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A Vagabond World — Companion:

Essays From A Solo Journey Around The Globe

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Photography

This companion web site of photography allows readers to further explore the adventures described in A Vagabond World, a book of travel stories illustrating the universal themes found in an extended, solo travel experience. Below are seven photo slide shows. Each corresponds to a section of the book.

world travel In A Vagabond World, Thomas Bachand conveys the poignance, import, and changing dynamics of long-term travel by recounting a two-year solo circumnavigation of the globe. Whether negotiating for a battered car in New Zealand, meeting the Dalai Lama in India, or viewing America through the eyes of a frontiersman in the Grand Canyon, the around the world trip depicted in this book is a rite of passage that turns the outward experience inward so as to examine ourselves and our place in the world. Once we buy the ticket, all of our life is transformed. [more...]

Softcover: 6 x 9 in; 278 pp

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Part I: Bewitched

The Prologue describes a cataclysmic fire that destroys both the author's childhood home and neighborhood. This dualistic act of cataclysm and cleansing serves as a metaphor for the right of passage that solo travels represent. The past remains another life; the future lay undiscovered.

It is on the buses and ferries and in the rain forest villages of Fiji that the author is thrust into unfamiliar surroundings and educated in the fundamentals of travel and tourism. In New Zealand, he embarks on a road trip with two other Western travelers. They explore a wonderland of wilds and farms, while carefully guarding their secrets.

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Part II: Shanghaied

The vast Australian continent is confronted with no more than a road map. The author sets out on a carefree and unencumbered adventure hitchhiking across the country. Schedule and expectation are replaced with perseverance and optimism.

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Part III: Latitude and Bearing

The great irony of travel, a highly independent endeavor, is that one must conform to succeed. Just as one must be an imposition, one must be imposed upon. Just as one is curious, one is also a curiosity. In Indonesia, the author adjusts to the Third World and struggles to understand a culture distracted by his own.

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Part IV: Every Place in One Place

India's tumultuous social environment, with its poverty, touts, and separatist politics, is the backdrop for the isolation felt by the traveler. Culture and economics conspire against the foreigner to keep him on the perimeter, while, at the same time, exposure to so much of the world alienates one from home.

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Part V: Crab Art

A quest for the ideal beach in Thailand turns up an odd cast of characters soul-searching in paradise. Among them are an American with a striking resemblance to John Wayne, a philosophical drug smuggler, a heroin addict, and an English cowboy stricken with multiple sclerosis.

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Part VI: Borders

In China's cauldron of ideology and state mandates, the foreigner finds himself in a land of dispossessed peoples. Whether considering the local peasant or the traveler, it is the individual who is the true measure of a nation's character. From Hong Kong, the journey moves away from the urban population centers and into the minority regions, where the gulf between insider and peasant is most apparent. The journey steers back to urban China and students contemplating their future.

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Part VII: The Foreign And The Familiar

With a fresh perspective, this traveler returns to the West via the Trans-Siberian Express and, through the eyes of hedonistic youth, an American cold warriors, and present-day frontiersman, begins to confront the myths of home. Numbed by the rigors of the road, he ventures back to California and marvels at an ambitious and wealthy society satiated by technology.

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