Rolf Potts has reported from more than sixty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, The New Yorker, Slate.com, Outside Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian (U.K.), Sports Illustrated, National Public Radio, and the Travel Channel. His adventures have taken him across six continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma, driving a Land Rover across South America, and traveling around the world for six weeks with no luggage or bags of any kind.
Rolf has taught semester-long nonfiction writing courses at Penn and Yale. He is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, has been through twenty-six printings and translated into several foreign languages. His collection of literary travel essays, Marco Polo Didn’t Go There, won a 2009 Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers, and became the first American-authored book to win Italy’s prestigious Chatwin Prize for travel writing. He has also co-written a travel-themed comic, and penned a volume about The Geto Boys for Bloomsbury Academic’s vaunted “33 1/3” series of music criticism. His newest book, Souvenir, was published by Bloomsbury in March of 2018.