start and perhaps enjoy a life-changing adventure. OK, so what is so unusual about someone selling up in such circumstances?
Well, this is unusual in that what is being sold is not just his house and some possessions - Ian Usher came up with the unique idea of putting up for auction his entire expat lifestyle - this is to include not only his Perth home but also its entire contents and the trappings of his life, such as jet ski, motor bike, parachuting equipment. Not content to leave it at the purely material, he has also included the chance to take over his job (his employers have agreed to offer the buyer a trial with a view to full-time employment) as well as introductions to his circle of friends. Yes, to enable him to offer the complete lifestyle package, his friends agreed to meet the highest bidder. Great friends indeed!
Bidding is under way today and of course we wish him all the luck in raising the funds for his new adventure!
This does add a fascinating dimension to the expat experience, though. We see many expats here making key decisions about their home in terms of an investment for the future - particularly thinking that there may be a time when they will want to sell up and move on or return "home". So, people will often consider their property type and location as much for later reselling as for their own pleasure - and many will renovate and develop properties purely for the investment potential. Quite normal, of course.
However, whereas Mr Usher had this great idea when he needed to make a change, what if people considered building from the outset a complete expat experience, with a view to its future value? Might that also influence the type of work we find, what pastimes we enjoy and possessions we acquire... and even where we like to be seen and the friends we make? Imagine becoming a friend for your investment value!
Well, enhancing a property is one thing but the idea of developing a lifestyle for its later value is a fascinating thought - now did I mention my good friend the ambassador...
BBC News: Bidding begins on 'entire life'