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Potts encourages us to think about travel in a way that has been almost lost. He wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown and, finally, to take our own damn time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel related advice ever

"Vagabonding" is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel, once thought to be the sole province of students, counterculture dropouts, and the idle rich. Potts gives the necessary information on:

  • financing your travel time
  • determining your destination
  • adjusting to life on the road
  • working and volunteering overseas
  • handling travel adversity
  • and re-assimilating into ordinary life

Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery and the growth of the spirit.

Rolf Potts funded his earliest vagabonding exploits as a landscaper and an ESL teacher. He now writes and speaks on travel-related issues for dozens of venues worldwide, and his travel essays have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Outside, The Best American Travel Writing, and on National Public Radio. He keeps no permanent address, but feels somewhat at home in Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans and Kansas.

Media praise for Vagabonding and Rolf Potts

"For all those that have the travel itch, this is the perfect book with which to scratch."
Outpost Magazine

"The book is a meditation on the joys of hitting the road for months or years at a time. It's also a primer for those with a case of pent-up wanderlust seeking to live the dream."
USA Today

"Vagabonding is a crucial reference for any budget wanderer."
TIME Magazine

"Potts has synthesized more than six years' worth of road experiences into an unusual travel guide that's much more than a how-to manual for open-ended journeys. With wit, insight and flair, he has created an inspiring philosophical handbook about living life as an adventure. ... Vagabonding is an inspiring read for anyone who has ever contemplated taking an extended break."
Globe and Mail

"I couldn't put this book down. It's a whole different ethic of travel. …[Rolf's] practical advice might just convince you to enjoy that open-ended trip of a lifetime."
Rick Steves, "Travel With Rick Steves"

"Vagabonding [is] chock-full of tips and first-person accounts about how to journey frugally and well."
National Geographic Traveler

"Potts makes a valuable contribution to our thinking, not only about travel, but about life and work. And he leaves us with a prescription for making our lives more meaningful and more fun."
Boston Globe

"Vagabonding packs a serious philosophical punch and has a cult-like following among independent travelers. I'm warning you, though: This book may well inspire you to quit your job, sell the house and leave on an extended adventure."
The Oregonian

"Vagabonding gives inspirational insights and practical tips on how to make your dream journey viable and fulfilling. ...[A] must-read for anyone thinking about hitting the road for longer than the usual two-week window."
Times Online (U.K.)

"Recommended reading."
Washington Post

"Liberally spiced with quotes from Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Lao-Tzu and other great authors and thinkers, Potts' book is meant to inspire readers. ...[It] is tailored for people who have always dreamed of travel but aren't quite sure how to do it. It's packed with Internet resources and travel tips, including how to negotiate time off work, ways to adjust to life on the road, and solutions to common mistakes all travelers make. Potts wants to make sure no one is left with any excuse not to travel."
San Francisco Examiner

"Vagabonding offers inspiration, practical advice and philosophical musings that can enrich even the most seasoned wanderer and be particularly helpful to inexperienced travelers. It features one of the best lists of travel resources, such as books and instructive Web sites, that we've encountered anywhere."
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"For those who just want to enjoy the journey, Vagabonding combines practical tips for getting happily lost with a genuine love for life on the road."
Toronto Star

"Potts' advice about 'earning to live, rather than living to earn' could be applied to many life goals. In Vagabonding, he mixes meditations on travel with bits of philosophy and considerable doses of encouragement for those who would like to get their show on the road but don't know how."
Sacramento Bee

"Practical advice and poetic musings on long-term travel."
San Francisco Chronicle (Bestseller list, winter 2003)

"This is a book about how to earn your freedom — how to change your life so that it allows you to travel to each corner of the world for as long as you see fit. Despite worries about work and money, it encourages you to free your thinking and invest in life's most valuable commodity: time. ...Vagabonding could almost be called a self-help manual, since it promotes a broad worldview and suggests travel as a way to mindfully examine how best to live your life."
La Repubblica (Italy)

"If you've ever fantasized about taking a substantial amount of time off to globe-trot, then Vagabonding is a must-read." (Editor's Pick)

"Tired of clinging to that guidebook like it's a security blanket? Try reading something that tells you how to appreciate the art of travel rather than how to spend money. [Vagabonding] will inspire rather than dictate."
— Robert Young Pelton, in National Geographic Adventure

"Potts encourages us to think about travel in a way that has been almost lost. He wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown and, finally, to take our own damn time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written."
— Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside Magazine

"World-class vagabond and journalist Rolf Potts answers the burning questions on how you can travel to far-off destinations."
— Peter Greenberg, Travel Today Radio

"Potts' type of travel is a throwback, and a welcome one."
Surfer Magazine

"[Vagabonding] is a very inspirational read, one that had me ready to pack my bags after the first chapter."
Go Budget Travel editor Rob Meyer in the Los Angeles Times

