About Vagabonding There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.…

Marco Polo Didn’t Go There

This book collects Rolf’s boldest, funniest, and most revealing journeys from his first 10 years as a travel writer — from crashing the set of a Leonardo DiCaprio movie in Thailand to learning the secrets of Tantric sex in a dubious Indian ashram. Each chapter contains a “commentary track” — humorous endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale. Offbeat and insightful, this book is an engrossing read for students of travel writing as well as armchair wanderers.

The Misadventures of Wenamun

Rolf and illustrator Cedar Van Tassel recreate the comic tale of Wenamun, an ancient Egyptian priest whose overseas voyage in search of Lebanese timber resulted in an ongoing series of fiascos. Based on a source papyrus that was lost to history until the late 19th century, the protagonist’s misadventure is delightfully entertaining, and has a…

The Geto Boys (33 1/3)

Charting the rise of the Geto Boys from the earliest days of Houston’s rap scene, Rolf Potts documents a moment in music history when hip-hop was beginning to replace rock as the transgressive sound of American youth. In creating an album that was both sonically innovative and unprecedentedly vulgar, the Geto Boys were accomplishing something that went beyond music. To paraphrase a sentiment from Don DeLillo, this group of young men from Houston’s Fifth Ward ghetto had figured out the “language of being noticed” — which is, in the end, the only language America understands.

Best Travel Writing Volume 11

Rolf wrote the introduction to Travelers’ Tales’ annual anthology of the best travel stories from around the world. Contributors include Don George, Marcia DeSanctis, Thomas Swick, Jill Robinson, Erin Byrne, Kimberley Lovato, Christina Ammon, and Peter Wortsman.

Words of Mercury

By Patrick Leigh Fermor

Rolf penned the Foreword to this anthology of writing from every stage of Leigh Fermor’s life. Written in a singular, elegant style, Leigh Fermor’s tales have inspired generations of writers and continue to shape the language of travel.

The Best American Travel Writing 2000

Editors: Bill Bryson and Jason Wilson
Rolf’s story: “Storming ‘The Beach'”
Notable contributors: P.J. O’Rourke, William T. Vollmann, Tim Cahill, Bill Buford, David Halberstam and Dave Eggers

The Best American Travel Writing 2006

Editors: Tim Cahill and Jason Wilson
Rolf’s Story: “Tantric Sex for Dilettantes”
Notable contributors: Alain de Botton, Pico Iyer, David Sedaris, Gary Shteyngart, and George Saunders.

The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 2

Editor: Lee Gutkind
Rolf’s Story: “The Art of Writing a Story About Walking Across Andorra”
Notable contributors: Heidi Julavits, Stefan Fatsis, Pagan Kennedy, Donovan Hohn, and William deBuys.

The Best Travel Writing 2006

Editors: James O’Reilly, Larry Habegger, Sean O’Reilly
Rolf’s Story: “Road Roulette”
Notable contributors: Alain de Botton, Herbert Gold, Bob Guccione Jr., Tony Perrottet, Jeff Greenwald and Patrick Symmes.

The Best Travel Writing 2008

Editors: James O’Reilly, Larry Habegger, Sean O’Reilly
Rolf’s Story: “Death of an Adventure Traveler”
Notable contributors: Sara Wheeler, Catherine Watson, Tony Perrottet, and Richard Goodman.

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