Many of you have probably read (or re-read) his epic book Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. Written by the godfather of vagabonding, this is a must-read for those new to (and veterans of) long-term travel. Rolf Potts spent 10 years on the road (he even walked across Israel). This book contains valuable insights, quotes, and a lot of practical information for those looking for a deeper experience on the road. Nomadic Matt has said before that “if long-term travel and backpacking had a bible, this would be it.”
It was a treatise on the personal and world benefits of travel, especially long-term travel. This book expresses the philosophy of long-term travel in a digestible, relatable way that quells travelers ache for exploring and solidifies soon-to-be-travelers reasoning for wanting to get up and go. It’s an inspirational book and, while an experienced traveler might not get much practical information from it, it remains as good reaffirming read.
At the very least, reading this book will help ease a lot of the fears many of us have about setting off to journey through different parts of the world. Because there’s nothing like vagabonding (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). Travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to:
- Financing your travels
- Determining where to go
- Adjusting to life on the road
- Working and volunteering overseas
- Handling adversity as you explore
- Re-assimilating back into ordinary life (eventually)
Vagabonding is an indispensable guide for the modern traveler. We’re excited to have Rolf Potts joining us for this month’s book club. We cannot wait to hear all about the process of writing this book and what’s come since it’s publication 20 years ago.
Get Your Book
About the Author @rolfpotts
Rolf Potts has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Slate.com, Outside, the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian (U.K.), Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. His adventures have taken him across six continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma, driving a Land Rover across South America, and traveling around the world for six weeks with no luggage or bags of any kind.
Potts is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel,” has been through thirty-two printings and translated into several foreign languages.
He has lectured at venues around the world, including New York University, the University of Lugano, the University of Melbourne, [email protected], and the World Affairs Council. He has taught semester-long nonfiction writing courses at Penn and Yale.
Though he rarely stays in one place for long, Potts has, over the years, felt somewhat at home in places like Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans, New York, and Paris, where he runs a series of creative writing classes each summer. He is based in north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres with his wife, Kansas-born actress Kristen Bush.
Connect with Rolf