5 Travel Lessons You Can Use at Home

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Rolf Potts is one of my favorite writers, and his book Vagabonding was one of only four books I recommended as “fundamental” in The 4-Hour Workweek. It was also one of two books, the other being Walden; Or, Life in the Woods, that I took with me during my 15+-month mini-retirement that began in 2004.

The following is a guest post from Rolf on the art and lessons of travel, all of which you can apply at home.

Enter Rolf:

Last fall I spoke at the excellent DO Lectures, which brings innovative thinkers from around the world for a series of talks in rural Wales (Tim was a speaker in 2008). My talk, which is available in full via the video link above encourages people to make themselves rich in time and to become active in making their travel dreams happen.

The talk itself contains essential advice and inspiration regarding travel — but what struck me on re-watching it was an improvised moment at the beginning of the talk, when I pointed out how “these aren’t really travel-specific challenges — these are things that can apply to life in general. Think of travel as a metaphor for how you live your life at home.”

Indeed, travel has a way of slowing you down, of waking you up, of pulling you up out of your daily routines and seeing life in a new way. This new way of looking at the world need not end when you resume your life at home.

Here are 5 key ways in which the lessons you learn on the road can be used to enrich the life you lead when you return home…

1) Time = Wealth

By far the most important lesson travel teaches you is that your time is all you really own in life. And the more you travel, the more you realize that your most extravagant possessions can’t match the satisfaction you get from finding new experiences, meeting new people, and learning new things about yourself. “Value” is a word we often hear in day-to-day life, but travel has a way of teaching us that value is not pegged to a cash amount, that the best experiences in life can be had for the price of showing up (be it to a festival in Rajasthan, a village in the Italian countryside, or a sunrise ten minutes from your home).

Scientific studies have shown that new experiences (and the memories they produce) are more likely to produce long-term happiness than new things. Since new experiences aren’t exclusive to travel, consider ways to become time-rich at home. Spend less time working on things you don’t enjoy and buying things you don’t need; spend more time embracing the kinds of activities (learning new skills, meeting new people, spending time with friends and family) that make you feel alive and part of the world.

2) Be Where You Are

A great thing about travel is that it forces you into the moment. When you’re celebrating carnival in Rio, riding a horse on the Mongolian steppe, or exploring a souk in Damascus, there’s a giddy thrill in being exactly where you are and allowing things to happen. In an age when electronic communications enable us to be permanently connected to (and distracted by) the virtual world, there’s a narcotic thrill in throwing yourself into a single place, a single moment. Would you want to check your bank-account statement while exploring Machu Picchu in Peru? Are you going to interrupt an experience of the Russian White Nights in St. Petersburg to check your Facebook feed? Of course not — when you travel, you get to embrace the privilege of witnessing life as it happens before your eyes. This attitude need not be confined to travel.

At home, how often do you really need to check your email or your Twitter feed? When you get online, are you there for a reason, or are you simply killing time? For all the pleasures and entertainments of the virtual-electronic world, there is no substitute for real-life conversation and connection, for getting ideas and entertainment from the people and places around you. Even at home, there are sublime rewards to be had for unplugging from online distractions and embracing the world before your eyes.

3) Slow Down

One of the advantages of long-term travel (as opposed to a short vacation) is that it allows you to slow down and let things happen. Freed from tight itineraries, you begin to see the kinds of things (and meet the kinds of people) that most tourists overlook in their haste to tick attractions off a list. A host of multi-million-dollar enterprises have been created to cater to our concept of “leisure,” both at home and on the road — but all too often this definition of leisure is as rushed and rigidly confined as our work life. Which is more emblematic of leisure — a three-hour spa session in an Ubud hotel, or the freedom to wander Bali at will for a month?

All too often, life at home is predicated on an irrational compulsion for speed — we rush to work, we rush through meals, we “multi-task” when we’re hanging out with friends. This might make our lives feel more streamlined in a certain abstracted sense, but it doesn’t make our lives happier or more fulfilling. Unless you learn to pace and savor your daily experiences (even your work-commutes and your noontime meals) you’ll cheating your days out of small moments of leisure, discovery and joy.

4) Keep it Simple

Travel naturally lends itself to simplicity, since it forces you to reduce your day-to-day possessions to a few select items that fit in your suitcase or backpack. Moreover, since it’s difficult to accumulate new things as you travel, you to tend to accumulate new experiences and friendships instead — and these affect your life in ways mere “things” cannot.

