Vagabonding Case Study: Anne Lowrey

Anne Lowrey unnamed

Age: 28

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Quote: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” — Miriam Beard

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

Wow, I just realized that Vagabonding was likely the first travel blog I ever read. I remember reading it way before some of the most popular blogs existed. I remember feeling — for the first time — that a different kind of life, one that included frequent travel, was possible. Of course the practical tips are useful, and there can be any number of logistics to solve for any trip. The most valuable thing about Vagabonding has simply been the example that has been set, to see that it was possible. Its greatest impact for me was just forming the courage to go.

How long were you on the road?

After I left my corporate job, I was on the road off-and-on for about a year before deciding to move to San Francisco. I traveled continuously for five fantastic months, before leaping into a career in travel writing that keeps me on the road but allows me a home base.

Where did you go?

16 countries — across Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, beginning in Hong Kong and ending in Paris.

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

My savings, which I worked hard to accrue. Now my travel funding (well, all funding) comes from freelance writing and consulting.

Did you work or volunteer on the road?

I volunteered for one month, living and teaching in New Delhi, India. Despite my best intentions, I took a break from blogging while on the road. I only took on work that didn’t take away from my travels during that time.

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

India will never cease to be my favorite place to travel. It is endlessly fascinating, challenging, and completely invigorating. While at times it drives me crazy, I love it there. ? I was surprised how much I loved Burma, Turkey, and Laos as well.

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

The most challenging place I have traveled is Egypt. It was the only place I visited on a group tour, and though I remain so grateful for the time I spent there, it was a challenge for me to travel there when I did. I left Cairo the morning of the Second Revolution. The decline in tourism coupled with my being a woman led to some less than favorable interactions while I was there, but I still found the journey worthwhile and I hope to return someday.

Which travel gear proved most useful? Least useful?

The most useful travel gear for me became anything that was disposable. I loved being able to pick up what I needed locally and discard what no longer served me. I can’t live without my carabiner when I travel — it has come to my rescue for a number of functions, many times. It’s a tiny thing, but I’ve used it for everything from securing my bag to keeping my hands free for taking photos. The least useful were impractical shoes I didn’t end up wearing, or anything heavy I could’ve bought on the road.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

One word: freedom.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

One word: uncertainty.

What lessons did you learn on the road?

So, so many. To this date, writing about the lessons travel has taught me, identifying what they have been and how I can use them to live better at home, has been the most rewarding part of

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

It became less about me — what I was seeing, what I was doing, where I was going. It became more about the journey itself and the people I met in each place. This shift changed the shape of my own story.

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

Nothing worth doing is easy. Also, your life is going to change and the fabric of who you are will now be intertwined with the experiences of your travels.

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

Go, and live in the moment…embrace each day and each place but don’t completely forget about where you came from and where you’d like to be afterwards.

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

I’ll take another long-term journey when I need it. I now know just what extended travel gives to the person who seeks it, and I’ll have my passport waiting for the next time I do.


Read more about Anne on her blog, Part Time Traveler , or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Website: Part Time Traveler Twitter: @anne_elizabeth

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.

Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Anne Lowrey  | March 6, 2015
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

Comments are closed.