If you've dreamed of seeing the world, go vagabonding! Vagabonding involves taking an extended break from "normal life" to travel the world.
"…beyond travel, vagabonding is an outlook on life. Vagabonding is about using the prosperity and possibility of the information age to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions." ~Rolf Potts
Within the next few years, we plan on biking across the U.S. and have taken a number of steps to prepare for the adventure. By simplifying our lives and paying off our debt, we'll be able to take an extended sabbatical via bicycle.
If you want to go vagabonding preparation is key. Below are 6 essential actions you need to take before hitting the road.
1. Learn to live with less.
Leading a simple and minimalist lifestyle are essential components of vagabonding. The freedom to go vagabonding isn't dependent on your income level. Instead, it's about being aware of how you use your current income.
Micro-action: Examine your expenses. How can you decrease your spending?
2. Stop expanding and keep it simple.
Curb your materialism and stop buying stuff you don't need. Consumer culture has told us over and over again that to be happy we should buy more stuff. Don't buy into what the status-quo tells you. Stay out of the mall.
Prior to leaving for the road, sell, donate or lend out your stuff. There is no need to hold on to clutter while you're traveling the world. It's amazing what you can get by without.
Micro-action: Your life options are more than consumer options. So the next time you're tempted to buy a new gadget or pair of shoes, ask yourself:
- How much time do I need to work for this item?
- And how can I use this money to fulfill my dream of traveling?
3. Eat at home.
It's tempting to eat out frequently. On the surface it seems easy and somewhat healthy. But how many times have you waited in a long line just to pay a lot for a cup of coffee or a sandwich?
Making good meals at home is less expensive, will save you time, and is a fantastic skill to cultivate.
Micro-action: If you eat out a lot, slowly cut back and start making food at home.
4. Sell your car(s).
If you live in a city and have good health, you don't need a car. By selling your car, you'll save $9,000 per year. All of that cash can be set aside to save for travel purposes. As a side effect,when I sold my cars I also lost about 15 pounds and became more physically fit.
Micro-action: Add up how much you spend on your car every year. Expenses will include car payments, interest on you car loan, gas, insurance, maintenance, parking tickets, etc. In my calculation I also included the expense I used to have for a gym membership.
5. Rent out your home.
If you own a home, rent it out while you're traveling. You can make a little extra cash while you're vagabonding and come back to your abode once your adventure is over. Make sure you pay your bills in advance, like your mortgage.
Micro-action: Consider hiring a rental management firm to take care of your property while you're away.
6. Rein in your debt.
"The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live." -Rolf Potts
Being free from debt will give you more options. So before you hit the road, pay off as much debt as possible. By reducing your debt, you'll literally earn the freedom to travel.