Required reading for the world traveler


I have travelled abroad through various educational programs, but never for anything longer than three weeks. As I anticipate long-term travel in my future, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts has been an incredible gift (thanks Tim Ferriss) and resource in the art of being a global nomad.Potts takes the reader on an adventure from the vagabond\’s preparation, spontaneous exploration, and return home. He informs his philosophy through an extensive list of sources such as the Buddha, Walt Whitman, and Bertrand Russell, for example.This book is immediately relevant for travelers, but there is something in here to learn for everybody. In fact, I could say that the message of this book isn\’t about travel at all. It\’s about having the courage to release the need for control and being interested in everyone and everything around you.The key for successful travel, according to Potts, is that you don\’t set limits on yourself or your trip. Too much of a plan or routine will imprison you. For the sake of safety and comfort, you will cut yourself off from beautiful, life-changing experiences along the way. This caution is worth thinking about, whether you are traveling or not.Here are some of my notes and quotes from the book:

\”no combination of one-week or ten-day vacations will truly take you away from the life you lead at home\”\”long-term travel isn\’t about being a college student, it\’s about being a student of daily life\”\”Vagabonding is an attitude – a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the world\”\”Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so-called certainties of this world\”\”the more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we\’re too poor to buy our freedom\”\”A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone\” – Henry David Thoreau\”If you only greet your brothers, what are you doing more than others?\” – Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:47)

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