At home, abiding by the principles of simplicity can help you live in a more deliberate and time-rich way. How much of what you own really improves the quality of your life? Are you buying new things out of necessity or compulsion? Do the things you own enable you to live more vividly, or do they merely clutter up your life? Again, researchers have determined that new experiences satisfy our higher-order needs in a way that new possessions cannot — that taking a friend to dinner, for example, brings more lasting happiness than spending that money on a new shirt. In this way, investing less in new objects and more in new activities can make your home-life happier. This less materialistic state of mind will also help you save money for your next journey.

5) Don’t Set Limits

Travel has a way revealing that much of what you’ve heard about the world is wrong. Your family or friends will tell you that traveling to Colombia or Lebanon is a death-wish — and then you’ll go to those places and have your mind blown by friendliness, beauty and new ways of looking at human interaction. Even on a day-to-day level, travel enables you to avoid setting limits on what you can and can’t do. On the road, you naturally “play games” with your day: watching, waiting, listening; allowing things to happen. There’s no better opportunity to break old habits, face latent fears, and test out repressed facets of your personality.

That said, there’s no reason why you should confine that sort of freedom to life on the road. The same Fear-Industrial Complex that spooks people out of traveling can discourage you from trying new things or meeting new people in own your hometown. Overcoming your fears and escaping your dull routines can deepen your home-life — and the open-to-anything confidence that accompanies travel can be utilized to test new concepts in a business setting, rejuvenate relationships with friends and family, or simply ask that woman with the nice smile if she wants to go out for coffee. In refusing to set limits for what is possible on a given day, you open yourself up to an entire new world of possibility.

Naturally, this list is just a sampling of how travel can transform your non-travel life. What have I missed? What has travel taught you about how to live life at home?

###

If you’ve ever fantasized about taking time off to globe-trot, I would highly recommend Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding. It is one of only two books I took with me when I traveled the world for 18 months. Outside Magazine founding editor Tim Cahill calls Vagabonding “the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written.”

I recently partnered with Rolf to release the exclusive audiobook for Vagabonding. For more on this incredible book, click here.

Footnote from Tim: Are you planning, in the middle of, or returning from a long journey? If so — and if you’d like your travel blog or lifestyle-design website to be featured as one of Rolf’s Vagabonding Case Studies — drop him a line at casestudies [at] vagabonding.net and tell him a little about yourself.

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208 comments on “5 Travel Lessons You Can Use at Home

  1. If you cant observe the fallen tree in your backyard with the same awe and wonder as when observing a Mongolian sunset then you’re missing the whole point. “travel” is in the mind.

  2. Thanks, Tim.

    Yeah, I’ve always found travel useful for breaking out of ruts.

    In fact, interrupting any of our daily “habits” is a very effective way of breaking egoic patterns and starting something new.

  3. I love ‘walden’, I remember picking up a book about Thoreau by his contempories, apparently he used to pop home for dinner sometimes, very practical and kept his mum happy.

    I usually travel with a small rucksack, I find hiking clothes best, you can easily wash them in a hotel sink and by morning are dry.

    I was recently in Italy, I noticed that the hotel lobby had free wi-fi, working online seems a good idea. Was great to meet a guide who told me she moved there from the near big city just because she liked living in the mountains, freedom, we are all free, but one has to exercise free will, to embrace it.

    On that point, if you check the bbc radio 3 website, you can find a play about Thomas Pain ( you can listen online until next sunday ), it is very interesting stuff.

    Computers are for listening to the radio :)

  4. Traveling teaches me to remain open and flexible, leaving room for the unexpected. At times, those moments reveal my character because I have to think and act at the moment.

    To enjoy where you are at that moment is invaluable.

    Inspiring! Thanks Rolf & Tim!

  5. This is some great information. I like the tip to slow down. I find myself rushing all over the place all the time. I need to learn how to slow down when I’m at home.

  6. 3) Slow Down = Mindfulness

    Recommended reading: Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh. ISBN-13: 978-0807012390.

    When I rush through everything in my attempt to be productive, those moments in time are meaningless and now gone, as if I’m running towards life’s finish line. The following quote sounded silly to me at first, but eventually I found it profound.

    “To my mind, the idea that doing the dishes is unpleasant can occur only when you are not doing them. Once you are standing in front of the sink with your sleeves rolled up and your hands in warm water, it really is not so bad. I enjoy taking my time with each dish, being fully aware of the dish, the water, and each movement of my hands. I know that if I hurry in order to go and have a cup of tea, the time will be unpleasant and not worth living. That would be a pity, for each minute, each second of life is a miracle. The dishes themselves and the fact that I am here washing them are miracles!” – Thich Nhat Hanh.

  7. Hey Tim,

    Rolf’s guest post is inspiring and useful, thanks for allowing him to share. So, how is your dead lift coming along? I’m at 320Ib and pushing! My goal this year is also to lift 500Ib for five clean reps. Don’t forget to keep us posted.

    -Miguel

  8. I was in Italy recently, my girlfriend took me on a ski trip, I gave up on the ski lessons as I was no good and it was a pain ( remembered the bit from the book about giving up on stuff your bad at ), I had a AWESOME TIME, going on walks, pretending to be a ‘grand tourist’, walking in the alps etc. etc.

    One day, i was up at a remote abandoned watch tower and I could hear the birds, cocks crowing in the distance and then the church bells, all with lovely snow around, it was like being Mahler !!!!

    I am off back in the summer, I think, with a tent, travel is great, I just prefer short breaks at the moment, though going to spend a lot of July in the english lake district with my dad.

    life…is…short, get those mini retirements in now

  9. Thank you Tim for the post.

    Always in such timely fashion you tap into my chords and beautifully expand my resources for knowledge, action tools and motivation.

    I recently becamea daily follower of Ted.com. Among my favourite speakers are Dan Ariely, Phillip Zimbardo, Dan Gilbert and…well you may know this guy: Tim Ferriss??

    Just yesterday I was listening to Carl Honore eloquently advocate “Slowness”. Here is a link to his lecture: http://www.ted.com/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness.html

    Interestingly, Rolf Potts makes subtle references to slowness which intuitively made me link the two together; and also seemingly and ironically with you. I say seemingly ironic because on the surface it may appear contradicting, as you have mastered the fast track path to obtaining what most consider “against the odds” goals. (And you kept no secret in your book about your earlier adventures on speed reading). Which btw – all admirable in my mind.

    I interpreted the link between the three of you on an introspective life style aspect. I see all choices relating to savouring what life meaning is all about: Living your life for what your heart desires.

    And commonly, all three of you link to my core beliefs and thus far recent life choices after spending most of my 20s living a taxing race. I am currently working towards severing my ties to my current place I call home, beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I recently sold my house & furniture, separated myself from forced and unfulfilling relationships, and donated many of my cloths (well… I still have a lot – I am a fashionista at heart).

    While I am going through this extremely liberating purging process, I intend in the next few months to embark on a spontaneous unplanned nomadic lifestyle and world travel journey while welcoming the adventures and opportunities that will spark me. Just me and my beautiful Golden Retriever, Bela. Well…and the fabulous people I know I will meet on my way… which I certainly hope one day includes you.

    Thank you for being there.

    Keep living passionately, keep inspiring, Keep spreading knowledge… :)

    Orlee Forest

  10. Thank you Tim for the post.

    Always in such timely fashion you tap into my chords and beautifully expand my resources for knowledge, action tools and motivation.

    I recently becamea daily follower of Ted.com. Among my favourite speakers are Dan Ariely, Phillip Zimbardo, Dan Gilbert and…well you may know this guy: Tim Ferriss??

    Just yesterday I was listening to Carl Honore eloquently advocate “Slowness”. Here is a link to his lecture: http://www.ted.com/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness.html

    Interestingly, Rolf Potts makes subtle references to slowness which intuitively made me link the two together; and also seemingly and ironically with you. I say seemingly ironic because on the surface it may appear contradicting, as you have mastered the fast track path to obtaining what most consider “against the odds” goals. (And you kept no secret in your book about your earlier adventures on speed reading). Which btw – all admirable in my mind.

    I interpreted the link between the three of you on an introspective life style aspect. I see all choices relating to savouring what life meaning is all about: Living your life for what your heart desires.

    And commonly, all three of you link to my core beliefs and thus far recent life choices after spending most of my 20s living a taxing race. I am currently working towards severing my ties to my current place I call home, beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I recently sold my house & furniture, separated myself from forced and unfulfilling relationships, and donated many of my cloths (well… I still have a lot – I am a fashionista at heart).

