Vagabonding Case Study: Robert Cooke

Robert Cooke

Age: 26

Hometown: Dublin, Ireland

Quote: “‘Vagabonding’ convinced me that I really could go travelling practically anywhere around the world on my own.

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful? I found out by browsing through the internet and subsequently reading Rolf Potts’ book on it. That is what really inspired me. I found it useful in that it made me look at travel in a different way and with a different mind-set. It also convinced me that I really could go travelling practically anywhere around the world on my own.

What is your job or source of travel funding for this journey? My job was as an online professional poker player and made my money through that. I am a natural saver so I saved up money not for travelling in particular but I knew I wanted to save up for something, I just didn’t really know what that something was at the time.

Do you plan to work on the road? No. 1 of the reasons I went down the path of travelling is because I was disillusioned with poker so I don’t plan on that. I wouldn’t rule out doing some odd jobs on the road but my default plan is that I will not work and rely on funds I have to begin with.

What was the reaction of your friends/family/colleagues as you planned your trip? They were pretty positive. Some were surprised but for the most part people found it exciting. I had talked about doing a trip of this nature for a good few years so it wasn’t that big a shock I guess other than the fact I actually booked the thing.

Any tips or lessons learned from the travel-preparation process? People pack way too much stuff. No matter how organised I am I will always end up in a last minute rush no matter how important.

How long do you hope to spend on the road? I guess I would like to do a year on the road. That seems to me right now, sitting in my bedroom, to be a hell of a long journey. It will depend on how quickly I get through my funds though.

Which destinations do you hope to visit? I hope to visit Cambodia, as it sounds like an amazing place, Vietnam, Philippines and New Zealand

Which experiences are you most looking forward to? Those experiences which I can’t possibly imagine now, if that makes any sense. A lot of the excitement of this trip is not knowing a lot in advance. I purposely have planned very little of my itinerary in order to facilitate this.

I am also excited by seeing how I handle each issue and problem. Am I as calm as I think I am? Can I really hack it?

What are you packing for the journey? I am literally packing my bag now and it suddenly seems a whole lot more than I initially anticipated. Very little clothing, just 2 sets each. A camera, netbook and phone are the technology I shall bring and other than that just lots of odds and ends. I figure I can purchase a lot while I am on the road.

But this is my first time so undoubtedly I am packing far too much stuff anyway.

Do you have any worries or concerns about the journey? Of course, I think my main worry is loneliness and isolation. I am somewhat introverted at heart and I keep thinking what if I don’t settle in and make any friends. I am well aware everybody thinks this and people keep saying in blog posts, forums etc how easy it is and how I will never lonely if I want it that way. It’s 1 thing knowing this at a rational level but at a gut level that nagging feeling that says “What if I don’t?” will never leave me until I go on the road and experience it.

My other concern is travelling fatigue. I’ve never travelled anywhere near this long or on a trip of this nature. Can I handle it?

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Posted by | Comments Off on Vagabonding Case Study: Robert Cooke  | November 17, 2010
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

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