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Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel [Format Kindle]

Rolf Potts
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Chapter 1

From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

-Walt Whitman, "Song of the Open Road"

Declare Your Independence

Of all the outrageous throwaway lines one hears in movies, there is one that stands out for me. It doesn't come from a madcap comedy, an esoteric science-fiction flick, or a special-effects-laden action thriller. It comes from Oliver Stone's Wall Street, when the Charlie Sheen character - a promising big shot in the stock market - is telling his girlfriend about his dreams.

"I think if I can make a bundle of cash before I'm thirty and get out of this racket," he says, "I'll be able to ride my motorcycle across China."

When I first saw this scene on video a few years ago, I nearly fell out of my seat in astonishment. After all, Charlie Sheen or anyone else could work for eight months as a toilet cleaner and have enough money to ride a motorcycle across China. Even if they didn't yet have their own motorcycle, another couple months of scrubbing toilets would earn them enough to buy one when they got to China.

The thing is, most Americans probably wouldn't find this movie scene odd. 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.

Not long ago, I read that nearly a quarter of a million short-term monastery- and convent-based vacations had been booked and sold by tour agents in the year 2000. Spiritual enclaves from Greece to Tibet were turning into hot tourist draws, and travel pundits attributed this "solace boom" to the fact that "busy overachievers are seeking a simpler life."

What nobody bothered to point out, of course, is that purchasing a package vacation to find a simpler life is kind of like using a mirror to see what you look like when you aren't looking into the mirror. All that is really sold is the romantic notion of a simpler life, and - just as no amount of turning your head or flicking your eyes will allow you to unselfconsciously see yourself in the looking glass - no combination of one-week or ten-day vacations will truly take you away from the life you lead at home.

Ultimately, this shotgun wedding of time and money has a way of keeping us in a holding pattern. 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.

In reality, long-term travel has nothing to do with demographics - age, ideology, income - and everything to do with personal outlook. Long-term travel isn't about being a college student; it's about being a student of daily life. Long-term travel isn't an act of rebellion against society; it's an act of common sense within society. Long-term travel doesn't require a massive "bundle of cash"; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.

This deliberate way of walking through the world has always been intrinsic to the time-honored, quietly available travel tradition known as "vagabonding."

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. Vagabonding is about using the prosperity and possibility of the information age to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions. Vagabonding is about looking for adventure in normal life, and normal life within adventure. Vagabonding is an attitude?a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word.

Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It's just an uncommon way of looking at life - a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time - our only real commodity - and how we choose to use it.

Sierra Club founder John Muir (an ur-vagabonder if there ever was one) used to express amazement at the well-heeled travelers who would visit Yosemite only to rush away after a few hours of sightseeing. Muir called these folks the "time-poor" - people who were so obsessed with tending their material wealth and social standing that they couldn't spare the time to truly experience the splendor of California's Sierra wilderness. One of Muir's Yosemite visitors in the summer of 1871 was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who gushed upon seeing the sequoias, "It's a wonder that we can see these trees and not wonder more." When Emerson scurried off a couple hours later, however, Muir speculated wryly about whether the famous transcendentalist had really seen the trees in the first place.

Nearly a century later, naturalist Edwin Way Teale used Muir's example to lament the frenetic pace of modern society. "Freedom as John Muir knew it," he wrote in his 1956 book Autumn Across America, "with its wealth of time, its unregimented days, its latitude of choice . . . such freedom seems more rare, more difficult to attain, more remote with each new generation."

But Teale's lament for the deterioration of personal freedom was just as hollow a generalization in 1956 as it is now. As John Muir was well aware, vagabonding has never been regulated by the fickle public definition of lifestyle. Rather, it has always been a private choice within a society that is constantly urging us to do otherwise.

This is a book about living that choice.

Revue de presse

“A crucial reference for any budget wanderer.”Time
Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10 list of life-changing books. Why? Because one incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not just for one trip, but for the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss, from the foreword
“The book is a meditation on the joys of hitting the road. . . . It’s also a primer for those with a case of pent-up wanderlust seeking to live the dream.”USA Today
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a whole different ethic of travel. . . . [Rolf Potts’s] practical advice might just convince you to enjoy that open-ended trip of a lifetime.”—Rick Steves
“Potts wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown, and, finally, to take our own damn time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel-related advice ever written.”—Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3807 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 224 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0812992180
  • Editeur : Villard; Édition : 1st (24 décembre 2002)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°11.523 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Livre indispensable à celui qui souhaite voyager seul 12 novembre 2012
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
En plus de prodiguer des informations et des ressources pratiques, ce livre s'interroge sur le voyage en lui même, sur l'état d'esprit à adopter, sur les questions à se poser. L'auteur, ayant beaucoup voyagé dans le monde entier nous apporte son expérience et son savoir.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 11 janvier 2014
Par ilya
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
J'étais un peu dubitatif sur le titre. Et puis en fait le livre est très bien. Il est très complet et couvre tous les aspects du voyage. Je ne compte pas partir tout de suite, mais en tout cas ce livre m'a apporté un grand souffle, le temps oublié de ma jeunesse où je partais pour un oui ou pour un non.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent 2 décembre 2014
Par Thomas R
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
J'ai offert ce livre a mon fils qui a adoré.

