This week is an important milestone in my RTW trip planning: I bought a one-way plane ticket. (And it was under budget, to boot!)

With my departure now secured, those milestones will only become more numerous and more frequent. It will be easy for me to stay motivated. But when I first learned about long-term travel, it was a few years that stood between me and that dream, not a few months. Motivation was a little harder to come by. The typical travel blog platitudes designed to sell e-books and blogging courses never really resonated with me. Vagabonding did.

Rolf Potts was among the first writers to introduce the idea of long-term travel to the U.S. Even as the concept grows more popular and the travel writing market becomes more saturated, few writers capture the idea as well as he does.

Vagabonding didn’t simply inspire me to travel, and it didn’t just show me a path to reach that dream. It has served as my constant reminder that I am exactly where I should be. Far from the “just do it” mentality of many of my fellow bloggers – talented and inspiring as they are – Vagabonding helped me realize that the fact that it’s taken years for me to achieve my goals is a blessing, not a hindrance. That long path of saving and planning taught me patience. It’s as much a part of my travel experience as any moment of my actual trip.

To wit, Potts’ 10 most motivational quotes:

“You’re not just exploring new places, but weaving a tapestry of life experience that is much richer and more intricate than you could have ever imagined while you were still at home.”

“Never forget that you are uniquely in control of your own agenda.”

“Vagabonding is like a pilgrimage without a specific destination or goal – not a quest for answers so much as a celebration of the questions, an embrace of the ambiguous, and an openness to anything that comes your way.”

“Vagabonding is, was, and always will be a private undertaking – and its goal is to improve your life not in relation to others, but in relation to yourself.”

“With escape in mind, vacationers tend to approach their holiday with a grim resolve, determined to make their experience live up to their expectations; on the vagabonding road, you prepare for the long haul, knowing that the predictable and the unpredictable, the pleasant and the unpleasant are separate, but part of the same ongoing reality.”

“Vagabonding is not merely about reallotting a portion of your life for travel, but rediscovering the entire concept of time.”

“It’s hard to sympathize with a First World traveler who squeezes another month out of a Third World country by sleeping in the forest and hitching rides. Better to spend that month back home sacking groceries and saving up for a trip that benefits local bus drivers and maids.”

“I learned to stop looking at my journey as one final, apocalyptic chance to see the world, and start enjoying it in its own esoteric terms…Vagabonding is less like a getaway caper, than a patient kind of aimlessness.”

“If travel is truly the journey and not the destination, if travel really is an attitude of awareness and openness to new things, then any moment can be considered travel.”

“Even if the practicality of travel is still months or years away, vagabonding begins the moment you stop making excuses, start saving money, and begin to look at maps with the narcotic tingle of possibility.”

What else kept me motivated in the years leading up to my trip? Taking mini-breaks.

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