Vagabonding Case Study: Faith Dugan


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Faith Dugan

Age: 70
Hometown: Washington, DC
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  Nelson Mandela
How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip?
I found out about Vagabonding on Facebook with your notice on Global Bloggers Network. I used other websites in preparing for my travel. I follow a couple of bloggers which javelin provided me inspiration.
How long were you on the road?
6 months
Where did you go? 
France, Venice, Italy, Sochi, Russia for the Olympics, Romania for 6 weeks, Budapest, Hungary, Krakow, Poland, Barcelona.
For the next 4 weeks I will be going to Istanbul, Moscow and St. Petersburg.
What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey?
Retirement Income
Did you work or volunteer on the road?
No, I did not. However, I have thought of working or volunteering for future travels.
Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite?
It is difficult to pick one favorite. Nice, France has a special place in my heart. I love it there. It is beautiful along the Riviera and the city has an energy with a relaxed lifestyle.
Romania was inspirational spiritually and the people were very warm, open, friendly and kind. The country is beautiful. In Romania the town of Brasov was storybook beautiful and the ambiance was wonderful. I recall sitting in the main square at the end of a day thinking, “oh how I wish I could capture this moment on camera” but I knew it was impossible. The moment lasted for about 5 minutes before the scene changed. It was one of those moments which will be indelibly etched in my memory.
In thinking if specific places rather than cities or countries, the painted monasteries of Bucovina particularly with a guide. I am visiting Montserrat in Spain today. It is awesome. Spectacular views, walking oaths, the monastery and I am sure the remainder of Montserrat will be just as awe inspiring . I arrived early in the morning and was able to walk around with just a few people which was awesome.
Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging?
Romania was the most challenging and stressful in traveling. The young people did speak English, however, overall it was difficult to find an English speaker. This made it difficult at times to make travel arrangements. The tourist infrastructure is not in place as in other countries I have visited. As I reflect on the travel through Romania though I did not miss one travel connection or one train stop. Despite a feeling of fatigue, I adapted to each of my destinations. The hosts in my accommodations were wonderful. Bucharest was very tiring. It did not have the charm like other places. It was very busy and large and spread out. Although Bucharest did have positive elements, some wonderful museums and people.
Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful?
Most useful travel gear was my Pacsafe small handbag and small wallet. It fit easily under my arm so my money, passport was safe from pickpockets.
I carried a backpack and camera bag which was least useful. I wish I had consolidated into one item and carried a smaller day bag.  I also carried a small wheeled suitcase which was fairly easy to manage.
What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?
The main rewards were experiencing different cultures, freedom, and discovering oneself outside of who I am in the life I left behind.
What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?
The main challenge is finding a balance between activity and “doing nothing”.  Particularly for those of a”certain age”, time for rest and relaxation is needed to re-energize.
I think that for long term travel, scheduling time for logistics and travel accommodations etc. can be challenging. I became more adaptable in going to a place without any set plan. Dealing with my poor sense of direction, fortunately that improved as I traveled more.  The main sacrifice for me was staying with friends and relatives prior to “vagabonding” lifestyle. While traveling, I cannot say I made sacrifices.
What lessons did you learn on the road?
Lessons learned were:
To have confidence in myself and to trust myself.
To be flexible.
Try to avoid arriving in a new place late at night.
Be mindful of the surroundings.
How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip?
Vagabonding to me is simply not having a permanent home and exploring /traveling the world.
If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be?
In retrospect, I would not do anything different or tell myself anything different. I kept asking myself: what am I doing? Am I crazy? And the answer was always DO IT! I traveled with an open mind and was compelled to embark upon this journey. I had thought about a trip like this for a number of years.
The main question before the trip was what it feels like to leave everything behind?
It is both anxiety producing and exhilarating at the same time.
Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure?
Do it!
Leave  your fears and anxiety behind.
Expect that there will be plans that do not go as you expect.
Plan on conditioning oneself to walk up to 10 miles daily.
When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey?
My next long term journey is just a thought but not yet defined.
I am considering  embarking on a 3 month journey in the spring of 2015 to Croatia, Greece, and Italy.
I also want to do a long term trip to Asia however that will be a trip for the future.

Read more about Faith.



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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Faith Dugan  | June 15, 2014
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

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