I don’t typically review books on my blog, but this is an exception. I studied travel writing with Rolf Potts through the Santa Fe Workshops in San Miguel de Allende in 2017. I learned a lot from him as he shared his vagabonding days and how to find a good story and then how to craft it into a finely honed travel story.
Potts latest book, The Vagabond’s Way: 366 Meditations on Wanderlust, Discover, and the Art of Travel. He had the pandemic-imposed two years to write this book, while landlocked in Kansas, his home.
The book offers his philosophy on travel, his encouragement to engage the world beyond our own backyard, rather than escape to our fenced or gated communities.
… travel is as much a way of being as it is an act of movement. — Rolf Potts
Potts organizes his book in themes that vaguely follow the hero’s journey: the chance to travel, the decision to take off, the preparation to make one’s way into the world, the experiences of awe and obstacles on the road, overcoming those unexpected obstacles, returning home with a new and extended sense of self.
I haven’t completed the book, of course, because the year has just started, but the sage guidance to encounter the world as we go by being open to our senses, to other people, to ourselves (no demanding advice to do it this way or that way) is his gentle way of sharing his own experience.
What makes our stomach churn with anxiety? What sends gleeful joy pulsing through our bodies? What unexpectedly delights our owns sense of self? These are the questions we should ask ourselves as we sojourn.
But I have started reading for January and already found much to mull, chew on, and consider for future travels. He quotes other writers on each day. Potts pulls from the writing of others to convey his thoughts about travel–from ancients such as Rilke and Seneca to modern-day philosophers such as Ryan Holiday and Maya Angelo. And then he slips in his own mighty perspective of how important travel is to the world and to ourselves.
Indeed, one of the reasons travel can lead to a sense of awakening is that leaving our home habits allows us to see things with eyes undimmed by familiarity. — Rolf Potts
Find a copy of the book to indulge your own need for wanderlust and adventure. When we discover the metaphors of travel and life, we often see they are inseparable. I’m sure you will enjoy Pott’s book.
Let me know what is one of your favorite travel books, recent or ancient.
My Debut Novel, Song of Herself
To read my debut novel, Song of Herself, an epic adventure to India by an Iowa horsewoman, click here.
Please, please, when done with the book, go to Amazon, BookBub, Goodreads, or your favorite reading app to leave a review of the book. I appreciate every assessment of the book for you the reader. It helps know if they are interested in the book. Thanks so very much!!!