J'ai donc décidé de le lire aussi et je dois dire que je n'ai pas été déçu. ça m'a rappelé ma jeunesse, quand j'enfilais un sac a dos et que je partais découvrir les routes du monde.

Je recommande à tous les apprentis globe trotter et aux autres aussi.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 très bon ouvrage 5 décembre 2014
Par Charlotte
ce livre m'a donné envie de prendre mon sac a dos et de me diriger vers de nouveaux horizons. C'est un veritable ode aux voyages avec tous les cotés logistiques abordés.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  309 commentaires
172 internautes sur 176 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 great little travel philosophy book 14 juillet 2003
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Rolf Potts' tome of vagabonding is an inspirational work rather than a practical guide. While the same practical information is contained in other books, this book shines in the area of travel philosophy. Travel is like a religion, where some people are incredibly fervent about it, while others just don't understand. This book makes you realize that long-term travel is not only possible, but desirable and worthwhile.
I particularly liked the section on working for travel. As a 9-to-5 worker planning a long-term trip, I needed the inspiration to keep going. I liked being told that working will actually make me appreciate travel more. After all, to afford travel, I have to be here anyway.
Throughout the book, there are great little excerpts from famous travellers, philosophers, and explorers, as well as anecdotes from ordinary travellers. Rolf has a particular liking for Walt Whitman, and I may just have to go pick up some Walt poetry now. The literary references in this book let you know that world travel and a simple life aren't new concepts.
The only problem I see with this book is that it may soon become dated with its references to specific websites.
The book is of a small and convenient size to take on the road.
101 internautes sur 104 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Inspiring 23 juin 2003
Par Heather Lowe - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The hardest part of world travel is acquiring the mindset that nothing else matters as much as the journey. Getting to a place where you reduce your consumption of unnecessary stuff, commit your time, and leave your daily routine behind takes a fair amount of work, and it also takes a major shift in priorities. Vagabonding serves as the kick-start that gets you to that mental place --the "I can do it, and I can do it soon" reply to the siren call of world travel.
This book is inspiring, clear, and helpful. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to roam, but thinks they don't have enough money or time. I also recommend it for those, like me, who have gone vagabonding before, know what it takes, and just need a nudge of renewal in order to get back out there again. Great book!
41 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 this book is akin to torture 22 octobre 2005
Par Shawn Mansell - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you have even the slightest desire to drop all responsability and run around globetrotting this piece will only encourage you.

And if you don't have the means to do so this book will torture you with temptation.

Potts doesn't offer lots of cost-saving tips, he instead shares his philosophy of working your life to fit international travel.

If you are struck with wanderlust after reading this book- remember you were warned
154 internautes sur 175 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Insightful, But Occasionally Elitist, Book of Travel Philosophy 19 septembre 2005
Par Chris Luallen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Potential buyers should first be aware this is really a book of philosophical musings by Potts and his favorite writers, though at least he has good taste in literature with his numerous quotations from Whitman and Thoreau. But those looking for "nuts and bolts" information on how to prepare for a RTW trip or other long term international travel should buy Rough Guide's "First Time Around the World" instead.

As an avid traveller, I do agree with much of what Potts has to say, especially about getting off the tourist track and experiencing other cultures more fully and realistically. But I also believe that Potts' writing, while very passionate, is often marred by a lack of humility. His intention is to "inspire" people to travel - a worthwhile aim. But his constant insistence that every person should immediately start saving money then quit their job and hit the road often comes off as overbearing and "know it all", without any sense of understanding for other people's situations or priorities - such as work and children.

Personally, I begin "vagabonding" through the United States, Asia and Latin America at 18. Now, at the ripe old age of 37, I still manage to travel every year, also my wife is from Ecuador so we go there quite often. But my career obligations make my trips shorter than they used to be. Hopefully Potts will gain some maturity over time and begin to recognize that his way isn't the only way. Otherwise the guy is a pretty good writer with an intense passion for travel and some intelligent things to say about it. Just remember this is a book of philosophy and opinions rather than useful factual info. So those looking for a guide to travel planning should look elsewhere.
49 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Philosophy Class Meets the Road 18 septembre 2003
Par Tim Leffel - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book is essentially about the thought process behind taking time off from your regular life to discover and experience the world on your own terms. If you've been around the world a few times, you'll find it puts many of your fuzzy warm thoughts and ideals into words. If you haven't, it'll probably make you wonder why you haven't taken off already.
People who like to plan and be prepared should treat this as a companion to more nuts-and-bolts guides. Others may find this plenty since travel is all an adventure anyway. It depends on your personality and comfort with the unknown. The rarely expressed aspect of Potts' book, however, is the acknowledgement that both work and travel are admirable and that one complements the other. To travel, you must also be productive sometimes. But to be productive, you also have to continually learn and see other points of view. Traveling abroad on more than a one-week vacation makes this possible. An entertaining and inspiring read.
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