imagine: a vagabond story

Posted by susan on September 27th, 2009. Filed under: getaways.

There are people that graduate from college and have their next step calculated. Not soon after throwing that cap in the air, they are onto their first job and they never look back. There are others that are not so sure.

With a mere seven credits between him and his college diploma, Grant Lingel decided to put them on hold in search for something greater – leading him to purchase a one-way ticket to Mexico, where he would explore Central America. IMAGINE: A Vagabond Story, is a memoir of his adventures.

When he asked me to review his new book, I was a little intimidated. During the summer after I graduated from college, I searched for a full-time job while working two exhausting summer jobs. Finally, I fell into something that lacked intellectual stimulation and promise. I admit, I did work my way through it all to find something that I like, but I was intimidated because I feared that this book would make me question my decisions over the past few years and my favorite part was that it didn’t.

That’s not to say Grant’s story isn’t compelling enough to make me want to buy a plane ticket – it is. It’s just that there was more to it than the places he saw. This book is an unpretentious narrative of his journey, from his genuine doubts before his trip and his endearing descriptions of his relationships with his parents, to the crazy predicaments he got himself into while abroad. Honesty shines through every page without reservation.

Which by the way, is the best part about his book. Let’s just say, when it’s described as being a “memoir of sex, drugs, and Salsa dancing…” he isn’t kidding. There were times I wanted to put the book down and send Grant an email asking, “Have your parents read this!?!?” But at the end of the day, this guy set out to write a book of his adventures and he didn’t hold back and that is something to be admired.

I recommend this book not only because it will move you to travel and learn about the world, but because it will remind you to approach life with openness, no matter where you are.

To preview or order a copy, check out his site.

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