How to Prepare for a Vagabonding Adventure

The following is a guest post from Tammy Strobel. Tammy is the author of Simply Car-free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life. She blogs at RowdyKittens about social change through simple living. That, and she is awesome.

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

Next year, 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. What items can you spend less on?

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 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 are blessed with 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 for travel purposes.

For instance, two years ago I sold my cars to save money and pay off my debt. As a side effect, I’ve lost about 15 pounds, no debt, and actually have a savings account.

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.

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 Posts

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.

Micro-action: Read Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts

Would you add anything to the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.