Vagabonding Case Study: Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley

Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley 094

Age: 31

Hometown: Antibes, France and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Quote: “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth at least the truth that is given us to understand” Picasso

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

I found out about Vagabonding from a good friend of mine and fellow Dual Citizen slash Third Culture Kid, Jen Miller. I then purchase the book and have used both as a source of inspiration and as a way of seeing the world in a different way. I’ve traveled all my life so this is the lifestyle I’ve grown up with and accustomed to. Vagabonding helped me to realize it’s OK to be a nomad and helped me see a beauty in it I hadn’t seen before.

How long were you on the road?

Roughly 5 years.

Where did you go?

We moved from LA to South Korea ( near the North Korean border), Italy, Phuket, Scotland, Bangkok, and back to Phuket.

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

Initially my husband taught English in Korea and then in Thailand, and I freelanced.

Did you work or volunteer on the road?

I didn’t but my husband did.

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

Sadly I can’t answer that as I have no favorite place since our family embarked upon this journey, each were special and unique.

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

The most challenging was in living in semi rural Korea. Very friendly people, but our daughter was a baby and I felt isolated and stuck inside our apartment most days. Plus, this was the time when the sub was sunk and there was much talk about war with North Korea, which was under an hour away from where we were living ( Paju). If was had started, we would be the first to be attacked which made it very hard to focus on daily life with that worry going on.

Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful?

As stupid as it sounds, my iphone. The apps and wifi allow me to work and communicate with anyone.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

It allows me to see the world in a different way, and also to be on the fringe of society. I don’t feel the pressure to fit in anywhere because I don’t have a particular home or community that makes me feel I need to fit in.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

The lack of community and close friendships. My friends live all around the world and are not all nomads, so it can be hard to communicate about daily life and our goals/dreams for various reasons.

What lessons did you learn on the road?

I learned to see the beauty in being ‘in between’. In between societies, in between cultures and values and ideas and even citizenship.

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

I see it much more as a way of life than a fad or phase.

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

Work hard and focus on what you have, no matter how little. Keep going, don’t doubt yourself.

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

Believe in yourself and your dreams. Learn as much as possible from each culture you visit.

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

Most probably somewhere in B.C., possibly Tofino or Nelson.

Read more about Elizabeth on her blog, , or follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Website: E K Bradley Twitter: @calanagear

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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Elizabeth Kelsey Bradley  | November 19, 2014
Category: General, Vagabonding Case Studies

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