The Meaning of “Vagabond”


This is the part where most people would begin with, “Webster’s dictionary defines..”, but I am different than most people. Not that I have anything against Webster, or dictionaries in general, I don’t. I have had to use them many times in the past (and present) and I quite like them! The truth is that I fell in love with the word “vagabond” while doing research for a French project. I came across a wonderful book entitled Vagabond Days in Brittany written by Captain Leslie Richardson and published in 1913. I must confess that I love books, especially old books. It has something to do with the life they’ve lived, the people they’ve touched and that have touched them. The sight, the smell, of books makes me terribly happy, much like the scent of my grandfather’s cologne or the smell of oil (I told you I was different than most people). So, naturally when I came across this old book detailing first-hand accounts of 3 Englishmen discovering the French region of Brittany (Bretagne) in the early 1900’s, one can only imagine my delight! I eagerly drank up the narratives page by page, and poured over the occasional and aged photographs! Sadly, this book did not help me at all with my project, but it delighted me so that I immediately went to my favorite vice-enabling website and purchased any book I could find penned by my dear Captain Leslie. According to my long since deceased friend, a vagabond is a wanderer, a traveler, a collector of experiences. As this is something I have long considered myself to be, and hope to become even more so, I chose to use this most fabulous word in the title of my blog. As for the “in service” part, well, that is quite simple. I recently relocated over 1800 miles away from St. Louis, my home of 9 years, to join AmeriCorps and work for a non-profit program in Reno which offers free adult ESL classes to the public. You see, in addition to being a vagabond, I am also a linguaphile (a person that loves languages) and I hope to learn as many of them as possible. I graduated with BA’s in French and Spanish, so you can imagine my happiness at being able to use my degree and my passion instead of being a trilingual customer service representative at a call center. After my year in AmeriCorps, I hope to join the Peace Corps and take my show overseas! Through the coming months I will share my wonderful (and frustrating) experiences interspersed with past adventures. By no means do I think that I am an exceptional person…I am simply and most wonderfully…a vagabond.


One thought on “The Meaning of “Vagabond”

  1. Pingback: Conductor to the Reading Railroad | Vagabond in Service

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