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One Way Ticket to Anywhere: A Boy Sets Out On His Own [Kindle Edition]

Rich Ochoa
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

RICH'S mother kicks him out of the house in a drunken fury when he refuses to eat kidney beans. The sixteen year old is put on a bus and rides cross-country to meet his father, whom he had been conditioned to fear as the monster who abducted him as an infant. Two months later, his step-mother offers him a one-way bus ticket to anywhere he wants to go. After perusing a road atlas for a place to finish high school, the protagonist devises a plan. He’ll "Go Greyhound" from Idaho to his former hometown, Lindale, Texas. He’ll build a fort in the woods behind the high school where he’ll sleep until he can land a job, cash some paychecks, and find a room to rent while pursuing his dream of becoming the next Bruce Jenner. As he steps onto the bus and into adulthood, he counts his belongings as twenty dollars cash, fifty dollars of food stamps, and a garbage bag full of clothes.

One Way Ticket to Anywhere is the sad-yet-hard-not-to-laugh-at story of a teenage boy’s struggle to avoid becoming a high school dropout while he deals with the emotional, financial, and social ramifications of parental abandonment. The book captures the essence of a boy's resilience, but is at its most compelling when it reveals the way human beings react to his situation. An encounter with a frumpy middle-aged lady sitting next to him on the bus changes his perspective on life. His psychotic head football coach terrorizes him in bizarre and creative ways. A kind-hearted young accountant, rents him a spare room in his office building and becomes a big-brother figure. But, perhaps the most endearing supporting characters are Rich’s friends—teenagers themselves—they’ll do anything to help him survive.

One Way Ticket to Anywhere is a memoir that never strays far from its resonating message of perseverance and resolve of a boy who becomes a man with each turn of the page. The reader will cringe at the seven-year-old being told of the birds and the bees by his inebriated mother, laugh at the young teenager who's terrorized by the vicious family dog, and root for the nomadic young man who is stripped of everything typical of the senior year experience except for his goal to simply walk across the stage.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After several years of distinguished service maintaining the nuclear weapon systems aboard a US Navy Submarine, Rich has settled in Keller, Texas with a really hot girl, Carrie. While serving in the Navy, Rich achieved great athletic success. Competing in the Decathlon at the 1984 Boston College Relays, he finished ninth out of ten competitors after failing to clear the opening height in the high jump. Undeterred, he then entered the pole vault and nabbed eighteenth place in that event. With nothing else to prove he immediately retired from college sports. Twenty years after failing high school algebra, he earned a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Texas. Rich works as an engineering manager at Nokia Mobile Phones, which for many years has helped him live his dream of seeing the world. In 2007, he scaled back his business travel and created a program within Nokia which has, to date, provided technical jobs for over forty ambitious college students. He’s helping his oldest daughter, Lindsay, through college and teaching his younger daughter, Leanna, how to pole vault and solve math problems. Rich is on Facebook and Twitter, and has the website,

Product Details

  • File Size: 580 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Rich Ochoa; 1 edition (March 28, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004UB10G8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,635 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Book Quite Like It January 21, 2012
By cwf1527
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the kind of book that between readings you can't stop thinking about getting back to it. Every chapter is like a drug. Each night, I found myself thinking, "one more chapter" and before I knew it, it was 2 a.m.

There are two components that make a great memoir or biography--the story itself and the way it's written. One Way Ticket to Anywhere is that rare memoir that combines both. I read the synopsis and was intrigued by the story, so I downloaded the free sample. The flow of the narrative sucked me in from the getgo and by the end of the second chapter, I was so emotionally invested in the main character that I didn't want to leave him. I would've paid twenty bucks for the rest of the download.

I don't know that I've ever read a more intimate account of a childhood. I know I haven't read one with such a diverse range of emotion. The spirit of the protagonist is overwhelming. But this is not a book only about hard times. There were triumphs, friendships, mischief, and accounts of compassion. I can't think of a book that has both the emotional depth and the humor that One Way Ticket to Anywhere does. Ochoa's wit is sharper than any humorist's work I've read.

Some stories recounted sad or stressful events but were written with such flavor and personality that I was able to smile, laugh, and emphathize at the same time. I especially like the sarcastic self thoughts of the character during his most trying times.

