Vagabonding Is An Outlook On Life.
Of all the outrageous throwaway lines one hears in movies, there is one that stands out for me. It doesn’t come from a madcap comedy, an esoteric science-fiction flick, or a special-effects-laden action thriller. It comes from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, when the Charlie Sheen character — a promising big shot in the stock market — is telling his girlfriend about his dreams.
“I think if I can make a bundle of cash before I’m thirty and get out of this racket,” he says, “I’ll be able to ride my motorcycle across China.”
When I first saw this scene on video a few years ago, I nearly fell out of my seat in astonishment. After all, Charlie Sheen or anyone else could work for eight months as a toilet cleaner and have enough money to ride a motorcycle across China. Even if they didn’t yet have their own motorcycle, another couple months of scrubbing toilets would earn them enough to buy one when they got to China.
The thing is, most Americans probably wouldn’t find this movie scene odd. For some reason, we see long-term travel to faraway lands as a recurring dream or an exotic temptation, but not something that applies to the here and now. Instead — out of our insane duty to fear, fashion, and monthly payments on things we don’t really need — we quarantine our travels to short, frenzied bursts. In this way, as we throw our wealth at an abstract notion called “lifestyle,” travel becomes just another accessory — a smooth-edged, encapsulated experience that we purchase the same way we buy clothing and furniture.
Not long ago, I read that nearly a quarter of a million short-term monastery- and convent-based vacations had been booked and sold by tour agents in the year 2000. Spiritual enclaves from Greece to Tibet were turning into hot tourist draws, and travel pundits attributed this “solace boom” to the fact that “busy overachievers are seeking a simpler life.”
What nobody bothered to point out, of course, is that purchasing a package vacation to find a simpler life is kind of like using a mirror to see what you look like when you aren’t looking into the mirror. All that is really sold is the romanticnotion of a simpler life, and — just as no amount of turning your head or flicking your eyes will allow you to unselfconsciously see yourself in the looking glass — no combination of one-week or ten-day vacations will truly take you away from the life you lead at home.
Ultimately, this shotgun wedding of time and money has a way of keeping us in a holding pattern. The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our freedom. With this kind of mind-set, it’s no wonder so many Americans think extended overseas travel is the exclusive realm of students, counterculture dropouts, and the idle rich.
In reality, long-term travel has nothing to do with demographics — age, ideology, income — and everything to do with personal outlook. Long-term travel isn’t about being a college student; it’s about being a student of daily life. Long-term travel isn’t an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society. Long-term travel doesn’t require a massive “bundle of cash”; it requires only that we walk through the world in a more deliberate way.
This deliberate way of walking through the world has always been intrinsic to the time-honored, quietly available travel tradition known as “vagabonding.”
Vagabonding involves taking an extended time-out from your normal life — six weeks, four months, two years — to travel the world on your own terms.
But 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. Vagabonding is about looking for adventure in normal life, and normal life within adventure. Vagabonding is an attitude — a friendly interest in people, places, and things that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word.
Vagabonding is not a lifestyle, nor is it a trend. It’s just an uncommon way of looking at life — a value adjustment from which action naturally follows. And, as much as anything, vagabonding is about time — our only real commodity — and how we choose to use it.
This is a excerpt from the book “Vagabonding” written by Rolf Potts. ( I highly recommend it to anyone)
When we tell most people that we have been traveling for 5 years non stop, most look at us like we are full of it. 5 years? What started out as a 2 year venture to shake the chaos we had just went through after losing everything in a bad real estate deal, has become our life’s purpose, our mission to inspire others to start living their life NOW instead of waiting until they have enough money in the bank to venture off into far away lands and cultures that most have only read about.
Vagabonding as Rolf Potts calls it, is more than travel…its a mindset and a new way to look at the world and those in it. We are not your typical traveling family though….yes we do travel and enjoy the cultures around us and the sites we encounter, but we actually do things differently than most “travelers”.
We teach others how to do what we do. We coach people 1 on 1 who are looking to find their purpose or a way to get their passions out to the world. Because of this, we work everyday. Hanalei goes to school everyday. We live a normal life just like everyone else in the world, we just do it in a different country.
We are not trust fund kids or have a lump of money saved away just in case this “internet”thing doesn’t work…we run our own business along with my Unstoppable Branding Experience Workshops along with partnering and marketing the products of Empower Network. This blueprint has allowed our Vagabond experience to continue for the last 5 years…and we don’t see an end it sight yet..
We hope that we inspire you in one way or another to go out and start living your dreams NOW. Life is not getting longer…and you were put on this earth to do something UNSTOPPABLE! Whether you want to travel like us or not…doesn’t matter. What matters is you start now.
We would love to have you join our Tribe of Freedom-Preneurs.
Rhonda & Brian Swan
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