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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel Paperback – 1 Jan 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Villard Books; 1 edition (1 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812992180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812992182
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

“Potts wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown, and, finally, to take our own damn
time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel-related advice ever written.”
—Tim Cahill, author of Hold the Enlightenment

“Rolf Potts has produced an engaging book that does what few, if any, other travel guides do: make readers aware of how many possibilities vagabonding offers them to enhance their lives, and how accessible the experience of long-term travel really is.”
—Jeffrey Tayler, author of Glory in the Camel’s Eye, Facing the Congo, and Siberian Dawn

“Vagabonding brings to inspiring life both the hows and the whys of life on the road.”
—Don George, global travel editor, Lonely Planet Publications

“Digging into Rolf Potts, one encounters real issues about travel, issues that most other travel writers overlook, while still having a good time.”
—Joe Cummings, author of Lonely Planet Thailand, Lonely Planet Bangkok,
Moon Handbooks: Mexico, and Moon Handbooks: Texas

About the Author

Rolf Potts funded his earliest vagabonding experiences by working as a landscaper and an ESL teacher. He now writes about independent travel for National Geographic Adventure, and his travel essays have appeared in Salon, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, and Best American Travel Writing 2000, and on National Public Radio.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Phillips on 18 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback
Though there are many books out there to help you plan long-term and "gap-year" travel, Vagabonding stands out in its unique blend of philosophical inspiration and straightforward planning advice. If you've ever harbored a desire to take a few months or years off to travel, Potts' book will stoke your wanderlust and fill you with newfound confidence to hit the road.
The philosophical core of Vagabonding revolves around the idea that time -- not money -- is the truest form of wealth. How you spend your time is more important to true living than accumulating "things" -- and travel is a deep resource for acquiring rich life experience. A flexible and open-minded attitude, Potts insists, is the best travel tool you can acquire -- and this attitude starts before you ever leave on your journey. In other words, be prepared to take your travels slow. Don't over-plan your travels in advance. Learn as you go and be open to new experiences. Don't obsess about how others travel; just find your own way.
Beyond inspirational matters, however, Vagabonding is a great resource for the practical issues of travel planning -- offering a nice mix of print and online resources without being laborious or redundant. The book is not encyclopedic or exhaustive in this regard, but in the age of the Internet and Lonely Planet-style guidebooks, it doesn't need to be. Potts' resources point you in the right direction, advising and informing your online and guidebook research without presuming to do it for you -- a nice, intuitive information-age touch that (unlike other travel-planning guides) keeps the book from bogging down in superfluous and outdated information.
On a final note, I'll confess I probably wouldn't have written this review had it not been for the misleading two-star review below.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Eirey on 19 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
I read this book before I set off travelling through Europe with my husband and 7 year old daughter, at the time I was concerned that I had not organised enough of our itinerary and we were walking into a disaster. What I find now, looking back, was that this book gave me the confidence to take the journey as it came rather than intensively plan it. That doing that gave us a lot of the highlights of our travels, although in all honesty we walked into a few problems because of it also. That said - had it just been adults travelling the problems would have been adventures but with a child we had less freedom to be flexible on some things. But it can be done and it doesnt have to cost the earth. This book inspires you to live with a different attitude to life, one that I have willingly integrated into, and that at times has nothing to do with travel. Potts is non-consumerist to the point of being almost anti-consumerist, and that attitude is like a relief in comparison with the market messages that we in the west inevitably live in the middle of. As others have said, this is not just a travel book it is a philosophy of travel book. If you want to travel freely without being tied down in your mind to the obligations of a 'gap year' or your 'OE' then this book encourages that freedom. You should read it!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JJF on 3 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I found vagabonding a must-have for anyone who is a philosophical traveller ie someone who isn't a consumer of tourism as a product, but is in sync with the age-old philosophy of travel as a way of educating oneself. It tackles even your mentality about travelling by keeping an open mind, going with the flow and not worrying about the cost of travel or letting that limit what you want to see in this world. Also useful for those who need to learn how to travel light in life and find the confidence and motivation to do so. It includes some practicalities behind travelling like security issues, who to trust etc. which are useful for any kind of traveller and not just the philosophical one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rowan on 2 July 2007
Format: Paperback
This book didnt really teach me anything new but it did motivate me and remind me what i love so much about this kind of travel. As with so many people who have been travelling and intend on going again but some how get caught up with the usual baggage which ties us down this book reminds you to get going again and that its JUST THAT EASY.

i wouldnt say his way is the right way and he can be a little one eyed about things but every traveller gets like that about somethings.

if your just tied down with a job and a mortgage read this book to inspire. if your tied down with a kiddie then prob best you dont read it as you will more than likely resent the little one for stopping you buying a plane ticket
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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Mathieson on 29 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
Anyone who has ever thought about travelling, this book will make you go! Anyone who has ever been travelling, this book will make you want to go again and anyone who is travelling whilst reading this, this book will make you that bit more adventurous when ordering food in a cafe where a squat toilet is another eating area! It's definitely a case of, if he can do it then so can I!
Of course if your not a travelling type then the book will mean as much to you as a tin of baked beans to a kipper, but for those who yearn for life as one of the wandering nomads of this world, this book will seem like the travel bible in as much as it suggests a life less ordinary!
This book is about working to live and not living to work!
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