Hitting the Road

from Freiburg, Germany

As much as anything, vagabonding is about time — our only real commodity — and how we choose to use it.

Before Mark went to travel through South America, he recommended a book he'd read and re-read which had helped him decide, prepare, and ultimately travel the world with nothing but a backpack.

It's entitled Vagabonding.

I read part of it in 2013, but the book contained numerous warnings to avoid finishing it unless you're really ready to heed the advice. I put it down until after our trip to South Africa earlier this year, knowing it was finally time to finish it. Now that Karin and I are on a bus with nothing but our backpacks, I decided it was time to read it again.

Instead of being a comprehensive guidebook, Vagabonding focuses on the art of spending our active years wisely. Rolf suggests that too many people become indebted to comfort and routine, promising that they'll see the places they want when they are older with more money and freedom. But freedom really is a simple matter of choosing the life you want. The more time you spend living, rather than deferring to the future, the richer you'll be in the end.

As we get older, time seems to rush by. I have noticed already in my life that a major change always seems to slow things back down by a little bit. Whether it's moving to a new place, taking a relaxing vacation, finding a new partner, or losing a loved one, disruption of routine always puts life in slow-mo temporarily.

In this spirit I am making the time to travel.

I'm looking forward to spending time learning about myself, taking a break from my work (which I really enjoy), and spending time with Karin, who I have come to appreciate and love more than I ever imagined.