Vagabonding-An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel is a book by Rolf Potts. I actually had this book in a cabinet in China that another teacher had left there, but I never got around to reading it. I saw it at the library the other day and thought it was about time I read it.
What is vagabonding you may ask? Usually we think of being a vagabond as someone who wanders around aimlessly, usually without a job and without purpose. However, there is a different way to look at being a vagabond. Potts describes vagabonding as traveling independently in a way that emphasizes adventure and creativity.
This book encourages life-long travel. Travel shouldn’t be used as an escape but as an adventure and a passion. Let travel be a discovery of your real life, not just an escape from work and from other pressures.
Think you can’t get away from work for anything longer than a week or two? Think about making work part of your travel. Will you work send you to another one of its locations for a week? For a month? For a year? Can you utilize your skills in another country? Teach English in Thailand for a year? Work as a social worker with refugees in Sudan for half a year. Be a nurse in a hospital in Brazil for 3 months? Think you don’t have the time or the money to do these things? This book really helps you to see that you can.
Also, live a life of travel. Read travel books, watch movies set in other places, cook ethnic food, listen to world music, talk about where you’ve been and where you want to go. This is definitely my practice! I have several friends that love to do the same. We go eat at the local Lebanese restaurant and eat hummus while listening to Arabic music. I invite friends over to eat Indian curry while we watch a Bollywood movie. Spend time with people from other countries. If I can’t travel, this is the next best thing!
And I love quote almost as much as I love travel. So here are a few great quotes from the book:
“This is the charm of a map. It represents the other side of the horizon where everything is possible.”- Rosita Forbes
“A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao-Tzu
“Traveler, there is no path; paths are made by walking.” – Antonio Machado
Hopefully after reading this, the biggest question you should have now is “Where will I go?” (: