Rolf Potts does a valuable service to would-be vagabonders who haven't quite made up their minds to take the big leap and head off into the great wide world. I can imagine such a person, sitting in a cubicle watching their life tick by, quietly pondering the what-ifs of international travel, yearning for the freedom of the open road but not quite convinced to head out, hesitating...until they read Vagabonding. One quick read of this book and they'll be on the next flight to Bangkok or Cairo or wherever. Vagabonding isn't as much a nuts and bolts guide to backpacking as it is a shot of inspiration for potential travelers. I wish this book would have been written when I first began my travels several years ago. Regardless, it's an interesting read for novices and experienced travelers alike.
One drawback of this book is that it is written like a script for a formal debate, packed with quotes from travel writers and dreary-eyed idealists to justify the author's arguments. Potts is a good writer and experienced traveler; he doesn't need to shroud his writing in clouds of quotes from the likes of Whitman and Thoreau.
I look forward to reading Potts' future travel writing, especially after he ventures off the beaten tracks in the more remote parts of Africa and Latin America.