Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
If you are like me, dreaming of vagabonding, or travelling the whole world someday, this book is dangerous. Dangerously good. Many practical tips on vagabonding, website links, voice of other world travellers, but the focus is on travel inspiration. This book will kick your butt, screaming, Just Go, Already!
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.
The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom. With this kind of mind-set, it’s no wonder so many Americans think extended overseas travel is the exclusive realm of students, counterculture dropouts, and the idle rich.
we end up spending (as Thoreau put it) “the best part of one’s life earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.” We’d love to drop all and explore the world outside, we tell ourselves, but the time never seems right. Thus, given an unlimited amount of choices, we make none. Settling into our lives, we get so obsessed with holding on to our domestic certainties that we forget why we desired them in the first place.
vagabonding is … quite similar, in fact, to what the Australian Aborigines call “walkabout.” Culturally, the walkabout ritual is when Aborigines leave their work for a time and return to their native lifestyle in the outback. On a broader and more mythical level, however, walkabout acts as a kind of remedy when the duties and obligations of life cause one to lose track of his or her true self. To correct this, one merely leaves behind all possessions (except for survival essentials) and starts walking.
People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think this is what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive. – Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth