Some memories are more vivid than others. It’s as if time slows down and everything becomes clearer. Usually these are big things: first kisses, going skydiving, seeing your kid do some inane crap for the first time. And then there are smaller things. These are things that you’d never guess would become a lasting memory – just normal parts of another normal day, but for some reason they stuck. For me, one of those is when I picked up Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding.
It was Christmas 2010. I was at Christina’s parents’ home in Baltimore, sick as a dog. This was the second major holiday in a row I’d spent there, and I’d been ill for both of them. I’m pretty sure they thought I was faking it to avoid going to church.
I was curled up on the couch in blankets, trying to keep the bitter cold wind that shook the window panes from penetrating my shivering bones, unable to move. There were a stack of books within arm’s reach, one of which happened to be Vagabonding. I read it without moving off that couch. My mind wandered to far-off destinations and cutting the cord from a domestic lifestyle.
It’s a slim volume that can be read in an afternoon, but will inspire you for a lifetime. It’s, without a doubt, the most influential book I’ve read on overcoming the obstacles that I thought were preventing me from long-term world travel. It’s the reason I’m here today, writing from New Zealand, a month into a two-year trip. If you’re interested in doing something like this, pick up your copy today.