    While I am going through this extremely liberating purging process, I intend in the next few months to embark on a spontaneous unplanned nomadic lifestyle and world travel journey while welcoming the adventures and opportunities that will spark me. Just me and my beautiful Golden Retriever, Bela. Well…and the fabulous people I know I will meet on my way… which I certainly hope one day includes you.

    Thank you for being there.

    Keep living passionately, keep inspiring, Keep spreading knowledge… :)

    Orlee Forest

  11. Great stuff, everyone — thanks!

    @Michael: As for examples in Thailand where you can live on almost nothing — examples abound! When I was writing Vagabonding I lived in a town of about 30,000 people on Thailand’s border with the southernmost tip of Myanmar. I don’t think I ever spent more than $200 a month, all expenses included, and I was living in a big and comfortable apartment and eating fantastic Thai food every day. The town I was in, Ranong, isn’t the prettiest town in the world (it’s kind of a grungy border town), but it borders some of the best rainforest in Thailand. For quainter villages, go up to northern Thailand. There’s a town up there called Pai, for example, which as of ten years ago was a perfectly blissful little respite from the rest of the world. I think Pai has been “discovered” and has since become the San Miguel de Allende of Thailand (nothing wrong with that; it just means more artsy expats and higher prices) — but Pai is just one example of what’s out there. My advice would be to just wander around northern Thailand for a month until you find an off-the-beaten-path town you fall in love with. In small-town, non-tourist Thailand you can rent a house for about $50 a month and eat fantastic food for about $1 a meal. And of course Thailand isn’t the only country where this lifestyle is possible. Just keep your eyes and ears open as you travel, wherever you are!

  12. Point Break – A Perfect Bar Experience in NYC

    A local friend recommended and took my Cali group to this amazing bar. He said that mostly locals came here so I didn’t really know what to expect ambiance wise… but screw it, the view at this bar was absolutely breathtaking! No joke. I felt like a celebrity w/ superstar treatment as the staff are friendly and amazing to say the very least.

    I don’t know who the house DJ was but he definitely was playing music right up my alley. It would’ve been my dream for people to start dancing, but it’s all good.

    It’s a bit sceney for my taste, but it really didn’t bother me much. the bartenders knew their stuff, although their 1st cocktail was a little weak, when he saw i understood cocktails the next 2 were stronger. I also liked that even though the place was really hopping the bartender remembered what i was drinking when i came to order another. (he also understood how good a gin hendricks is, and not to overpower it with the mixer). It was amazing to see their “das boot” which is shaped like a boot filled with beer. Don’t get me wrong, I am not drunk…it’s an actual boot shaped beer container ready to be emptied..try it ..you will love it!! Oh..how can I forget, they even have a wheel o’ shots where you just have to spin it and have to drink whatever shot it lands on!! Now call that bar creativity at its best!!!

    We ordered the Veal and Fish Tacos. They were delicious. Mm! We ended up asking for spoons to polish off whatever remained in the platter. (Faux pas? Who cares as long as it gets in my tummy.) The fries were crispy, but not overcooked, just the way that I like them.

    So take in this scene: You walk in to what seems like an overly crowded place, but soon fine an empty table. Time seems to stop and the only indicator of the night moving on is the moon and your brain cells slowly going to bed forever. The music is not to loud and the people around look good, the only thing left for you to do is to enjoy that drink you paid ridiculously low for and laugh at the joke your co-worker just told.

    The vibe of the place just never seems to die out and if you happen to spot some NYC socialite, sports player, or star, don’t let it get to you… because for that moment, this night they are no long more important than then you. In fact go up to them and introduce yourself!

    All in all just a great place to meet new people, or just have drinks with people you already know. I’ve been to numerous bars in the city but i would say this place is just great. Very welcoming staff, very laid back ambiance. I’ve been here twice after my first visit with my Cali group . I would say its worth the every penny you spend!!

  13. Hi to SoulTravelers3 and others,

    We are a family who are on their way to start living similar to soultravelers3 family. We are happy to have found another who thinks family traveling is a priority. And that the same run of the mill traditions should be continued. We think differently and we are glad that Tim agrees with us and many others on this blog.

    We are finishing up our turn-keying lifestyle, we have about 6 major projects to get done before we can do it. But what we will have at the end is not only freedom to travel but high automated income. We have 6 months before leaving to Egypt so we are planning on its completion by that time.

    We are curious what type of professions soultravelers3 had and what type of homeschooling program do you use.

    Other questions are: What is a typical day for your family while in different countries? What types of hobbies do you have? What types of idealogy do you have in regards to raising children?

