I found the book Vagabonding by Rolf Potts on my mom’s bedside table a few months back and almost had a heart attack (of joy) thinking she was interested in roaming around the world. Come to find out, her boss had lent it to her so that she might understand her daughter (me) a little better.
Mom never finished the book, but once I got my hands on it I couldn’t put it down. Her boss was right, this book truly spoke to my soul.
The idea of long-term travel has always appealed to me, I just cant seem to feel 100% content with the idea of touring around the world only to spend a week or two in one area. I’ve always envisioned it being a slow paced, off-the-beaten-path sort of travel, which is exactly what vagabonding is. What I loved most about this book, was that it was written in hopes of informing the world that long-term traveling is not necessarily for the “young, unattached, and rich”. It is, and can be for the old, the young, the individual, the family, really anyone who has the desire and dedication to make it happen.
Quite honestly, I’m tired of stereotypes. No matter what your dream in life may be, there tends to be a type of person that is associated with that dream. Like tall people and basketball, small framed girls and cheerleading, young irresponsible college kids and travel, hard-headed guys and the military, old crazy ladies and cats. Dreams, ambitions, and goals are not specific to a type of person, they are specific to any person who has the determination to achieve them.
If you want to kick-box, you kick-box! If you want to teach Zumba, you teach it! If you want to own 50 cats, by golly own 50 cats! The world is open to you and your dreams, don’t let stereotypes get in the way of reaching out and taking them.
Quotes in Vagabonding I just loved:
– “Research your own experiences for the truth… absorb what is useful… and what is specifically your own… the creating individual is more than any style or system.” -Bruce Lee (p vxiii)
– For some reason we see long term travel to faraway lands as a recurring dream or an exotic temptation, but not something that applies to here and now. Instead– out of our insane duty to fear, fashion, and monthly payments on things we don’t really need– we quarantine our travels to short, frenzied bursts. (p4)
– Vagabonding is about time– our only real commodity– and how we choose to use it. (p6)
– Work is how you settle your financial and emotional debts– so that your travels are not an escape from your real life but a discovery of your real life. (p15/16)
– The freedom to go vagabonding has never been determined by income level; it’s found through simplicity— the conscious decision of how to use what income you have. (p29)
– “We see as we are” – Buddha (p108)
– “Those who visit foreign nations, but associate only with their own countrymen, change their climate, but not their customs. They see new meridians, but the same men; and with their heads as empty as their pockets, return home with traveled bodies, but untraveled minds.” -Charles Caleb Colton (p109)
– Even if you find yourself in a positively extraordinary social situation, try and keep yourself in the moment instead of thinking about what kind of story it will make when you get home. (p127)
– More often than not, you’ll discover that “adventure” is a decision after the fact– a way of deciphering an event or an experience that you can’t quite explain. (p140)
– Adventure is wherever you allow it to find you. (p142)