Vagabonding travel


What Is Vagabonding?

Rolf Potts, author of the book Vagabonding, describes it as:

“The act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time” and “A deliberate way of living that makes freedom to travel possible”.

So put simply, vagabonding is the act of choosing experiences and travel adventures over working away your life for material things.

What is the difference between vagabonding and vacation?

A vacation is an attempt to squeeze a year’s worth of enjoyment, relaxation, and adventure into a 2 week or 10 day package. What often results is an expensive distraction, and then an unsatisfied return to reality, which is always waiting at home. In fact, after vacation, you find yourself worse off than before you left, playing catchup with work, mail, chores, etc.

Someone that is vagabonding never really returns completely from their trip. They may be home, earning money at work, etc… but always they are in the mindset to leave again. A vagabonder works only to provide the fuel for travel and adventure, not to build a lifestyle of fashion and toys.

Why not wait for retirement to enjoy life?

Thoreau put it best when he said we spend “the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.”

In other words, live for now. There is no guarantee that you will have the finances or health by retirement age to do the things that you want to do. This does not mean that we should not prepare some for the future, but do not get stuck in the cycle of working to buy things to distract you from working in the first place!

What if I do not have the money?

You would be amazed at how little money you need to go vagabonding and at how much money slips through your fingers monthly.

Do you really need 300 cable television channels? Do you need that new car when your old one still runs fine? How often will you watch those DVDs in the huge collection you are building? Financing vagabonding is simply a way of adjusting your priorities so that saving for travel comes first. More than a majority of vagabonders I met were poor university students that had managed to stay on the road for years!

Budget destinations like Asia, Africa, and South America are full of waiting adventure and culture, but cost a fraction of what you spend to live daily. For the cost of one average dinner and movie night in the US, you could eat, sleep, and play for a week in Thailand!

There is also always the option of working while on the road. Check into getting TEFL certified (it’s cheap) to teach English abroad or WOOF (work on organic farms).

Why bother with vagabonding?

People are shaped by their experiences. When you only make time for experiences on weekends, it can take a long time to grow into the person you should be. What better way to get to know yourself than to accept the challenge of the road?

Your eyes will be opened and the benefits will bleed into all parts of your life, work, relationships, and just your general enjoyment of life. Vagabonding creates new reference points and life at home takes on an entirely new feel. How can you be upset about a traffic jam, after having experienced daily life in Cambodia?

How Go I get started?

Making the decision to escape the rat race is the first and most important step. Next, cut bogus expenses, begin saving your pocket change, and use our site as a personal guide to get started on the path to adventure. Anyone can start vagabonding — stay positive, and make your dreams come true!

To help you stay motivated, read books, look in forums, and check out theĀ vagabonding blogs of other people who are living the life. The more that you see how many people have escaped the Rat Race, the more you will realize that world travel is not just a dream or something that belongs to the rich!

Visit Rolf Pott’s website:

I will see you on the road.

Meet the Author:
Greg Rodgers

Greg Rodgers is the editor of and the Asia travel expert for He left Corporate America to begin traveling in 2005 and has been happily living from a rucksack since! Check out Greg’s vagabonding blog about life on the road.