Vagabonding

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.…

Souvenir

For as long as people have traveled to distant lands, they have brought home objects to certify the journey. More than mere merchandise, these travel souvenirs take on a personal and cultural meaning that goes beyond the object itself. Drawing on several millennia of examples — from the relic-driven quests of early Christians, to the…

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.