Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding

Summary
  1. In the most simplistic sense, Vagabonding shows you how to travel for extended periods of time with minimal gear and plans. The uncertainties and simplicity are part of what will make your travels so memorable.
Key Takeaways
  1. Vagabonding– Deliberate and mindful extended travel on your own terms
  2. People get too caught up in their social standing and making money that travel becomes part of your lifestyle, something else you buy
  3. Simplifying life takes 3 steps – stopping expansion, reigning in routine and declutter
  4. Do pre-trip homework but never assume anything and don’t plan too much
  5. Bring as little as possible. A couple changes, one nice outfit, sandals, sunglasses, ear plugs and eye covers, some small gifts, toiletries and some medicines
  6. Slow down and don’t rush. Be deliberate and aware of everything around you
  7. People you meet are what make or break your trips. Be trusting and things will work out
  8. Do things which push your limits and get you out of your comfort zone
  9. Be cautious but open to new experiences. Take the good with the bad and accept it all as part of your story
  10. Always travel for personally inspired reasons
What I got out of it
  1. So many good tips and tricks for those looking to take extended travel trips. And if you’re not looking to take these kind of trips, maybe you should. It is much easier and cheaper than most people realize and the life changing experiences you’ll have will stay with you forever. More than a vacation, vagabonding is a way of life

Buy Vagabonding

Intro:
  • Before writing 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss had with him 2 books – Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Vagabonding
  • Teaches you how to travel for extended periods of time
  • Enjoy uncertainties, simplicity

1- Declare Your Independence

  • Vagabonding- Deliberate and mindful extended travel on your own terms
  • People get too caught up in their social standing and making money that travel becomes part of your lifestyle, something else you buy

2- Earn Your Freedom

  • Process starts at home before even start traveling. Cultivate curiosity in new places and in meeting new people and pushing last your comfort zone
  • Enjoy it more when have had to work hard in order to gain the freedom to be able to travel
  • People from all walks of life and for every reason imaginable vagabond
  • People can find work which will help then continue traveling (an anti sabbatical)
  • Make work serve your interests 
  • Has a tip sheet at the end which can be referenced

3- Keep it Simple

  • Jack Kerouac was poster child for vagabonding in 1900’s
  • Simplifying life takes 3 steps – stopping expansion, reigning in routine and declutter
  • Keep costs down by staying in clean hostels/guest houses, taking buses or trains instead of flying, eating from street vendors. For over 2 years he spent about $5 per night on lodging, less than $1 per plate and total expenses less than $1000 per month
  • “A man is not rich by what he owns but how he spends his time.” – Thoreau

4- Learn and Keep Learning

  • Do pre-trip homework but never assume anything and don’t plan too much
  • Guidebooks great but don’t rely on them too much
  • Never take stereotypes as fact and be open to meeting new people and new experiences
  • Around the world air tickets and other pre-planned and pre-packaged trips are almost never worth it. Buy transportation and other trips once in the country as you won’t be tied down to certain dates and it’ll be cheaper
  • Carry extra visa sized pictures
  • Bring as little as possible. A couple changes, one nice outfit, sandals, sunglasses, ear plugs and eye covers, some small gifts, toiletries and some medicines
  • Availability of ATMs makes cash management much easier than it used to be

5- Don’t Set Limits

  • Slow down and don’t rush. Be deliberate and aware of everything around you
  • Look up local monuments, museums, farmers markets, etc. don’t follow the tourist traps always and do something random and off the beaten path
  • Many good tips included in this chapter

6- Meet Your Neighbors

  • People you meet are what make or break your trips. Be trusting and things will work out
  • Do not take things too seriously. Understand that it’s most likely just cultural differences
  • Learn as much as possible from people you meet on the road

7- Get Into Adventures

  • Do things which push your limits and get you out of your comfort zone
  • Be cautious but open to new experiences. Take the good with the bad and accept it all as part of your story

8- Keep it Real

  • Be cautious of not viewing new people, cultures, etc through your narrow point of view. Take everything in context and do not judge
  • Be careful not to fall into the trap of partying too much as this will make your experiences a little less real
  • “I don’t do drugs. I am drugs” – Salvador Dali

9- Be Creative

  • Find what makes you happy and keep trying new things.
  • Once in a while settle down in the same city for a couple weeks to really get to know it
  • Take classes and learn the local language or trade. Tango, Thai massage, etc
  • Many small job opportunities to help pay for travel. Farmer, fruit gatherer, etc. great way to meet local people and get a little extra cash
  • Volunteering is also a great way to spend some time
  • Read Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
  • Always travel for personally inspired reasons

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