The man who sold his life on eBay

LIFE-CHANGING: Fancy selling your life on eBay and seeing Iceland? That's exactly what Ian Usher did and he managed to met his new partner Moe on that most traditional of romantic occasions - a sled dog expedition.
LIFE-CHANGING: Fancy selling your life on eBay and seeing Iceland? That's exactly what Ian Usher did and he managed to met his new partner Moe on that most traditional of romantic occasions - a sled dog expedition.

It's a dream many of us have – to throw in the job, sell the house and set off into the great unknown with just a passport and a thirst for adventure.

Usually, reality gets in the way. But not for Ian Usher, the Perth man who made international headlines when, during a midlife crisis, he decided to auction his entire life – including his house, job, car and even friends - on eBay.

A heartbroken Usher made the drastic move after his wife left him, six years after they emigrated from England to Western Australia.

In August 2008 he farewelled his friends and left his Wellard home (which eventually sold for A$399,000 the traditional way after the winning eBay bidder withdrew at the last minute) bound for Dubai.

Guiding him was a list of 100 goals he wanted to complete in 100 weeks.

Four years and 93 goals later, 48-year-old Mr Usher is now living on his very own Caribbean island and has found love again.

Along the way he visited dozens of countries while ticking off the list of goals, which included running with the bulls in Spain, cage diving with sharks in South Africa, meeting Richard Branson, having a workplace romance, learning to fly a plane and skydiving nude.

Learning French, joining the "mile high" club, developing a six pack and scoring a bit-part in a Hollywood movie were also achieved during what he described as an "incredible" two years.

"I think a couple of stand-out ones were swimming with a mother humpback whale and her calf in Japan, and riding a motorbike on the Wall of Death. My week in Pamplona in Spain was fantastic, and terrifying too, running with the bulls there," he said.

"[Other standouts were] flying a plane solo, seeing the red crabs at Christmas Island. I could go on, it was an incredible two years."

Usher's mission was also altruistic, and saw him raise A$10,000 for charity and establish an online support network for those who, like him, found themselves "blindsided" by life.

He wrote lengthy blogs during his travels and has since also self-published a book, A Life Sold ,which was also on his list of goals.

With the last of the money raised from the sale of his house, Usher bought a 2.2 acre island in the Bocas Del Toro off the coast of Panama and has spent the past few months building a house there.

"The journey here was a little random. I just happened to be reading an article on the cheapest places in the world to live, and Panama came up," he said.

"I really didn't want to live somewhere where I'd have to work to be able to afford to live - at least for a year or two. I was only doing some initial property research, but made an offer on a small island, which was accepted. It's very laid back and relaxed."

While it wasn't among his 100 goals Usher also managed to find love along the way, with a Canadian woman who helped him achieve his goal of going on a dog-sled ride in the wilderness.

"We didn't see each other for a further 15 months, but kept in touch. When we met up again in Florida, spending a week together in Jamaica, then a further week in Costa Rica, romance developed," he said.

His partner, Moe, is a regular visit to the island.

Usher's journey sounds like the script from a Hollywood movie – and unsurprisingly Hollywood wants to recreate it.

Disney has bought the rights to his story and may make a movie.

Looking back on the adventure, Usher said he had no regrets.

"None at all. It has been the most incredible adventure - exactly what I was after. [I've learnt] that I am much happier and more fulfilled when sharing life's adventure with a partner, and that I am very resilient and resourceful," he said.

He visited Perth twice during his journey, and said he would be back again soon to see his friends.

Usher said he had been overwhelmed by the support of the hundreds of people he met along the way.

"It always amazes me when people know the story of the eBay life-seller. [They say] 'that was you?' Most people are very interested."

As for the future, Usher wants to finish the house and landscape his island.

What lies ahead beyond that, he says, is a mystery: "I'm still making things up as I go along."

WA Today