Don’t wait for luck; make the decision and change your life

I recently got an email from Jen and Ted, a pair of Canadian Vagabonding readers who perfectly sum up how, sometimes, the most important thing one must do in order to travel the world long-term is to simply realize that it is possible. Here's their story, in Jen's words: I have been unsure for the past few months how to word this, as this is basically the biggest thank you of my life. Our story is as follows: My husband & I have been married just over 2 years and were (unknowingly) stuck going about the typical life pattern of… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (7)  | September 26, 2012
Category: Feedback, Money Management

Comments and conversations

There were a lot of comments on my last blog entry for this site, relative to the normal amount these posts receive. (“The What-ness, part 2: Choose what to lose”, can be read at The post was about avoiding easy clichés and sterile recounting in your travel writing, and putting in the effort to drill down into the core experience and character of the place. The comments were very thoughtful and generally reiterated the importance of trying to avoid, in one commenter’s words, “play by play A-B accounts of been there, did this and ate that.” He continued, “What… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (0)  | July 20, 2012
Category: Feedback, General, Notes from the collective travel mind, Travel Writing

Preparing for the unexpected responses to your travel news

As I’ve made final preparations for my backpacking trip the past few months, I’ve come to realize there was one thing I completely underestimated: The act of telling people of my plans and dealing with their reactions is much more time-consuming and emotionally exhausting than expected. Even more surprising was that this happened in different ways than I’d anticipated - the reactions I imagined actually never came true, and the reactions I never expected happened on repeat. I’d expect this to be the case for many others who are planning their first trip, so I’ll share my experience in hopes… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (8)  | February 8, 2012
Category: Feedback, General, Vagabonding Advice

The latest reader feedback on Vagabonding

One of the coolest things about writing a book is hearing back from the folks who read it and took its message to heart. Based on recent reader emails, here are some reasons why people are finding Vagabonding useful and inspiring: To spark a personal urge to drop it all and hit the road "Read Vagabonding. Quitting my dreamless job as a mail carrier, finding new homes for my dogs, renting out my house, and taking off. Taking 2 years or whatever and seeing the world with whatever will fit in my backpack. I'm 45, divorced, no kids, no ties.… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | October 26, 2009
Category: Feedback

Some new feedback from Vagabonding readers

Every so often I share outtakes from letters and messages readers have sent me. From a recent sampling of emails, here are some of the ways Vagabonding has encouraged people: To stop putting off lifelong travel ambitions "I'm 31 and just planning to start my solo travels in January. A lifetime ambition that I have been, for a variety of reasons, putting off. Your book has inspired me to take action and finally stop procrastinating. More importantly, you have eased some fears and given me confidence. I have spoken to many 'travelers' over the years but none have provided the… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (3)  | June 15, 2009
Category: Feedback

Some recent reader feedback on Vagabonding

Though I've spent recent months promoting my new book, Marco Polo Didn't Go There, I continue to get plenty of feedback for my first book. Here are some recent outtakes of reader emails about Vagabonding, and how people are finding it useful in their own lives: As a "little kick in the pants" to hit the road "I wanted to thank you for writing that wonderful book. The desire was always there, and the time was right, but Vagabonding gave us the last little kick in the pants that we needed. It was a joy to read." As an argument… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (2)  | February 2, 2009
Category: Feedback

New praise and feedback from Vagabonding readers

As of next month, Vagabonding will have been out for five years -- and emails continue to arrive from readers who've found inspiration in its pages. Here, arranged by theme, are a few outtakes from folks who've found the book useful for their life travels: For making long-term travel a realistic goal "I read Vagabonding for the first time a few years ago and wanted to finally write and thank you for your wonderful book. I came across it during a time in my life when I was dreaming of a long-term travel adventure around the world but doubted whether… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 17, 2007
Category: Feedback

More feedback and praise from Vagabonding readers

Four years after it was first published, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel continues to sell steadily and attract the attention of travelers and travel-dreamers worldwide. Here are some recent snippets of feedback from reader emails, organized by theme and utility: For leaving behind the world of work: "I just finished your book, and I must say what an inspiring read it was. I’m glad that you address the specifics of leaving behind the typical work life for vagabonding. I’ve been wrestling with the actual logistics of long-term travel for many months. …I loved the… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (4)  | June 25, 2007
Category: Feedback

Vagabonding: The “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” endorsement

[Above: Contestant Justin Pitts gives props to Vagabonding.] Last month, while I was traveling in Cuba, several readers sent me emails saying that a contestant on the syndicated game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" had told host Meredith Viera that -- if he won money on the show -- he wanted to travel the world as much as possible, adding "I'm reading a really great book called Vagabonding." As far as I know, this is this first time my book has been endorsed on a game show, so I did a little followup, and it turns out the… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | May 10, 2007
Category: Book Release and Tour Diary, Feedback, Rolf's News and Updates

More great feedback from Vagabonding readers

It's been almost four years now since Vagabonding was first published, and I continue to be encouraged by readers who've found travel inspiration in its pages. Here are five outtakes from recent reader letters that underscore the practical and inspirational strengths of Vagabonding: As travel inspiration: "Hey man, I just finished Vagabonding and of all the books I have ever read in my life, yours was the most inspirational -- I have started referring to it as my new bible, and have recommended it to everyone I talk to. I read it while I was on a three-week jaunt through… Read More...

Posted by | Comments (1)  | December 8, 2006
Category: Feedback