[Note: Each Saturday this month, Vagablogging has featured self-published travel books reviewed by self-published travel authors. We finish this series with Douglas Jewell's review of Imagine: A Vagabonding Story.]
Review by Douglas Jewell
Most American students are content to finish their years in school and jump right into the business world. But then there are the others, the restless one percent. Their time in academia leaves them wondering, “What next?”
Grant Lingel, just seven credits shy of earning his college degree, needed a change. A desire to experience adventure and new surroundings drove him to buy a one-way plane ticket from his home in New York to Mexico. Thus began his 2006 nomadic odyssey that he has artfully portrayed in his book Imagine: A Vagabond Story.
His travels through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala introduce him and his readers to the sub-culture of similar-minded mostly twenty-somethings from throughout North America, Europe, Israel, and Australia that likewise wanted to experience a whirlwind life not found in guidebooks or packaged tours. It was life on the edge, devoid of routine, always ready for spontaneity.
Lingel does a masterful job of letting the reader get inside his mind, as he exposes his self-doubts, triumphs, and innermost thoughts. His vivid descriptions of the people and third-world cultures he encounters give the reader the feeling of almost being along on the journey. If you don’t have the wherewithal to go vagabonding yourself, Imagine is the next best thing.
Douglas Jewell is the author of Roadtrip: A Baby Boomer’s Misadventures in Hitchhiking and Other Unconventional Travel.