The Vagabond

One of the best things about my childhood was that I always had enough books to read.

My heroes were never the princes or princesses, sorcerers or knights, firemen or astronauts. Nor was I impressed by cowboys, bandits or sheriffs.

There were three professions with whom I identified: vagabonds (or hobos or vagrants), journalists and private investigators. In that order.

Janosch trip to PanamaThe first hobos with whom I made my literary acquaintance were probably the tiger and the bear in The Trip to Panama by Janosch, who decide to walk all the way to Panama (it is not clear from where, but as a child I naturally assumed that they were also in Germany, where I was at the time). It doesn’t matter that they will never reach Panama.

Later came the adventure novels by Karl May, not too well known in the English-speaking world I believe. The vagrant who is here today and somewhere else tomorrow and who carries all of his belongings in a bindle thrown over his shoulder always struck a more sympathetic chord with me than all the boastful heroes. He epitomized freedom. Then there were the vagabonds in the novels by Charles Dickens and Jack London.

The Good-For-Nothing by Joseph von Eichendorff may be romantic kitsch, but the demonstrative carelessness, which ultimately leads to success, is a modus operandi which I have tried to make my own.

Only later did I find out that such a vagabondish lifestyle is a real option, e.g. by reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer or the three volumes by Patrick Leigh Fermor about his multi-year hike through Europe. “What a life!” I proclaim with admiration when I read biographies like these, before I set out to make more travel plans of my own.

The dreams you had as a child are the best guidance in adult life.

I made it.

I made it.

(Zur deutschen Fassung.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Books, Life, Philosophy, Travel and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Vagabond

  1. Pingback: Der Landstreicher | Der reisende Reporter

  2. Jatin Adlakha says:

    Such a wonderful write up, nice to meet a like minded person! :)
    Books have more sense to make than most of the persons walking around claiming to have a head full of opinions!

    • I agree. I would choose books over people anytime.

    • Ma Lta says:

      but books are written by people. without people there will be no books. so striclty speaking people are superior than books :)

    • Haha, good point!
      But writers are OK because they just stay at home in their shed and write. They don’t go out and annoy the rest of humanity.

  3. robertminer7 says:

    Lieber Andreas,
    Ich frage mich, wann kommt der Vagabond nach Jordanien und bleibt bei uns in Amman?
    Herbst 2014? Nicht Fruehjahr 2015; eventuell wieder im Sommer 2015.

    • Ich bin wahrscheinlich noch bis Ende 2014 in Italian, plane aber, 2015 zu einer Reise um die Welt aufzubrechen. (Mehr dazu werde ich hier am 6. Juli bekanntgeben.) Wenn es dabei zuerst nach (Süd-)Osten geht, würde ich tatsächlich sehr gerne eine Weile in Jordanien bleiben! Ich war bisher nur einen Tag in Jordanian, einen Tagesausflug nach Aqaba und Petra von Israel aus, aber ich erinnere mich mit Freude an die sympathischen und humorvollen Jordanier, denen ich begegnete.

  4. I was also very touched by “Into the Wild” and I can very well imagine you in similar situations. Ausserdem bin ich ein Jordanien Fan, denn ich habe sie in ähnlicher Erinnerung, wie du! Alles Gute auf der Weltreise!

  5. Gaeleigh says:

    I backpacked around Europe for about a year. It didn’t make me “grow up” or wise up about people and life. Nothing bad happened on the trip. It did make me realize that people who are supposedly friends and family, not strangers, are the people more likely to hurt me.

  6. Pingback: Hiking is for Everyone – or is it? | The Happy Hermit

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