What Is Vagabonding?

Greg Rodgers vagabonding in Indonesia

Yours truly just minutes after almost dying at sea on an Indonesian hunt.


Are You a Professional Bum?

Not entirely. Well, maybe. A vagabond is homeless by choice. I have been vagabonding — living and working on the road — since 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 accumulate things, a fancy car, and a big house, or you can spend a fraction of that money to travel the world gaining life experience and new friends along the way!

The American Nightmare

We are taught from a young age to produce, to multitask, to consume, then work hard to 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.

Did you know that the U.S. ranks 31st for life expectancy in the world? Most of those years are either spent working a job you dread to see on Monday mornings or preparing to work.

Why can’t everyday feel like Saturday? Why do economic downturns only affect the working class? Two or three weeks of vacation a year are not enough to explore this beautiful world.

The corporate CEOs and politicians are laughing all the way to their private planes.

Escaping the Cubicle

After 8+ years of working as an IT engineer for a huge, greed-driven corporation, I managed to save enough money, sell my house and my things, and unplug myself from the Matrix before being consumed.

I realized that the American Dream wasn’t my dream at all.

Sure, I miss luxuries such as a steady paycheck and knowing that the IRS isn’t hiring soldiers of fortune to look for me…but the trade for life freedom was worth it!

Since 2005, I have been showing people that anything is possible, that there is a door left open in the Rat Race maze, and that there is always the hope of escape. The best part…?


The History

This website is the evolution of Vagabonding Begins, my old vagabonding travel blog which I started on Bootsnall.com way back in December 2005.

So after my refusal to make CEOs even more filthy rich in exchange for my freedom, I have shared my adventures, my fears, my injuries, and even some of my personal feelings with complete strangers. Maybe not 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!


My name is Greg Rodgers. I’m only famous on Google, and I didn’t make it rich selling ebooks. Don’t worry: I’m not going to ask you to sign something or join a club. 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 that there has to be more to life than accumulating junk.

I no longer own a place to live in the U.S. My home is anywhere that my backpack is, and even while in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, I still feel like a visitor. I am more or less someone just passing through.

I am forever sentenced and blessed to travel the hard-to-reach places around this world; paradise island or malaria dung hole — I want to see them all.

The Vagabonding Mission

Vagabonding is a mindset.

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.

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.

There are enough blogs with top-10 lists, social-media bait, and selling how-to-get-rich-blogging ebooks that only make the blog owners money.

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!

Contact Me

20 Responses to “What Is Vagabonding?”

  1. Wow! Nice new and sleek digs you’ve got here Greg. 🙂

  2. heyy
    greeting from india…i m also quitting my cubicle soon mate!!
    thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Hey I love your blog. I don’t have anything else really to say, but it’s a wonder that it isn’t number one in the search engines.

  4. Good to see theres other people out there on the road, keep up the free life matey, where did you take the background pic and wheres the gallery?

    nice work


  5. Great site! Your story is very inspiring! I went into corporate immediately after graduating from university, and I’m currently on my third year working for a multinational. But I really dream of one day being able to do what you did and leave everything behind to travel. I just need to pluck up the courage to do it! Any advice? 🙂

  6. Sites like yours continue to inspire my wife and I to escape the cubicle and head out onto the open road!

  7. A wanderer in the heart under the sky December 23, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I just want to share one thing—
    Most probably you might also have experienced this feeling; most of the times it is not the destination that we reach in traveling that is existing , it the traveling itself. The ever ending change in space and time that is exciting.To walk in places where none intrudes.
    WOW! feeling when I think about it.

  8. Dear Greg,

    You’re my inspiration! You trully are! God keeps you safe no matter where you are and what situation you’re in. Will see you somewhere, someday!

  9. Greg,

    How fortuitous that you found me on Twitter. You’re several years ahead of me, but here I am currently working on unplugging from the NA template.

    We’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, I’d love to link to your blog and feel free to link mine, however no pressure to, only if it suits the intent of your site. 🙂


  10. Hey Greg,

    I’ve known about your other site, Start Backpacking for awhile now but only stumbled onto your blog today. Great stuff! You’re not the only ‘big kid’ who still wants to play. I’ve been doing the same for years now with no end in sight.

    Glad to have found you!


  11. You are an inspiration! Thanks for following me on twitter because you definitely piqued my curiosity when I saw your bio. You are living my dream and I too, aspire to doing the very same thing, however, vagabonding throughout Europe! I just subscribed to your site as well so I don’t miss one of your exciting journeys! God’s speed to you in all your travels and much success!!!

  12. I love your blog. I would love to become a carefree gypsy one day. Your blog inspires me and allows me to escape through your writing. Thanks.

  13. Greg, Good luck on your adventure: RoadWarriors360 is for everyone who likes travel and adventure. Travelers & Vagabonds: road trips, travel and world travelers. Locally or all seven continents. Become a free member. Join our Facebook fan club page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/RoadWarriors360

  14. Congratulations on breaking out of corporate America and doing what most people only ever dream of. It’s a shame most people don’t follow their dreams and instead let their fears control them. I’m in the fortunate position of being a freelance web designer so I can work from pretty much anywhere I can connect to the internet. I’m not constantly on the road, my own preference is to really get to know places better, which is why I spent 6 months living in Cusco and then 8 months in Iquitos in Peru. Currently back in the UK for awhile but I’m heading back to Peru soon because I really love that place, but I hope to see a lot more of South America next year.

  15. great story and great philosophy mate. i did the same thing back in 2006 and have never looked back since. It’s not always easy but it’s always awesome!

  16. Really awesome blog. Travel is a passion of mine as well, and since opening my own business (in my other passion–fragrance) I don’t have the chance or finances to travel anywhere for more than a night (or two). It’s great to see another person pursue their dream, especially one numerous others would love to attempt. Thanks for allowing us to live vicariously!! I look forward to your posts and tweets.

  17. High 5 fellow vagabonder 😉

  18. Love this! Just discovered your website. Just bookmarked it 🙂

  19. Hi Greg, just stumbled upon your site. Really like your writing style mate. I’ve signed up.

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