"A wonderful book."
— Pauline Frommer, The Travel Show

"An inspiring immediate classic...Vagabonding expands on virtually all the views we have presented in our magazine over the past 27 years."
Transitions Abroad

"Have no fear. There are plenty of options for vacationing on the cheap while still being able to get everything you might have hoped for from your journeys. Rolf Potts' Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel ... provides readers with an extensive outline on how to organize travel while not stifling all-important cultural experiences."
Columbia Missourian

"Forget the books on how to have the perfect vacation. In Vagabonding, author Rolf Potts tells readers how to prepare for long-term travel by negotiating time off from your job or school, simplifying your life, living on a budget and learning to handle travel adversity. ...Vagabonding [is] a how-to book for adventurous souls."
Colorado Springs Gazette

"This book will become a travel classic, and belongs in all travel collections."
Library Journal

"Veteran vagabond Potts regales readers with his mantra: anyone with an adventurous spirit can achieve the feat of taking extended time off from work to experience the world. ... For those with a bad case of wanderlust."

"A book for everyone, it is particularly useful to those who haven't quite found the courage to strike out on long-term travels, and are open to the unexpected experiences that can transform a banal tourist into an authentic traveler."
Donna Moderna

"Vagabonding is the cult Bible of the independent traveler. ... Rolf Potts presents us with idealistic (yet sensible) answers on how to leave the habits of home and travel the world for long periods of time. The notion of "vagabonding" has been presented before, but here our postmodern Kerouac transforms it into a kind of philosophy that - while not rigidly definable - can change the way you see the world."
Turismo Magazine (Italy)

"It is a handbook for the globetrotting species — a guide for people who want to wander the world with intelligence and serendipity, avoiding specific itineraries and too much baggage."
La Stampa (Italy)

"Nothing short of pure brilliance... Not only is Vagabonding a quick and fun read, it is also a philosophical treatise, a how-to guide, and a technical manual, all rolled into one. If a long-term sabbatical from the daily grind is in your future, this is one item you can't afford not to add to your shopping list."
Young Pioneers

"Potts extols the virtues of vagabonding, deftly weaving inspiration and how-to advice with a genuinely uncommon exploration of serious travel issues."
World Hum

"As much a philosophical treatise as a how-to guide, Vagabonding offers basic pointers on preparing for the road ahead and is an excellent reference to numerous other books and periodicals on long-term travel."
North Bay Bohemian

"Like few other travel guides, Vagabonding does not give advice on finding hotels or list reliable travel agents. Instead, it attempts to provide a framework from which travelers can create their own adventures. Potts' constantly repeated message is that travel gives one the opportunity to live deliberately and experience life more fully."

"Whether its a trip for two weeks or two years, Potts paints a beautiful picture of our world... Vagabonding does not contain all the answers, but gives you the tools you need to go out and find them."
Student Travel Blog

"Simply the best travel book of the year — the ultimate inspiration for just quitting it all and venturing out on the road. 5 Stars plus!"
Independent Publishing Review (Editor's Pick)

"Potts' research is impressive. The book is engaging enough because of his writing style, but with the addition of his factoids, traveler biographies, hints, and resources, it's also capable of engaging those long-held dreams of long-term travel that have lingered solely in fantasy-land for too long. ...Vagabonding is the type of travel book that is kept in a reference collection instead of being tossed through a train window once its destination is met."
The Bookshelf (Canada)

"For a traveler feeling jaded from seeing one too many tourist traps, or for a newcomer trying to get a feel for what travel is, Potts has welcome advice."
Student Traveler

"A wonderful and much-needed addition to the world of travel guides."
Reader's Club

"Travel, Potts points out, is a metaphor for life. ... You can't get through the book without the urge to live deliberately. To think. To plan. To find your path, wherever it may be."
F5 AltBooks

"A great inspirational guide for those who follow the siren to explore extended travel."

"Rolf Potts has produced an engaging book that does what few, if any, other travel guides do: make readers aware of how accessible the experience of long-term travel really is."
— Jeffrey Tayler, author of Glory in a Camel's Eye, Facing the Congo, and Siberian Dawn

"In a compelling compendium of anecdotes and advice, Potts combines hard-won on-the-road tips with comprehensive resource lists and wanderlust-tingling tales from his and others' worldly adventures. Vagabonding brings to inspiring life both the how's and the why's of life on the road."
— Don George, Global Travel Editor, Lonely Planet Publications

"Digging into Rolf Potts, one encounters real issues about travel, issues that most other travel writers overlook..."
— Joe Cummings, author of Lonely Planet Thailand, Lonely Planet Laos, and Moon Handbooks: Mexico

"The graying geezers of travel writing had better scooch over and make some room — a new kid just tossed his pack up top of the bus. His name's Rolf Potts..."
— Brad Newsham, author of Take Me With You: A Round-the-World Journey to Invite a Stranger Home