Vagabonding Is Not Just For The Rich

by Pam on July 10, 2010

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

For those of you who are interested in doing some extensive traveling, whether it be in your own country or overseas, I would recommend that you read Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.  It’s an easy book to read and contains some really great tips about what to do and not to do while traveling.  He provides advice on what to bring with you, which is as little as possible.  He also advises on places to avoid, things to look out for, scams to be aware of, etc.  His book is chock full of resources and other suggested books to read to become a fully informed traveler.

The key point to his book, however, is that travel doesn’t have to be really expensive.  He emphasizes that long term travel is not exclusively for students or for the rich.  In fact, anyone who is willing to make some small sacrifices at home, such as eating out less, finding cheaper methods of entertainment, and cutting back on unnecessary expenses, can tuck enough money away to be able to afford to do some long term travelling.

If you are willing to travel to developing countries, your money will also go a lot further than if you want to travel in the developed world.  In some places, the author was able to live on about $10 per day!  The author insists, however, that even in developed countries, it is possible to travel quite inexpensively as long as you are mindful of how you spend your days and nights.  Obviously you wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in five star hotels every night, for example.

Essentially, according to the author, world travel is a possibility for anyone who has a mind to experience it, and travel does not have to be expensive.  It’s time for us to stop associating travel with wealth.  In fact, the author argues that if you work really hard to save money for your trip, you will appreciate your travels so much more than if the money had just been handed to you. As well,  preparing and researching before you leave, and working hard to save money is part of the fun of the whole experience.

A quote that impacted me in the book is as follows:

“The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live.  And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom.”

The author is really trying to tell his readers that life is not about money, it is really about our experiences.  Don’t think that you have to have a lot of money in order to have a lot of experiences.  That’s just not the case and it’s important that you don’t believe this lie.  If traveling isn’t your thing, then find something else to do that you are passionate about, but by all means, don’t just blame your lack of money for your lack of action.

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