What is a life of vagabonding travel really all about?
Using Remote Work to See the World
Hi, I’m Greg Rodgers, an adventurer, ethical hacker, and travel writer from Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve become an expert at remote work and building a life of travel.
I can help you get out of a conventional life, too, if you so choose. After more than eight years of working as an IT engineer for a huge corporation, I managed to escape and restructure my life for remote work.
I also realized that the standard American Dream wasn’t my dream at all. It was more like a nightmare. Sure, I miss luxuries such as a steady paycheck and having an easy answer when someone inevitably asks “so, what do you do?” — but the trade for adventure was worth it!
My entire 30s and part of my 40s were spent gaining life experience and growing myself. I roamed this world of ours as much as I could.
Since 2006, I have been showing people that anything is possible, that there is a door left open in the consumerist Rat Race maze, and that there is always the hope of escaping to travel indefinitely (while working).
The best part … You don’t have to be rich! Escaping a conventional life does not require you to be wealthy.
As I learned, you just have to shuffle priorities around, then be brave enough to take the big leap.
Vagabonding vs. Bumming Around
Vagabonding doesn’t mean becoming a bum. A vagabond maintains a flexible lifestyle by choice so they can explore this beautiful world. I have been vagabonding (living and working location independently) since I quit my corporate job in 2006.
Rolf Potts, author of the book Vagabonding describes this lifestyle as:
“The act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time…”
“…a deliberate way of living that makes freedom to travel possible.”
In other words, you can choose to be an unhappy consumer, or better yet, you can spend a fraction of that money to travel the world gaining life experience and new friends along the way!
Travel isn’t as expensive as you’ve been told. On the other hand, being unhappy while stuck in the Rat Race at home is expensive.
We are taught from a young age that “time is money.” Then we rush around to produce, multitask, consume, then produce some more. We go to school, get into debt, hope to get a corporate job to pay off that debt one day, and accumulate huge houses filled with material things.
Then, many people spend 40 – 50 years waiting for weekends and vacations to travel or enjoy life. Did you know that the CIA World Factbook ranks the United States 72nd for life expectancy in the world (2022 data)?
A part of the reason we aren’t in the top 10, or even the top 30, comes down to work-life balance issues.
Sadly, more Americans are unhealthy, mired in debt, depressed, or incarcerated than ever before. Why so much despair in a wealthy, industrialized nation? We put far too much of our time and energy toward the accumulation of wealth, by default. Only at the end of the workday, when little energy is left, do we work on growing ourselves, relationships, or pursuing happiness.
By shifting priorities away from money concerns and instead seeking health, happiness, experience, and better relationships, we can also succeed in other ways!
More than once, I have had millionaires tell me they envy my lifestyle.
I still work (even longer hours after becoming self-employed), but I spend my hard-earned income on experiences (and travel) rather than things.
The History of this Travel Blog
This website is the evolution of Vagabonding Begins, my old vagabonding travel blog which I started on Bootsnall.com way back in December 2005.
Thus far, I have shared my adventures, my fears, my travel injuries, and even some of my personal feelings with complete strangers.
Maybe that’ isn’t such a good idea on paper, but this blog has been more rewarding than I ever thought possible. I have seen new friendships, opportunities, and life paths pop up because of Vagabonding Life. I’m in it too deep to stop now!
I’m Greg Rodgers
My name is Greg Rodgers (this is my homepage). I’m only famous on Google (not really; my SEO traumatizes the GoogleBot), and I’m not much of a wealthy influencer. Don’t worry: I’m not going to ask you to sign something or join a cult.
I’m just a guy who made a big life change and managed to find a new path to happiness. I want to share that path with people who know there has to be more to life than working to accumulate plastic junk from China.
I work with my laptop while traveling. I’m an avid techie, privacy advocate, and writer. The term now is “digital nomad”—although, I’ve been doing this longer than the title has been around. My home is anywhere that my backpack happens to be, most often Southeast Asia or Europe.
And even while in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, I often still feel like a visitor. I am more or less someone just passing through. I am forever doomed and blessed to travel the hard-to-reach places around this world; paradise island or malarial dung hole—I want to see and experience them all.
The Vagabonding Life Mission
Vagabonding is a way of life that makes traveling indefinitely possible.
My first and only mission of this new blog is to share what daily life is like while vagabonding, whether on the road or working at home between trips. I want to share the reality with people who are looking for the truth about a life of travel — not the chocolate covered, life-is-perfect, Travel Channel version.
Forget 90 percent of what you read on those foo-foo travel blogs. Like on social media, you are probably only seeing the highlight reel. Waking up every day someplace new where people, plants, and things may want to suck your blood isn’t always like a day at Disney World, but I wouldn’t trade the freedom for anything. I love this life.
There are enough blogs with top-10 lists, social-media bait, and how-to-get-rich ebooks that only make the blog owners money. This isn’t one. Travel has left its claw marks on my body and soul. I am a firm believer that any experience is good experience, and so I have tried to share all these life changes with my readers.
If you are an old reader, then welcome back and thank you for sticking with me. If you are here for the first time—welcome, friend.
May there always be a road. Let’s play!
If you’re thinking about a life of vagabonding for yourself, I may be able to help. I do backpacking coaching and digital nomad mentoring if you need some support and encouragement for planning a big trip.
If you just want to say hello, please use this contact page to get in touch!
Photo Credit: Robert Paetz