Rolf Potts travels around
the world with no luggage
No-baggage field report: Week one

No-baggage field report: Week one

Since this journey is an experiment in traveling ultra-light, I want to check in every so often and evaluate how that experiment is going. Happily, after one week, it feels like this trip has been very much about the journey itself. If one thing stands out as strange for me it’s not the lack of […]

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August 31, 2010
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Reader challenge #1: Lighten your load (and win a free plane ticket)

Reader challenge #1: Lighten your load (and win a free plane ticket)

As I stated in my introduction post, the No Baggage Challenge isn’t just about traveling around the world without luggage — it’s also an inquiry into simplifying material concerns, seeking rich life-experiences, and traveling lighter (both on the road and at home).  This in mind, I’d like to invite readers to join the journey by […]

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August 30, 2010
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Tapas for ignoramuses: Madrid in 9 dishes and 7 drinks

Tapas for ignoramuses: Madrid in 9 dishes and 7 drinks

There was a point at which, well into an evening of eating and drinking with friends in central Madrid, I began to wonder when we were going to stop in at a place that served tapas.  I’d been hearing about tapas for years, and I was vaguely aware that they were the bar-food equivalent of […]

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August 29, 2010
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Rolling retro-style (and doing laundry) in Paris

Rolling retro-style (and doing laundry) in Paris

There was a time when, believe it or not, I thought Paris was no big deal. This was before I had ever been there — back in the days when I was living and traveling in Asia. At the time, I was so enamored with places like Bangkok and Varanasi and Ulan Bator that I […]

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August 25, 2010
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19 London cliches in less than four hours

19 London cliches in less than four hours

Less than a day into my journey, traveling without luggage paid off at my very first destination: It afforded me the opportunity to cram as many generic tourist experiences as possible into a three-and-a-half hour London layover. My No Baggage Challenge kicked off the evening before, in Manhattan, where I met up with a few […]

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August 23, 2010
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How to pack for a journey with no luggage

How to pack for a journey with no luggage

I’ve been vagabonding for so many years now that I can’t remember the last time I put together a formal packing list.  In recent years, my packing process has just been a matter of tossing a few familiar items into my Eagle Creek Voyage 65L backpack and closing the door behind me.  If for some […]

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August 21, 2010
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Misadventures in planning the adventure (Or: How I was upstaged by my own dog)

Misadventures in planning the adventure (Or: How I was upstaged by my own dog)

I’m in New York at the moment, doing some interviews and a final bit of prep before I leave the city at just short of midnight to begin the No Baggage Challenge. That makes this the final day of an intensive preparation process that began last Sunday night, when my cameraman and traveling companion Justin […]

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Why Rolf is traveling around the world with no luggage

Why Rolf is traveling around the world with no luggage

When I first announced my intention to circumnavigate the globe for six weeks without carrying so much as a fanny-pack, I got a common (and admittedly reasonable) reaction from my friends: Why?  Why travel the world with no luggage? Well, for starters — as someone who’s spent much of the past 16 years traveling to […]

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August 19, 2010
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No Baggage Challenge: The Travel Clothing

No Baggage Challenge: The Travel Clothing

By definition a no-luggage journey has to operate on a minimum of gear — but it also has to function with a minimum of clothing. Whatever clothes one brings have to be functional and durable enough to wear constantly, yet small and light enough to pack into pockets if need be. This in mind, here […]

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August 18, 2010
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No Baggage Challenge: The Ground Rules

No Baggage Challenge: The Ground Rules

While circumnavigating the globe with no luggage sounds like a clear enough proposition, it can raise a few semantic issues. What, for example, counts as a bag? Can your traveling companion carry some things for you? Are you allowed to buy new gear and clothing along the way? To clear up these issues, I’ve set […]

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August 15, 2010
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No Baggage Challenge: The Route

No Baggage Challenge: The Route

Starting and ending in New York City, Rolf will travel through 12 countries in 42 days. He’ll make nearly 10 flights (spending over 50 hours in the air), ride countless trains and buses, and maybe even a boat or two. All with no luggage. From New York, the first stop is London before taking a […]

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August 14, 2010
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Q&A with Jonathan Yevin, no-luggage traveler

Q&A with Jonathan Yevin, no-luggage traveler

Though I’ve long harbored vague intentions of traveling without baggage, I wasn’t aware that other travelers had attempted such a feat until 2006, when travel writer Jonathan Yevin emailed me about his luggage-less adventures in Central America. Since then, Jonathan has gone on to take four more extended no-baggage journeys, including trips to Europe, Southeast […]

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August 13, 2010
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A (very incomplete) history of no-baggage travel

A (very incomplete) history of no-baggage travel

Around the world with no luggage — has this kind of thing ever been done before? I suspect that it has been: At some point in history, no doubt, some anonymous sailor or vagabond made his way around the world with nothing but the clothes on his back.  In fact, I’m sure that shorter no-luggage […]

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August 12, 2010
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The ultimate mobile HD video rig for traveling around the world

The ultimate mobile HD video rig for traveling around the world

I knew that if Rolf was going to circle the globe without any bags, as the camera man, I’d also want to be as light and nimble as possible to keep up with him.  It wouldn’t make much sense for one of us to be packing, well, nothing, and the other carrying eight suitcases filled […]

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August 11, 2010
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Adventures in planning a sponsored adventure

Adventures in planning a sponsored adventure

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this journey deviates from my vagabonding travel style in that its focus is public, I’m reporting on it in real-time, and I’m doing it all with the help of sponsors. The sponsorship angle has been of particular interest to friends and acquaintances in the travel community, and to […]

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August 10, 2010
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Why this journey doesn’t really count as vagabonding

Why this journey doesn’t really count as vagabonding

At heart, my no-luggage world-adventure seeks to validate the idea that travel is about the journey itself — not the baggage one brings to it. This notion dovetails nicely with the principles I set forth in my book Vagabonding. Still, I don’t really consider this journey a pure “vagabonding” adventure, despite its far-flung nature. This […]

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