August 29, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Ligeia and Mindy

Ligeia and Mindy 


Age:  33 and 41

Hometown:  Baltimore and Toronto respectively

Quote: I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip?

We only recently discovered Vagabonding through a Facebook group, so unfortunately we were not able to …

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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

August 20, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Paul Farrugia & Karen Sargent

Paul Farrugia & Karen Sargent globalhelpswap mongolian steppe b


Age: 39 & 36

Hometown: Birmingham, England & Malta

Quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain


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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

August 15, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Johnny Isaak

Johnny Isaak Putuoshan.

Age: 54

Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho
Quote: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” — William G.T. Shedd

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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

August 1, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Diana Edelman

Diana EdelmanDSC_7968
Age: 34
Hometown: Rockville, Md.
Quote: Life’s not about living happily ever after, it’s about living.

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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

July 30, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Mariellen Ward

Mariellen Ward11312765965_4a28229541_c

Age: 54

Hometown: Toronto

Quote: Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. Joseph Campbell


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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

July 18, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Denise Diamond

Denise Diamond


Age: 36

Hometown: Texas

Quote: Be more awesome and do the things you’ve only been talking about doing until now. (more…)

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Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

July 16, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Christine Kaaloa

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Christine Kaaloa

Age: Never ask a girl her age after she crosses 40.

Hometown: Aiea, Hawaii

Quote: Your horizon is only as far as you can imagine it. (more…)

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Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

July 4, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Luke McGuire Armstrong

Luke Guatemala

Luke Maguire Armstrong

Age: 28

Hometown: Kalispel, Montana

Quote: Hundreds of years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that my ruins become a tourist attraction. - Demotivators (more…)

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Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

July 3, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Leyla Giray Alyanak


Leyla Giray Alyanak
Age: 61
Hometown: Born in Paris, grew up in Madrid, studied in Montreal, now live near Geneva, Switzerland
Quote: “To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” (Freya Stark)
How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip? I read the book a few years after returning from my trip – and wished it had existed before I left!
How long were you on the road? 3.5 years in my mid-forties was the longest – but I’ve traveled for up to a year at a time on other occasions.
Where did you go? Up the Eastern spine of Africa, through Southeast Asia, the Baltics, and Cuba
What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey? Initially my savings; then a smattering of freelance assignments; and then I was  finally appointment as a newspaper foreign correspondent.
Did you work or volunteer on the road? I worked often – usually writing but occasionally teaching or doing communications work along the way.
Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite? Eritrea. I arrived just after three decades of civil war. Hope was in the air, everyone was optimistic, even those who had lost family or limbs in the brutal conflict. Gender equality was proclaimed, Eritreans started coming home to rebuild their country. And then the regime hardened into a repressive one, and I know if I returned I would no longer be able to feel so positive about it.
Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging? I think Nigeria was the most challenging country I’ve ever visited. Not only is it huge, but few tourists go there so it doesn’t have the tourism infrastructure. Of course Nigerians travel extensively in their own country so where they go I could go, but it wasn’t as straightforward as, say, Kenya or South Africa.
Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful? My sarong, bought for a song in Thailand, is probably the most useful thing I have with me. I can wear it around my room, sleep in it, use it as a towel in a pinch, headscarf, protection against wind and sand.  A close second is my trusty rubber doorstop. Just slip it under the door at night and sleep like a charm. Least useful is anything I can easily buy abroad.
What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle? My biggest reward has been to travel slowly and get to meet incredible people along the way, many of whom have become lifelong friends. By taking my time, at least a month in each country, I was able to begin to understand it, not entirely, but certainly more than if I’d drifted through for a day or two.
What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle? My biggest sacrifice was distance from my loved ones, no contest. I traveled well before social media and Skype brought the world closer together. When I was on the road full-time, I was limited to the occasional international phone call and at times, I missed my family terribly. I also missed having a home base, as I got rid of everything before starting to travel. For a number of years, I felt like a tourist in my own life.
What lessons did you learn on the road? I learned so much… to rely more on myself, to be more confident, that I needed far fewer ‘things’ than I thought, that I could make friends anywhere… and that people were basically helpful and kind, with exceptions, but that’s what they were – exceptions.
How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip? Initially I thought travel was about time and distance. Eventually it became about depth and breadth. I began to care more about understanding than seeing, which meant spending a lot more time in a place than I’d ever planned.
If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be? Stop worrying.
Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure? Do your homework, make your plans – and be ready to throw them out the window when an opportunity arises.
When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey? It will be in 2015… Either across the USA – I’ve always wanted to visit it in-depth – or perhaps through Scandinavia. I’d love to spend a month or two in Madagascar or Mexico…

Read more about Leyla on her blog, Women On The Road, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter

WebsiteWomen On The Road Twitter@womenontheroad

Are you a Vagabonding reader planning, in the middle of, or returning from a journey? Would you like your travel blog or website to be featured on Vagabonding Case Studies? If so, drop us a line at and tell us a little about yourself.

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Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

June 20, 2014

Vagabonding Case Study: Changes in longitude: Michael & Larissa Milne

Changes in Longitude

Larissa and Michael Milne

Age: 53

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Quote: “Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Lookin’ for adventure, and whatever comes our way.” ~ Born to be Wild, Steppenwolf (more…)

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Category: Vagabonding Case Studies












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Laura @Travelocafe: Great interview! Thanks for introducing Ligeia and Mindy to us.

Tye Rogerson: Que saudade

Jennifer Miller: You’re so right, Roger, that being open to the kindness and...

Roger: I have not faced nearly as much “danger” as Jennifer, by the sound of this post,...

Simon Valle: Interesting and thought-provoking post. I often found myself thinking...

Richard Silver: Very nice thought! It’s true that nowadays the world is changing...

JC: Couldn’t agree more… instead of worrying about facebooking or...

Roger: I love your attitude, Paul & Karen.

Stephen: A compelling argument for the importance of remembering to live in the moment...

katie houston: why don’t they sell their souls to God and get a bigger and better...






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An interview with Freelance Writer Joe Henley
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Why change is a beautiful thing and why you should travel right now

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