I prefer to call it backpacking if that's what vagabonding is about.
I started backpacking in 1973 when I toured around Italy, then expanded to Israel, North America, Singapore (which was a stopover for Australia) and Australia itself. I stayed at both hotels and hostels, nearly all from the street, that is, walking in and asking if they had a room or bed. In nearly every case I was offered something and I was never turned away -
New York City, 1995. I arrived there from London in early September of that year, wrongly believing that most of the students and tourists had already gone home. After being turned away from several hostels, I eventually came across this seedy hotel on the corner of 8th Avenue and (if I recall) West 52nd Street. I was so relieved to have a bed in a room crawling with cockroaches. I leaned out of the window late at night, voices of Afro-Caribbeans caught in a scuffle echoed across the otherwise deserted avenue as I gazed at a deli, closed for the night...
It began one of the greatest vacations I ever had.
Or five years later in 2000. With my wife, who was 18 weeks pregnant with our first daughter, arrived into Haifa, north Israel, to stay at a Christian conference hotel which was already booked. Unknown by us, we arrived at Yom Kipper holidays, at an unusual time of the year (about two or three weeks later than normal.)
All the banks were shut, we had no cash and the wad of Traveler's Checks we had were pretty useless. No buses and we could not afford a taxi to get to our venue some five or six miles away.
So we walked up to the top of Mount Carmel with our heavy rucksacks, and when we reached the top, we both sat down on a bench and wondered in near despair, more for my wife's concern than mine.
Presently a taxi pulled up right in front of us, and the driver beckoned, "Where do you want to go?"
"To the town of Ishfya. But we have no money!" I replied.
We got in and he took us to our destination, still some three miles from where we were sitting.
At our arrival he dug into his pocket and he gave us a ten shekel note.
He then told me he also pastored a church nearby, and he couldn't bear to see us stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, backpacking, or vagabonding was A GREAT ADVENTURE!