Want to read a book by a writer who is so skilled at relating the human condition that he can bring tears to your eyes when describing a conversation he had with a stanger on a bus or when he tells a simple story about trading football cards with his friend? One Way Ticket to Anywhere is THAT kind of book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional book from this first time author July 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of memoirs from the likes of David Sedaris and Augustine Burroughs, and with this book Ochoa really hits the mark. Here he takes you on a wild ride from his childhood through adolescence with an uncanny memory for detail. His stories really tap into all of your emotions. One minute you're peeing your pants laughing, the next you're reaching for the tissue box.

This is a superb book written without the help of a big time publishing house or editor, which in this case is a plus. I'm sure an editor would have had a field day making this book "politically correct". Here you get the stories in the authors own words - his real feelings - without anyone else's input.

I highly recommend this inspirational book to everyone - especially parents. I'm sure your kids are tired of hearing your "I used to walk to the snow.......uphill......both ways....." stories about how hard you had it growing up. Ochoa presents these stories in such a way that will keep your kids interest, maybe make them realize how lucky they are, and give them inspiration for any goals they set for themselves.

I"m quite sure Ochoa's antics didn't end when he graduated from high school. Eagerly awaiting a book from him that would cover the next 20 years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Inspiring April 24, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
An incredible journey through the life of a kid who despite his knack for finding trouble also finds ways to persevere despite incredible odds against him. And just when you think he has experienced it all, the page turns and there is yet another simultaneously funny and heartbreaking story...all the more hilarious and poignant because its true.

An inspiring book that I will gladly recommend to anyone!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible story, an inspirational life! July 21, 2011
By hud5
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the time he was a young boy, Rich was meant for a better life! Follow Rich down a phenomenal path, full of obstacles and life-altering circumstances that would have left most in a lost state. Young people that endure so much throughout all of their adolescence aren't supposed to survive. Rich not only survives, read how impossible beginnings actually become building blocks for this determined individual to find his way and one day become an inspiration to hundreds if not thousands. Hilarious at times, yet motivating! This is a must read, especially for all those who doubt that they can achieve success because of their humble beginnings!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly hilarious! May 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Because I find memoirs to be interesting reading, I bought this one on a whim. What a stroke of luck! Ochoa has a wonderful way of creating humor where you expect none. In addition to the light-hearted humor, I can personally relate to the triump-over-hardship theme brought to life by the author.

If you were ever a teenager (or think you might have been), you should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strength and Inspiration April 28, 2011
By Robert
Format:Kindle Edition
"One Way Ticket to Anywhere" is a heartfelt look at how one person's struggle to overcome an unbelievable childhood can turn into an incredible triumph. It draws us into a life we hope we never know, of abandonment, abuse and alcoholism. It also shows us how strong we can be as we follow the author through this dark path to adulthood. The book serves as a warning to parents (and future parents) about the influence they have over their children both good and bad. It also can provide inspiration for those whose childhoods were less than perfect that they can overcome the obstacles life has given them.

I was captivated by this book. At first, because it was written by my friend, then by the stories of the town where I went to high school but by the end it was the empowerment Rich found and his triumph that made this book the gem that it is. I highly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend! Came across this book by accident while on ...
Highly Recommend! Came across this book by accident while on a train from work. This is definitely one of those books that you cannot put down after few pages. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Vladi Li
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book.
I loved this book. I could hardly put it down. I am a life long reader and that doesn't happen very often any more. It amazes me how some children survive their childhoods. Read more
Published 20 days ago by William Damhoff
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
In Rich Ochoa's powerful memoir, we learn what it is truly like to persevere, not because of some noble goal, but because a child was left with no choice on a near daily basis. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Durosier
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt memoir
It's not often I give a self-published book a 5 star rating. You'll find your mind rooting for this kid while your heart is breaking for him. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KR_H
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!
This is a wonderful book, uplifting, sad and humorous while illustrating that no one can blame their parents for the rest of their life. Read more
Published 4 months ago by JLR
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning and revealing
Recently, I have taken on the role of a "grandma" to three older children who suffered the effects of drug and alcohol addicted parents and who, as orphans, were forced to parent... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bonnie Gonzales
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
I went to school with Rich Ochoa in Lindale TX. I completely understand what it is like to live in a very small town with nothing much to do. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Julie Deffert
1.0 out of 5 stars not sure that it matters
More than anyone except Rich, I was there through most of this, and saw it all first hand. Major events happened more or less as they're said here, though Rich's understanding and... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gumby
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I am missing something
I bought this book because of the good reviews. I think most of them must have come from the writers family. I am just not getting into this. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Story
The author was able to chronicle his difficult, challenging life in a descriptive way. Even when I thought things couldn't get worse, they did. Read more
Published on March 12, 2013 by L Martinez
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