BOOK REVIEW: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World TravelVagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vagabonding is a book about how to make the leap from a cubicle-dwelling company-man (or woman) to a wandering free-spirit.

This book serves two functions. The first is to answer questions about how one goes about seeing the world if one is not independently wealthy or a recent lotto winner. In this role it provides information such as how one can fund one’s travel time, and, perhaps more importantly, how one can get a job after one has an 18 month void in one’s resume.

The second function is to psyche one up to take the leap. In this role it is more persuasive than informative. In both roles it succeeds, but it is in this second role that it is most useful. The Introduction title is “How to Win and Influence Yourself” and Chapter 1 is entitled “Declare your Independence.”

Each chapter has a list of tips and/or references, quotes from those who have done it, and a profile of a famous person associated with the lifestyle, including: Thoreau, Whitman, Muir, and Annie Dillard. The quotes show you that mere mortals have made this leap. The profiles show that you that you will be in excellent company if you do it.

One of the most important themes in this book is simplified living. If one isn’t independently wealthy, one will have to make “sacrifices” to adopt this lifestyle. However, if one learns to live lean, one will be able to make do with much less. One must also live lean during one’s travels. Potts’s advice is to travel light, and leave the electronics at home. (The latter may seem impossible these days, but as a person who recently lost a laptop in a travel accident, I respect the logic.)

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is ready to take the leap, but only if you’re serious.

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3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

  1. Sounds like one of the better examples of this genre…now there are so many unemployed people with a little money left, there’s plenty. Like the idea of Whitman, et al, being included. How to re-integrate – good inclusion. A book on leaving the road and going into a cubicle..depressing, I guess.


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