Don’t plan or pack for every conceivable contingency but have a backup plan for money, travel, accommodations and lost gear / luggage.
Be kind, ingenuous, patient and respectful to all locals. You are the guest, follow and abide by all laws and way of life.
All your gear and luggage should be light enough for carry on for flights. At most, 1 large bag and 1 small bag. No suitcases, backpacks only. Mobility is key.
Another word for vagabond is “wanderer”, getting lost (even intentionally) is part of the journey. Also a great way to find places no guide book can tell you about.
Buy and bring only the most essential things. Less clutter, more mobility. If it can’t fit on your person or current backpack, you don’t need it.
Vagabonding is hardly about the known and the well beaten path. Its more about discovering what few have seen or know about.
Things will go wrong and the unexpected will happen, just chill and be cool. There’s a solution for every problem, don’t ever panic. Your just another human amongst other humans in another country.
Take 1 or 2 days off a week in your travels for some R&R. Sleep in, forget the map and itinerary. Your body and mind will thank you.
Vagabonding can be exhausting, fuel your body properly. Have at least 2 full meals or 4 small meals daily. Always drink more water than you think you need.
The purpose of vagabonding is exploration and experiencing the exotic. Culture shock should be embraced and it is a rare life event that should be looked forward to. Don’t let it scare you, there just fellow humans with a different way of life.
If possible live, eat and act like the locals do. Its part of the vagabonding experience. Stray from the heavy tourists zones to where the locals actually live, socialize with them.
Be a turtle, not a rabbit – vagabonding is lifestyle, not a race. See what you can and not as much as you can. Take it all in with minimal scheduling and a flexible (or no) itinerary.
Robberies, accidents, severe weather, sickness, loneliness, scams, cold / no showers, no electricity, no internet and delayed transportation. These are unavoidable issues a part of not just vagabonding, but every day life. Don’t panic.
On Your Person
You should always travel light, with or without your backpack. But these essentials should be with you at all times; Passport (or copy), local cash, hidden cash stash and a debit / credit card.
In Your Backpack
Other than clothing and other necessities, the following items are absolutely essential as part of your backpack gear; Passport (or copy), cash, travel towel, loperamide, toilet paper, ziplock / plastic bag, toothbrush, debit / credit card and water + bottle.
Always research the current Visa regulations for the country you’re visiting well before arrival. Countries often have different regulations for different citizens as well as the method of entry. Keep track of expiration dates and any errors. Obtain visas here.
You travel the length of the world to experience what it has to offer. Say yes more often to people who invite you to places and go on wild adventures. Eat the unidentifiable foods, take intelligent risks and do try new things. Be yourself but a more open and brave self.
Vagabonding is a way of life, wherever you are in the world. Let each city and the people in it completely take you. Don’t just be a tourist but a temporary local. Move on, repeat.