The Vagabond's Way: 366 Meditations on Wanderlust, Discovery, and the Art of Travel (Hardcover)
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“Thought-provoking, encouraging, and inspiring” (Gretchen Rubin) reflections on the power of travel to transform our daily lives—from the iconoclastic travel writer, scholar, and author of Vagabonding
For readers who dream of travel, yearn to get back out on the road, or want to enrich a journey they’re currently on, The Vagabond’s Way explores and celebrates the life-altering essence of travel. Each day of the year features a one-page meditation on an aspect of the journey, anchored by words of wisdom from a variety of thinkers—from Stoic philosopher Seneca and poet Maya Angelou to Trappist monk Thomas Merton and Grover from Sesame Street.
Iconoclastic travel writer and scholar Rolf Potts embraces the ragged-edged, harder-to-quantify aspects of travel that inevitably change travelers’ lives for the better in unexpected ways. The book’s various sections mirror the phases of a trip, including
• dreaming and planning the journey: “All life-affecting journeys—and the unexpected wonders they promise—become real the moment you decide they will happen.”
• embracing the rhythms of the journey: “The most poignant experiences on the road occur in those quiet moments when we recognize beauty in the ordinary.”
• finding richer travel experiences: “Developing an instinct to venture beyond the obvious on the road allows you to see places as mysteries to be investigated.”
• expanding your comfort zone: “No moment of instant gratification can compare to savoring an experience that has been earned by enduring the adversity that comes with it.”
The Vagabond’s Way encourages you to sustain the mindset of a journey, even when you aren’t able to travel, and affirms that travel is as much a way of being as it is an act of movement.
About the Author
Rolf Potts is the author of Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel. He has reported from more than sixty countries for National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, and the Travel Channel. Many of his essays have been selected as “Notable Mentions” in The Best American Essays, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and The Best American Travel Writing. He is based in north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on thirty acres with his wife, Kansas-born actress Kristen Bush.
“The book is set up as a series of meditations—travel quotes that Potts reflects on and reacts to. . . . The result of this formula is a book that’s snackable, weighty, and fun all at once. The premier travel writer of a generation offering travel inspiration in short bursts and fun anecdotes? Sign. Us. Up.”—Uproxx
“Rolf Potts has long been a road warrior and a deep thinker about travel. In The Vagabond’s Way, he distills decades of hard-won insight into bite-sized morsels, and the result is a wise, generous, and profound book. It is a gift for anyone engaged in the journey.”—Andrew McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author of Brat and The Longest Way Home
“In an age of bucket lists, Instagram posts, and one-up travel, Rolf Potts is a breath of fresh air. This book reminds us that the essence of travel isn’t necessarily linear—it’s the moments of beauty and insight that happen spontaneously along the way, rather than the plans and the destination.”—Peter Hessler, New York Times bestselling author of River Town
“Thought-provoking, encouraging, and inspiring, these one-page reflections on the power and pleasures of travel will make even a homebody yearn to hit the road.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and host of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast
“It is so refreshing to read Rolf Potts’s new book, The Vagabond’s Way: 366 Meditations on Wanderlust, Discovery, and the Art of Travel. Rolf captures the wisdom of the world’s most storied travelers, then builds on it based on his own life of vagabonding. Read one meditation per day (a bonus meditation for leap year) or read it all in one sitting. Either way, it will make you think, then inspire you to get up and go.”—Stephanie Pearson, contributing editor, Outside
“In this wise, wonder-struck book, travel-writing legend Rolf Potts distills a lifetime of wandering and reading into a series of irresistible songs for the open road. An inspiring vade mecum for new travelers and experienced vagabonds both.”—Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders
“The Vagabond’s Way won’t help you find the best deals on flights or hotels or take viral Instagram photos. It will inspire you, challenge you, and remind you why we travel in the first place: to see the world, and ourselves, just a bit differently. Don’t read this book in one sitting. Dip into it, as I did, savoring each page as you would having a cup of coffee with a kind and wise friend.”—Eric Weiner, New York Times bestselling author of The Geography of Bliss and The Socrates Express
“Filled with his wisdom from decades of travel, Rolf Potts’s The Vagabond’s Way will inspire you to travel more deeply and think differently about the world.”—Matthew Kepnes, author of Ten Years a Nomad
“Spot on and eminently readable, this is the book I wish I’d had when I started my travel career many decades ago.”—Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside