Vagabonding Case Study: Kristin Addis

Kristin Addis DSC_5809

Age: 28

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Quote: “People think it’s an obsession. A compulsion. As if there were an irresistible impulse to act. It’s never been like that. I chose this life. I know what I’m doing. And on any given day, I could stop doing it. Today, however, isn’t that day. And tomorrow won’t be either.” (Batman Identity Crisis)

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip?
From a few other bloggers who employ the same travel style and mentality. It’s hard to remember exactly who now as a lot of people credit the book with helping them to embark on a nomadic lifestyle. I honestly didn’t know it was possible and that there were so many people doing it. Of course it seems obvious to me now but before I started traveling, it didn’t at all. It’s good to get such a helpful introduction and I’m definitely a fan.

How long were you on the road?
It’s been about 26 months and counting now. I’ve slowed down slightly in Berlin for a few months but in 2015 I’ll be traveling to a lot of new places again.

Where did you go?
Since I started traveling non-stop in September 2012, I’ve been to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Flores, and Lombok), Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Germany, England, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Nepal, and Greece. I am presently in Germany but preparing to move on in a couple of months.

What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey?
Luckily my travel blog and a lot of freelance writing have helped me reach a level where I’m making a living at my travel writing. It’s really exciting and I can’t wait to see where things go from here.

Did you work or volunteer on the road?
I pretty much always maintained a blog, but it wasn’t all that profitable for the first year and a half. I focused way more on the traveling than the work because it was first and foremost a sabbatical for me from my old career in investment banking. So I do work now – a lot – but for most of my trip it hasn’t been a main focus.

Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite?
Can anyone give this a straight, unwavering answer? It’s so hard because so many places are amazing for different reasons and nowhere is perfect. I can easily come up with my definitive least favorite place but I have a long list of favorite places. I guess to name a few: Taiwan, Berlin, Cambodia, Laos.

Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging?
I just didn’t like Banlung in Cambodia. There are so many awesome places in Cambodia and I just didn’t feel that Banlung was one of them. It wasn’t as beautiful as the rest of the country had been and it was lonely.

Which travel gear proved most useful?  Least useful?
I’m always talking up PacSafe because I have a lot of their gear and it’s all great. I especially love the wire mesh bag protector because even in places that are really basic with locks you can’t trust, you can still lock your stuff up with the wire protector. It was so worth the peace of mind.

I packed really light so pretty much everything I had with me was essential. I guess the least helpful thing that I quickly ditched was a sleeping bag liner, which a lot of readers were quick to disagree with me on.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?
Ultimate freedom, constant new tastes, fragrances, colors, cultures, and landscape. It’s really exciting to constantly experience something new and to have the ultimate freedom to move around as you please (more or less), and how do-able it can be.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?
Stability, for sure. At first it’s not a big deal, but over time the shortness of relationships and the lack of a feeling of home makes it tough.

What lessons did you learn on the road?
An endless amount, really. The most poignant of which is that doubt is a big inhibitor. If people go full-steam-ahead for a dream, I find it usually works out for them. It’s hard to do this because of all the possible doomsday scenarios that inevitably go through everyone’s minds before taking a leap of faith. That said, I think life would have been unfulfilled for me without having taken one.

How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip?
Making it sustainable. At first, this meant doing it as cheaply as possible. Now making it sustainable means a sustainable way of life, with more comforts from time to time, longer stretches of time in certain places, and seeing good friends whenever possible.

If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be?
Be prepared for the massive ups and downs, and know that they will pass.

Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure?
The more prepared you can be, the better. I mean this mostly financially. As long as you’ve saved up enough to really enjoy your trip and not stress constantly about money, you’ll give yourself some time to figure out how to make it a full lifestyle change. I’d also say flexibility is key. Don’t plan too much. Just float.

When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey?
My readers are actually voting on that right now! I had no idea where to go so I turned it over to them. It’ll be exciting to find out what gets picked!


Read more about Kristin on her blog, Be My Travel Muse , or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Website: Be My Travel Muse Twitter: @BeMyTravelMuse

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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Kristin Addis  | December 20, 2014
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

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