Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vagabonding – Slowly Traveling the World

“Vagabonding involves taking an extended time-out from your normal life—six weeks, four months, two years—to travel the world on your own terms.” That's what Rolf Potts advocates in his book about travel. He believes Americans are so consumed with achieving the American Dream, so caught up with mortgages and monthly payments and all the things advertisers lead them to believe they need, that they limit travel to “short, frenzied bursts.” Their travel, packaged as vacations, simply become another item to purchase each year and schedule for one or two weeks between May and September. In contrast, Potts would like us to become explorers and discover our world during long, leisurely trips where we see a lot—but experience even more.

Potts's excellent blog contains more travel information than you're likely to find at your local library. Vagablogging also features guest writers who are busily writing about the world they're idly exploring. Don't miss this treasure trove of information.

Two people who were influenced by Potts's philosophy are the Soul Travelers, a couple in their fifties and their daughter. They left Santa Cruz, California, planning to see the world in a leisurely two-year trip. That was four years ago. After exploring 23 countries and homeschooling their daughter, they have a lot of advice to share about everything from the benefits of early retirement to how to eat healthy meals while on the road every day of the year. Be sure to check out their delightful blog for travel tips and for articles about their latest travel adventures.

While the Soul Travelers are old hands at world travel, the folks writing “From Here to Uncertainty” are just beginning. Their blog, updated daily, chronicles the story of Brenna, Bob, and their two children in their fledgling first few months journeying around the world. As the title suggests, they have no idea what the outcome of their trip will be, but they plan to enjoy every second of the journey and remain open to the serendipity that often results from following your dream. I think Rolf Potts would approve!

Practicalities -

Rolf Potts's book, Vagabonding, is a compendium of travel philosophy and how-to-practicalities. It's available at all the usual places.

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