    My personal email is april1009@gmail.com. Contact me.

    Mikayla

  14. I told my boss about my plans for a one year sabbatical after returning from Cambodia. I want to take a break from work to experience life and pursue personal interests which i always wanted to but have not much monetary returns. I was told that i will be wasting the 10 years of working experiences i had built and the credibilty and track records i spent efforts building during few years with my current company. Told him life path is not linear and what is important is that i have a happy and fullfilled life, not what people perceived from outside, such as how much you earn, or how successful or rich you are. I want to experience life, learn new things, see new things, take the road less travelled, spend time with my loved ones, working on meaningful projects. Is it really silly and naive for me to just take the plunge and take my break?

  15. Hey Tim,

    Just wanted to drop a line and let you know that my family is living the 4 HOUR WORK WEEK!!

    We left 18 months ago with our daughter, who is 3 now and have been traveling the world working our mobile business.

    Thanks for the inspiration! I posted a video I cut about Mini Retirements on your Facebook page.

    Cheers, Rhonda Swan

    !

  16. Sigh. Love it.
    Rolf: I read your book in 2006. I quit my ABC TV Producing job and left the country to travel in Oct 2006 and traveled for 15 months solo around the world. Then I came back to NY and Chicago…then I left again. I’ve been traveling and living out of a bag for 3 1/2 years now.
    Tim: I read your book in between ‘world tours’ and also really liked it. I felt lucky in a way b/c I felt like I was (and still am) living what I love.

    Great post.
    Question for both of you:
    I’d like to re-post this gem on my blog. Is that possible with links back and ‘courtesy’ of course?

    Thanks!
    Lisa

  17. Hey Tim, Thanks for the great post! I have really been trying to come up with a way to travel this summer. Im not exactly sure where to start though and being at the age of 18, I dont have very much money to spend. Im also thinking about getting a job this summer to help me save up. Do you have any suggestions on how to travel very cheaply and save a lot of money? Im also thinking about getting “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel”, he had very many points in the video. Once again, thanks for the post!

  18. ““Value” is a word we often hear in day-to-day life, but travel has a way of teaching us that value is not pegged to a cash amount” I completely agree with this and everything that this article says. Live life to the fullest but keep everything in perspective. Money isn’t everything, but it allows you to travel! So if you can’t travel, go ahead and find new experiences in some other form.

  19. i have one month to see south america and have already booked a flight into bogota in july. any suggestions for obtaining/purchasing a south american discount air pass? i need to travel at minimum to ecuador, uruguay and paraguay. individual point to point flights appear expensive. what is the best, most cost effective ways to fly in south america?

    thanks for any/all suggestions!

    jeff

  20. This is really good stuff. Going home at the end of a trip or a journey is always something I look forward to, but at the same time, I’m always itching to go on another adventure. What you said about keeping it simple, that’s one of the best lessons I learned from traveling. You realize how little you actually need to live a full and happy life and it’s one lesson I know I’ll keep.
    I also liked when you wrote; “Travel has a way revealing that much of what you’ve heard about the world is wrong”. This is so true, traveling has shattered so many preconceived notions I had about people from different nationalities. It definitely has a way of opening your eyes to different realities in a way that makes you more understanding and accepting of people.

  21. you talked to a guy about how to monetize a blog and you mentioned a search engine friendly hosting site. it that site Media Temple? incidently, yeah your blogs are useful and durable. thanks Susanne Jerome

  22. Great post! I’m trying to perfect my travel by incorporating online social media! Couchsurfing.org is great for finding accomodation with random (kind) strangers and my personal favourite (cause I built it. ha), liftsurfer.com is great for finding lifts to the said couches.
    Keep on vagabondin’ folks!

  23. I love it-great tips to live life by. It is so true that we get caught up in life and forget to live in the moment. Travelling with my kids has been such a great bonding experience and has created great memories. I am a single mom with 3 kids and I was able to take each child to a different destination (France, Italy & Morrocco) for a few days each. And of all the places we have traveled to, each one of my children has said their favorite spot was the one we went to just the two of us.

  24. I’d far rather wander Bali undisturbed and at peace, for an entire month. These travel lessons do make good sense when applying them to everyday life. Being able to stop and smell the roses, or even better, play in the garden, when it suits you has got no price tag that can beat it. We tend to rush though our lives, from event to event, without enjoying the journey, and there is no heart in that path.

