THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel is a "how-to" guide, as Potts describes, to “leaving the ordered world to travel on the cheap for an extended period of time”. The book provides both practical advice on how to manage it and perhaps more importantly, influenced by Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau, some real wisdom on a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of having free time over having material possessions and the magic of discovery. There is a section on the importance of financing travel time, how best to plan, adjusting to life on the road, opportunities to work and volunteer along the way, and re-assimilating into normal life when returning home. It is a pretty short and simple book with some meaningful insights and some inspirational moments, with a lot of quotes from prominent travel writers like Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, and Tim Cahill. Even though Vagabonding is specifically oriented at someone thinking of extended world travel, anyone who loves travel will find the book interesting.
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ABOUT ROLF POTTS
Rolf Potts is an American travel writer, with work featured in many publications including National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Salon.com, Slate.com, the Guardian, The New Yorker, and New York Times Magazine. His second travel book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There (2008), is a collection of his best essays, including a story about trying to crash the set in Thailand for the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, The Beach.
GREAT QUOTES FROM VAGABONDING
“This notion – that material investment is somehow more important than personal investment – is exactly what leads so many of us to believe we could never go vagabonding. The more our life options get paraded around as consumer options, the more we forget that there’s a difference between the two. Thus, having convinced ourselves that buying things is the only way to play an active role in the world, we fatalistically conclude that we’ll never be rich enough to purchase a long-term travel experience."
"Instead of worrying about whether you're a tourist or a traveler, the secret to "seeing" your surroundings on the road is simply to keep things real."
"In this way, vagabonding is like a pilgrimage without a specific destination or goal - not a quest for answers so much as a celebration of the questions, an embrace of the ambiguous, and an openness to anything that comes your way."
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