7 Ways In Which Travel Is About Mindset (Not Money)

Rolf Potts
Nov 12, 2013 · 2 min read

We live in an age when world travel is no longer the exclusive realm of the rich and the intrepid. Yet, even with so much information about the world at our fingertips, it’s all too easy to treat travel as an experience that must be purchased and micromanaged.

In truth, traveling the world — even for months or years at a time — isn’t something you buy so much as it is something give to yourself. Making money to travel is important, but not as important as making time. Ten years ago I wrote a book about how to create the time to live the adventures you dream about. As that book, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, debuts as an audiobook this week, here are a few tips for creating the mindset that makes vagabonding possible:

Long-term travel isn’t something you purchase like a lifestyle accessory; it’s something you give to yourself, through lifestyle simplicity.
Long-term travel starts the moment you decide to do it. Even if you don’t embark for months or years, the journey begins the moment you stop making excuses and start making plans.
Long-term travel need not be considered expensive. In many parts of the world you can travel full time for less than it costs to live at home.
The reason long-term travel is so appealing is that it promises to show you the destinations and experiences you dreamed about; but the reason it’s so addiction is that, joyfully, you’ll never quite find what you dreamed — and that’s invariably a good thing.
Vagabonding is not just a process of discovering the world but a way of seeing — an attitude that prepares you for the things you weren’t looking for.
The goal of preparing a journey is not knowing exactly where you’ll go, but being confident nonetheless that you’ll get there. This means that your attitude will be more important than your itinerary, and that the simple willingness to improvise is more vital, in the long run, than research.
Vagabonding involves taking an extended time-out from your normal life — six weeks, four months, two years — to travel the world on your own terms. But beyond travel, vagabonding is an outlook on life — a value adjustment from which action naturally follows.

Rolf Potts is the bestselling author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, which is now available as an audiobook.

    Rolf Potts

    Written by

    Travel writer, essayist, author of Vagabonding, and Marco Polo Didn't Go There. Paris Writing Workshop director, erstwhile Yale lecturer. Itinerant Kansan.

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