  25. I have tried to catch the travel bug, but so far with no luck. Yes there are a few places I would like to see just once,,,L.A. and New York, just for the scale of them, and because they are such American cultural icons, maybe Ireland because my ancestors came from there and it is pretty (but of course so is my home Kentucky), maybe something in Europe (what’s good that hasn’t been “Americanized” and tourish trapped?), but…? So the theme of being travel minded at home works for me…I have found little parks, local lakes, local cultural sites, that has been fun. But travel further away than a couple of hundred miles usually leaves me tired and disappointed unless there is a specific event to see. But I am not giving up, I am still trying to catch the bug…

  26. Thanks for the post! I feel better about myself, because I have a ton of time but not a lot of money :) YAY! I’m wealthy! Much of this past year has been about slowing down, cutting back and living passionately. I ended up reading 4 hour work week to figure out how I can continue this lifestyle!

    As a holistic therapist, it’s nice have multiple reference points for people to understand the importance of those 5 principles. One of my favorite quotes from Swami Prabhavananda is “We shall do better to remember that every human being is searching, however confusedly, for meaning in life and will welcome discussion of that meaning provided that we can find a vocabulary which speaks to his or condition. If we approach conversation from this angle and conduct it with charity, frankness, sincerity and a serious interest in the opinions of others, we shall be surprised to find how much tacit spiritual interchange can result from apparently casual talk about everyday events, science, art, politics or sport.”

    S

  27. I absolutely love this line … “By far the most important lesson travel teaches you is that your time is all you really own in life.” For me the more I think about it, the more it makes me think about it. As I’m actually just returning from a long overseas trip wish I had read this article before my journey. However, what it has done is made me start thinking about my next trip. Huge, huge thank-you. Has made my day.

  28. cool is cool!

    TIM… SO GLAD I FOUND YOU

    AND BTW
    WISH I HAD >3 FRIENDS TO EAT WITH WEEKLY
    WISH I WAS PART OF THE ZEN GROUP
    WISH MY DARLING HUSBAND WAS STILL ALIVE
    WISH I WASN’T ALONE ON THIS ROCK

    LIVE..LOVE..LAUGH…!

  29. Welcome back Tim! Way to go. I just have to think of those 5 mentioned above. You’ve done an excellent job in giving advices about travelling. Might have to write that in my handbook whenever I will travel.

  30. Your ideas about travel and lifestyle are highly rewarding, have you thought about writing a book or could you recommend any? Sometimes I need a little help from someone to actually show me what I enjoy in life, yet when I read something like the article above I just sought of go “Oh yes” and it’s all so clear to me. Sometimes I feel like there’s to much going on in my life (and head) for me to easily pick out the things that bring me happiness.

    Glen

  31. I just read Vagabonding and I have to comment here about it because you introduced me to him: He’s a phenomenal writer. I don’t mean pretty good or okay or adequate or that the subject is amazing so it carries his writing… I mean his voice, vocab, meter, metaphor; the whole package, as good as anything I’ve read.

    I’m a minor classics geek (mostly American, though I’m reading Ulysses with Strauss right now) so when I hear a voice like Potts I get excited.

    So if you avoid the “how to”, dry, amateur voice that most travel writer are limited to, read Rolf Potts for a very well spoken change of pace. Then pack a very light bag and get the hell out of town.

  32. I liked the video and you also provided some great tips. I travel pretty frequently and I’m thinking about vacationing somewhere in either Central or South America this year, perhaps Costa Rica.

  33. Beautifully written Rolf and as Tim pointed out in his first book… you are The Man!
    I particularly like the below part:
    “Travel naturally lends itself to simplicity, since it forces you to reduce your day-to-day possessions to a few select items that fit in your suitcase or backpack. Moreover, since it’s difficult to accumulate new things as you travel, you to tend to accumulate new experiences and friendships instead — and these affect your life in ways mere “things” cannot.”

    It is so true! Many years ago I used to pack multiple bags for any international trip. My approach has changed though. Currently, it takes me max 1 hour to pack for any trip and I am usually satisfied with one backpack. For example, a few months ago I travelled across South America for a month and took only 15 kg worth of luggage. My friends thought that I was crazy, but the truth is that I truly enjoyed the sense of freedom, which could be easily deprived by an additional bag to carry. It is just like having too many possessions at home – they become a mental burned whether we are aware of it or not.

    I know that the post is old, but if you see it thanks again for great content.