Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Rolf Potts
Oct 15, 2014

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines vagabond as

1:  moving from place to place without a fixed home :  wandering

2a :  of, relating to, or characteristic of a wanderer

  b :  leading an unsettled, irresponsible, or disreputable life

But to Rolf Potts vagabonding is 1: the act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time; 2: a privately meaningful manner of travel that emphasizes creativity, adventure, awareness, simplicity, discovery, independence, realism, self-reliance, and the growth of the spirit; 3: a deliberate way of living that makes freedom to travel possible.  This book is more of a manifesto on the spirit of vagabonding than an actual how-to guide to long-term travel.  I enjoyed reading it tremendously!  If you are looking for the courage to take a different path in life, then Vagabonding is the book for you.  Potts does give good general advice and tips on how to prepare for leading this lifestyle, and the numerous quotes from fellow famous travelers sprinkled throughout the book are fabulous.  This is a book that speaks to the soul of all adventurers.  I plan on re-reading it multiple times and am sure that I will get something new out of it with each reading.  If, however, you want to know how to travel cheaply overseas, skip this one and check out How to Travel the World on $50 A Day by Matt Kepnes, which is not as enjoyable a read but lists numerous websites and practical ways to cut travel costs.

Reviewed by Library Staff