In Inspiration

Vagabonding: Why you should read this book

Have an itch to quit your job, pack a bag and wander the planet for any length of time?

Well thankfully you’re not alone and also not the first to be in this position. With the rapidly increasing amount of people looking to swarm to places of different climate, different culture and different lifestyle; there are surely some people with countless experiences to rely on for advice, tips and resources? Sure thing! And this is where I introduce to you Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.

Here is a short  brief insight of what to expect before we jump head first into why you should read the book. Rolf Potts provides us with an interesting and detailed guide into -low and behold – the art of long-term world travel. Potts is a wise writer who straight from the get-go you can tell he is well travelled; his countless experiences from country to country all over the globe are a fascinating way to open up your eyes (and imagination) into what exists in places other than home. This book is a simple read bearing 224 pages packed full of interesting advice from himself and other travellers he befriended on the road, interesting excerpts from other travel writers, pages upon pages of travel resources and links and very handy tip sheets to summarise each chapter.

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Potts details an excellent walk-through of the timeline of travelling. Separated between the chapters he breaks down the essentials to take into consideration and also the do’s and don’t’s regarding the build up, the journey, life on the road and finally the hard part; adapting to life on the return leg of your travels (given that you end up returning, that is!)

The list of things that anyone preparing to set off vagabonding needs to take into consideration is like the vast ocean to a minute insignificant diver; an enormous engulfing area with so many questions, doubts and surprises. This is what travel is. The list is endless so thankfully Potts puts his experiences together to break down and give advice on where you should divert your attention to, to give your travels the utmost ease before you go. I’m showing you a handful or two of the things he covers- below in the list- so if you’ve got any wonders or uncertainties about the following, by all means give Vagabonding a read.

  • Money saving
  • Deciding your location(s)
  • Foreign law and crime
  • Sensitivity of different cultures
  • Honest expectations of long-term travel
  • The importance of locals
  • Making money on the road
  • Traveller vs tourist
  • The lessons learned through travel

The list could go on and on and on!

The book is also a valuable and fulfilling read for the non-vagabond. The list, like above, could go on for ages with important self-improvement tips so here are a few worthwhile “How To’s..” that Potts delves into:

  • …liberate yourself and live the life you want
  • …appreciate where you are, when you’re there
  • …make friends in strange places
  • The values and limits of companionship

During this read I often wondered how a book of this calibre and such information would end itself. I tried to think of many inspiring endings that may come, but this is not a novel that I’m reading so it really made it hard for me. The ending is as powerful as it is simple and I’ll leave it here with you. Picture yourself just home, back to the same faces, the same surroundings, the same noises and the same routine as everything was before you set off on this amazing adventure. (Not much good comes with these thoughts). It is a message that is so relatable that once you arrive back from any form of long-term travel you really do question “why am I back here?”

“One of the most difficult things i experienced in my travels was trying to relate what I’d experienced to old friends and acquaintances who’d been at home the full time i was gone. When I recounted how I got into a fight with a Javanese transvestite, swam with barracuda, or ate spicy dog with rice, they’d get a glazed look in their eyes. When I finished telling them these stories, there was little response. “Wow” they’d say with weak enthusiasm. Then they’d tell me what happened at the local pub and how they’d hooked up with Sally from college again. Here I thought i was missing out on so much when I was gone, but these reunions made me realise that I was a changed person.”

Rolf Potts

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    February 17, 2017 at 9:51 AM

    […] even do that very often. Which book would you recommend to read in 2017 and why? (Sean)- Definitely ‘Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel’ by Rolf Potts. Click the title to see my review on the […]