Vagabonding Case Study: Kristina Perkins

Kristina Perkinskpcreates

Age: 28

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Quote: Don’t mock the wanderer, unless you too have wandered.

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

I found out about Vagabonding after my journey had concluded but now I can’t stop reading. I love the travel tips and reading about all of the other vagabonds out there!

How long were you on the road?

30 days

Where did you go?

I traveled to 37 states during my trip, totaling approximately 300+ hours of bus time.

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

Though I did not have a job during my travels, I was working as an optometric technician leading up to my trip—thoroughly hating management and the lack of creativity in that particular office. I was fortunate enough to receive donations from friends and family to help supplement my month on the bus and I received a FEAST MPLS grant to support the exhibit of my photographs and stories upon my return.

Did you work or volunteer on the road?

Because of the pace of my travels and the amount of land covered, I was not in one location long enough to have a job. With that, the only volunteering I did was photographing an art exhibit event in Baton Rouge when I passed through town.

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

Of the cities I hadn’t visited prior to this trip, Louisiana and Utah were my favorites. Louisiana for the incredible people and Utah for the stunning landscape.

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

Atlanta Greyhound station holds the bulk of my travel frustration. This is purely because that stop marks just about the three quarters mark of my journey; the point at which my entire body was starting to shut down from lack of sleep and lack of proper nutrients. That, combined with an overwhelmingly crowded bus station of noises, smells, and attitudes. All things that originally fueled my inspiration.

Which travel gear proved most useful? Least useful?

I brought my North Face MG-45 Pack and a smaller shoulder bag to carry my cameras and laptop. Even those two bags felt like too much to carry for an entire month. The physical packs were great.

I only wish I would have been more in tune with tablet technology for image back up. It would have saved weight and space, being able to leave my computer at home.

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

Learning, in every sense of the word, and self reflection. Every experience you have as a vagabond broadens your understanding of the world and propels your consciousness of not only where but how you choose to contribute to this world.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

You sacrifice material luxuries, but vagabond’s aren’t fueled by those things anyhow! The other challenge you will encounter consistently is confusion, questioning, and disapproval by family, friends, and even strangers regarding your lifestyle. It can be difficult to brush that off from time to time but it feels really great when you are secure enough in your path to do exactly that 🙂

What lessons did you learn on the road?

Be patient. Be smart. Delete Facebook.

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

My love for the vagabond lifestyle quadrupled over the course of my journey. I realized, more than ever, that I am absolutely captivated and inspired by life on the road; having the luxury to create photographs and stories of the journey only added to my attraction to it all.

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

Don’t be a fly on the wall. I initially went into the experience with an open mind and a goal to maintain a “fly on the wall” mentality. I thought this would allow the stories to come to me, so that the material was authentic and not forced. And it did! I just wouldn’t mind going out on the road again now, with a stronger creative confidence to approach strangers more often and with greater intention and purpose to learn their stories.

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

I recognize that it is easy to dream but often difficult to turn those dreams into reality. Taking action towards those dreams can be quickly squashed by responsibilities of the now. The most significant realization I have had in my young life is that if I made every decision based off of fear that I might change my mind later, I would have traveled no where, experienced nothing, and loved no one. So, my advice to aspiring vagabonds is simple: Go. Do. Create.

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

I am hoping to mimic a similar journey around the country, except this time on Amtrak Trains. I imagine the comfort of my travels will be upgraded from the Greyhound but I am hoping to still be surprised by the characters I meet and the situations I find myself in.

Read more about Kristina, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Twitter: @kpcreates

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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Kristina Perkins  | May 9, 2014
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

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