Tag Archives: rolf potts

5 Blogs To Read Before Hitting the Road

As a vagabond who left without doing much preparation I have been exceptionally fortunate to have a few skills I can leverage to keep myself out of a ditch and well fed (sometimes exceptionally well fed).

Here are a few blogs which are exceptional resources for those of us wishing to do the same and take a permanent Slacker Day.  I recommend the reading.


One of the most prolific blogs on long term world travel it has many exceptional articles on how to prepare for travel, how to save money both on the road and before you embark upon it, professional hobo-ing, and this six part guide on taking the leap to long term world travel.

In addition there are dispatches from all over the world from its many writers, photos from across the globe and much more.

You can subscribe to Vagabondish.com here.

Go Green Go Travel

For many vagabonds, digital nomads and professional hobos we are concerned about how we impact the planet we so wish to travel.  Go Green Go Travel offers a variety of articles and suggestions on how we can travel in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

With the rise of eco-tourism and the rush to see farther reaching and more obscure ecosystems and natural habitats it is even more important that we understand how are travel affects the planet and what we can do to walk the world without leaving a global footprint.

You can subscribe to Go Green Go Travel here.

Location Independent

Maintaining a long term traveling arrangement around the world requires a certain set of skills to continually earn a living along the way.  Location Independent shows you how to cultivate these skills, design a lifestyle that makes freedom a priority, and many resources on the technologies that can be used to facilitate your perpetual day off.

You can subscribe to Location Independent here.


If I’m going to mention long term travel blogs I would be remiss in omitting Rolf Potts’s Vagablogging.  Rolf Potts is the author of Marco Polo Didn’t Go There and Vagabonding: The Art of Long Term World Travel, the latter of which is one of my 5 books to read before hitting the road.

Not only does he have dispatches from his own travels but advice on travel gear, travel writing, language learning with Tim Ferriss, and other random tidbits from around the world.

You can subscribe to Vagablogging here.

Everything Everywhere

A self-described Around the World Travel Blog by Gary Arndt, Gary really does travel everywhere.  His About page is one of my favorite in the travel blogging community, direct, honest and filled with interesting information about his life.

One of my favorite posts is a recent one on the paradox of travel blogging, or as he calls it the “Gary Paradox”, a phrase I may adopt.  Blogging is an impediment to travel and travel an impediment to blogging and yet as a travel blog you can’t have one without the other.

There’s a lot on his site and I suggest you browse around, truly a great source of inspiration.

You can subscribe to Everything Everywhere here.

What blogs would you suggest to read before hitting the road?

5 Books to Read Before Hitting the Road

When you hit the road for the first time there are a lot of things that are going to turn around and hit you back. Having a little preparation to deal with these things and some inspiration to keep you going is important.

Here’s what I read before hitting the road.

1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Longterm World Travel

Rolf Potts is an amazing writer who has traveled all across the globe. He writes regularly at Vagablogging.net and has been featured in magazines like National Geographic Traveler, Outside, the New York Times Magazine and many more.

Vagabonding covers the basics of life on the road from before you even start. How to prepare for your trip, how to decide where to go, how to decide what to do when you get there, and much more. It’s less about specifics and more about learning how we want to travel in our own way.

This is one book that has stayed with me every step of my trip.

Buy it on Amazon.com before you get out there.

2. On the Road

Jack Kerouac was the American vagabond of the mid-20th century. Screaming across the country in cars from coast-to-coast, exploring cities and delving deep into life on the road as a spiritual experience, Kerouac has been the inspiration for many who roadtrip or travel.

Reading On the Road for the first time gives you a feel for the density of experience that vagabonding will provide. When you are out there on the road and hit a few bumps it is doubtfully as troublesome as the adventures that Kerouac went through.

I read this when I was in high school and have since read it over and over again. When you need a hit to jump start your passion again, this is one for me and hopefully you.

Buy it on Amazon.com and feel the rush.

3. A Walk in The Woods: Rediscovering America on The Appalachian Trail

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors hands down. His wit and the lightness with which he describes adversities he faces takes the wind out of that daunting first step.

When you set out to hike the Appalachian trail you are making a statement to yourself.

When you set out to vagabond across the country or the world you are making a statement to yourself.

It’s not about being a nonconformist or breaking from the mold necessarily, it is a personal pilgrimage to find out who you are and what you are made of. Bill Bryson gives us an insight into what makes him him.

Buy it on Amazon.com and take a hike.

4. The Four Hour Workweek

If Rolf Potts is the travel writer of the age, Timothy Ferriss is the entrepreneur who can show you how make the time to travel. This was the first book that really turned me onto traveling in a manner that made sense to me.

The Four Hour Workweek has a number of tools on how to divorce yourself from the incessant streams of information that we are bombarded with, create a business that will help fund your traveling, and a great deal more.

The title was purposefully chosen to create a bit of controversy, and yes it sounds a bit like a scam, but the ideas behind it are powerful and the motivation it gave me (one of the best slackers) to really work at redesigning my life is impressive.

Buy it on Amazon.com and see how many hours you want to put.

5. Your suggestions

What would a list be at only four? The fifth book is up to you, what else would you suggest to read before traveling?

Vagabonding – Starting Long Term Travel

I have hit the road.  Visit my Travelogue over at Vagabond Cafe.

After a month of deliberation and semi-planning I took off from Maine.  I landed in Atlanta December 8th after a few tribulations – losing my wallet, missing my flight, losing my book (on vagabonding) – and immediately headed out dancing.  A great relief.

My plan to travel has been spurred by many factors, but the principal one which gave me the idea to travel without a home was reading the Four Hour Workweek and coming to the conclusion that my life wasn’t really on any particular road and I was just doing what had been presented to me – not what I had chosen for myself.  I had lost my job, had multiple reasons to leave New York City behind not least the exceptional expense of living there, my ties of being in a relationship were over all of which created an opportunity.

Perhaps I should have done a bit more prep and research before I left, but I’ve spent almost a month in Atlanta (with a week trip to Asheville) which has served as a gestation period for my ideas and route through the U.S.

Things I would have prepared a little differently for:

  • wait an extra week or two to pad my accounts
  • get my motorcycle license
  • line up a bit more work in Atlanta (I tried this but it didn’t work out)
  • research vagabonding a bit more

If you are planning a vagabonding trip I recommend a few resources to start:

There are many more which would come in handy that you’ll discover on your own.  Starting with Vagabonding and Four Hour Workweek will definitely give a jumpstart to your dreams of leaving the assumed real world behind.