This is the second post of the series on “My Trip to Cuba“.
Surrounded by pristine Cuban forest wilderness and lying on a shaky rustic wooden bed, I decided to relax after a long day of cycling and listen to THIS podcast with Rolf Potts. Even though I was tired as hell, as the interview went on I increasingly got more excited about what the topic they were talking about.
The basic proposition of Rolf Pott’s philosophy is that we should not limit our wild travel desires just because we heed pre-conceived notions that long-term travel to remote places is too expensive, too dangerous, too adventorous, too socially unaccepted. Instead, he promotes the art of vagabonding as the key to gaining more perspective on life and discovering the remote places in the world by taking a few months/years off from regular life and routines.
But vagabonding is not just about visiting as many places as possible and „ticking boxes“ as a way to show the world how awesome and well-traveled we are – as the back cover of the book says:
„Vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasises creativity, discovery,
and the growth of the spirit.“
Integrating Vagabonding Into My Own Life
I like to spend a big chunk of the money I earn on traveling. Traveling for me has long been an essential part of my life. Together with a friend, my first real backpacking experience was a 3-week trip through Italy when I was 17 years old. Ever since, I have made traveling a big priority in my life and have traveled on the cheap a fair amount over the years. Like nothing else I have come across, traveling provides me with this unique liberty of just taking off and letting new surroundings and circumstances shape who you are.
Even more so, I have found that I prefer to travel solo. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy the company of a travel companion. On the contrary, I had some of my most wonderful travel experiences while on the road with friends. But there is this unique element of solo-traveling that forces you travel and explore other cultures in a different manner. I had traveled alone a few times before, but only did I realise after my solo bike trip through Cuba recently that solo traveling represents provides a traveler with a more rich and deep experience. Out of necessity, I was forced to chat up and meet random people and make friends along the way. When
So far, I have never taken off a few months completely to let myself traverse a certain region of the world and therefore have never seen myself as a vagabond. But coming to the realisation that traveling long-term for a few months or even years does not have to be expensive and a privilege of a few, means that everybody can integrate vagabonding into their life.
I absolutely hate the argument I hear so often from people: „Ohhh, traveling to remote places is so expensive and I don’t make enough to be able afford that!“
OK, WAIT A MINUTE!!!
How much money are you actually wasting by getting that disgusting Frapuccino bullshit at your local Starbucks, eating expensive unhealthy meals at overprized hipster restaurants, getting the latest iPhone6 so you can compete with your friends, buying that 5-litre GreyGoose Vodka at the nightclub to impress some chicks because you can’t impress them with anything else, getting ridiculous designer haircuts every 3 weeks, and so much more I could rant about?
If you live in a Western country, YOU MOST DEFINITELY HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to start vagabonding and going to countries where your dollar gets you much more value. This means that you need the right attitude of a vagabond, but if you have read that far into this post, you probably have it anyways.