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

Rolf Potts
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2003
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Potts gives the necessary information on:

• financing your travel time
• determining your destination
• adjusting to life on the road
• working and volunteering overseas
• handling travel adversity
• re-assimilating back into ordinary life

Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.

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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel + The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance + The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage
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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: 20.5 x 13.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 69 people found the following review helpful
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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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to not feel trapped 19 Mar 2006
By Eirey
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good philosophy for travellers 3 Jan 2010
By Jessica
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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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bible 29 Aug 2003
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivation for the dormant vagabonder 2 July 2007
By Rowan
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The travelling mans Bible
A wonderful book.
Published 9 days ago by Ajay Dhoru
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing.
I was turned on to this by the Tim Ferriss book club and it's an interesting read. It did somewhat surprise me as it seems more about why you should travel long term rather than... Read more
Published 27 days ago by sam_acw
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspiring and Practical Read
True to the simplicity theme it espouses, Vagabonding provided me with the 'whys' of long-term travel and lots of further information on how to do it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. M. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Excellent quick wee read..compact book with lots of info in it..I think that says it all really should I say more
Published 3 months ago by Big gee
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible.
An amazing guide to longterm travel at a low cost. Great advice for travellers doing the journey alone, and particularly female travellers - I will certainly take note when I head... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Miss Hollie P Tye
4.0 out of 5 stars A Travel Classic
If you've ever wanted to explore around the corner, or around the world, this book will give you everything you need to know to do it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dave
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting
Bought as it was recommended by Timothy Ferriss, a decent entertaining read definitely worth the value if your thinking bout backpacking.
Published 7 months ago by Harry Twain
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant inspiring travel book
The perfect book to inspire you to travel, and the recommendations of other authors and literature within by the likes of Matthiessen, Walt Whitman and others will lead you in... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lukeeeo
5.0 out of 5 stars Te travel bug ignited
If there was a club, I would have signed up after the first 5 pages. This books speaks to everyone who has ever wanted to travel but given themselves reasons not to do it and those... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Silentg
2.0 out of 5 stars O.K.
Having bought this book after going travelling I found the advice to be straightforward and obvious...possibly because I had read it after the fact. Read more
Published 9 months ago by SB
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