Vagabonding Case Study: Ayngelina Brogan

On September 18th, 2015

Ayngelina Brogan of Bacon is Magic

Age: 38

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Your favorite quote: We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.- Anaïs Nin

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

A good friend of mine, Liz, recommended it.  I fell in love with the book. None of the advice was new or revolutionary but it really inspired me. I was in a great career and a dead end relationship, and while I had traveled and lived abroad I was really intimidated to go on a long-term trip. I couldn’t convince my boyfriend at the time to travel with me and the book really pushed me to do it on my own.

How long were you on the road?

I left a career in advertising in 2010 and had been traveling for 4 years. In the last 18 months I’ve used Toronto as a base and continue traveling.

Where did you go?

I bought a one-way ticket to Mexico and traveled overland through Central America and South America to Argentina over 18 months. From there I went to Europe for a while and back to South America.

Two years ago I went to a small island in Canada and met the love of my life. Everyone told me to visit a restaurant they knew I’d love. When I met the Chef he knew I was the one and confessed he was already planning to move to Toronto. We had an amazing few days and I had to bid farewell because I was going to Spain to rent an apartment for two months. We spoke every day and when I returned to Canada he joined me in Toronto.

What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey?

I started out on 20,000 savings and then became a professional travel blogger.

Did you work or volunteer on the road?

I once worked at a hostel bar in exchange for a hostel room and meals but after a year my website became my main source of income.

Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite?

That’s far too difficult to choose. I loved so many countries for so many different reasons. Latin American is in my heart. I really “found” myself there but I couldn’t pick a favourite country, so many are special for so many reasons.

Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging?

I find Spain quite challenging. I really want to love it because I love Latin America, but I find it so difficult to become more than just acquaintances with locals. I’m always on the outside. I haven’t given up but it is a difficult country for me.

Which travel gear proved most useful? Least useful?

Most useful are packing cubes. I swear by them whether I’m backpacking or just with a carry-on. They save room and keep things organized.
Least useful has been the silk sleeping bag I thought I needed. It was $80 and I’ve never use it. I really need to post that on Craigslist.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

Freedom to explore, change, discover the world and who you are as a person.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

After a while you really feel like you want more of a connection to people. It’s tough to travel for years and always be moving on. It’s why I now keep a base, I like knowing I have a coffee shop and friends in Toronto but I can take off and travel any time I like. I have the best of both worlds and I really appreciate both.

What lessons did you learn on the road?

So many things, much about the world but mostly about myself. It really was a new start in life. I’ve written about it quite a bit:  37 Tough Lessons I Learned Through Travel.

How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip?

Perhaps it was because I learned more Spanish but in Latin America I started connecting more with locals than with other travelers. When the language barrier lessened I was really able to learn more from people who lived in places I visited. I also started staying much longer in each place, often a month in a city instead of a few days.

If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be?

Don’t plan a single thing. Just go and figure it out.

Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure?

It feels like a big, scary decision because no one around you wants to do it. But once you’re on the road you will be surrounded with so many other people on the same journey, and you find a community that supports and helps. It was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’m so thankful I’ve been able to blog about the ups and downs of long term travel.

When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey?

My partner and I just returned from 5 weeks in Italy as he wanted to learn more about cured meat so we had a salumi pilgrimage over 5 weeks. He’s a chef and so long term travel will be tough but we’re thinking at least once a year, when the restaurant is slow we’ll take a big trip. Until then we have a great ten day trip to Alberta, I’m so excited to learn more about my own country. And instead of big long trips I’ll take shorter ones more frequently to balance my insatiable travel bug and a relationship at home.

Read more about Ayngelina Brogan on her website, Bacon Is Magic.

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.

Looking at Airfare?

Image: davebloggs007 (flickr)