Man who sold everything on eBay buys a Carribean island and finds new love
11 April 2012
Ian Usher’s wife Laura left him six years ago when they emigrated from Britain to Australia. Subsequently, he auctioned his entire life – car, home, job and even his friends – on eBay in a midlife crisis that made headlines all over the world.
Mr Usher, 48, originally from Darlington, made £192,000 after putting his three-bed house near Perth in Western Australia and everything in it on sale. This included his Mazda car, motorbike, jet-ski and parachuting gear. He also included an introduction to his friends and a trial at his job as a sales assistant at a rug shop on eBay.
After his marriage split, heartbroken Mr Usher boarded a plane for Dubai, and then on to many more countries. Since then he has lived each day to the max – running with bulls, cage diving with great white sharks and even joining the Mile High Club!
Mr Usher planned to complete 100 experiences within 100 weeks and he has ticked off 93 so far. In two years, he has learnt French and how to fly a plane, met Sir Richard Branson and scored a bit-part in a Hollywood movie.
He said: ‘I think a couple of standout 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 added, ‘The wish-list also included ‘flying a plane solo, seeing the red crabs at Christmas Island . . . I could go on. It was an incredible two years’.
Four years on not only has he achieved most of them - he has found love again ...and is living on his own Caribbean island. He lives in an archipelago Bocas del Toro (Mouths of the Bull), a famous tourist destination near the border between Panama and Costa Rica which includes a lush rainforest, golden sand beaches and a coral reef.
Before his money ran out he bought an idyllic 2.2-acre island off the coast of Panama, believed to have cost around £30,000, where he is building himself a home.
He admitted that the choice of Panama in Central America as a place to settle was ‘a little random’. ‘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.’
He claims he hasn’t regretted his decision for a second and had 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.’
Also, he founded an online network for others who, like him, feel they have been ‘blindsided’ by life. He blogged about his adventures and has self-published his book "A Life Sold" – another goal checked off the list.
Finding romance along the way wasn’t on his to-do list. The new woman in his life is a Canadian called Moe, who often visits him at his new home. They met while dog-sledding, though they kept in touch they didn’t see each other for a further 15 months.
‘When we met up again in Florida, spending a week together in Jamaica, then a further week in Costa Rica, romance developed,’ he said.
Unsurprisingly Hollywood has come calling, with Disney snapping up the rights to Mr Usher’s story.