Vagabonding

Why did I read it? I think this was on someone else’s “must read” list and I have had it on mine for years. At one point traveling the world with just a backpack sounded awesome.

What’s the main point? Traveling the world for a long period of time is much easier thanĀ you might think. You don’t have to be rich; you just need to be willing to go about it a certain way. Travel is about becoming rich in experience, perspective, and culture, not crossing places off a list.

Takeaways: It’s not very likely that I’m going to pack up a backpack and make my way across Asia for a year. I like a certain level of comfort, a schedule, and having a home base to always come back to. So some of the detailed information on finding work, cheap or free places to sleep, or other long-term travel info wasn’t useful to me. But I do like the idea of traveling creatively – making a point to steer away from tourist traps and creating a personalized experience that gives me a new and unique perspective on a place, rather than being herded through sites. Throughout this book, I spent most of my time thinking about how to trim things from my life that I don’t really need. I think it’s true that many people do not travel because they have spent their money trying to buy better toys than their neighbors. There is some value to living simply, whether you are on the road or not.

Inspirational quote: “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 the 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. In this way, as we throw our wealth at an abstract notion called “lifestyle,” travel becomes just another accessory- a smooth edged, encapsulated experience that we purchase the same way we buy clothing and furniture.”

Verdict: Good read if you really love travel and want detailed information. Not very inspirational – more like a guidebook.