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Imagine: A Vagabond Story Paperback – September 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Grant Lingel was born February 16, 1983 in Rochester, New York. He was raised there, in the epitome of suburbia, before moving to Buffalo, New York for college. After four and a half years in university and nearly 23 years in Western New York, Grant decided it was time to head out on the open road. Though his travel experiences had been few and far between growing up, he was raised to be open-minded, curious and questioning of life and the people around him. What he wants to do now that his eyes have been opened to the world is continue the journey. One day he hopes to open hostels and pay forward the warmth and hospitality he always received while abroad. Grant currently lives in Harlem, New York.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Langdon Street Press (a division of Hillcrest Publishing Group, Inc.) (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193493853X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934938539
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,632,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Hickey on September 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Grant Lingel was like many lost and confused college graduates that had really no idea where the next chapter of their lives would take them. Being locked away in some dank cubicle for the rest of your life can often times be just as bad as a life sentence in a maximum security prison for people with the travel bug.

Grant decided that he wanted more out of life and by more that meant packing his bags and heading off to Mexico. Sounds crazy right? Well it is, but in a good way. This guy truly is a nomad! Imagine documents his time spent not only in Mexico, but also Belize and Guatemala. Three locales that are filled with great characters Grant meets along the way.

Grant has described the book as "a memoir of sex, drugs, and salsa dancing." This truly is remarkable story about an extremely spur of the moment kind of guy that makes some amazing friendships along the way.

From start to finish I was loving this book. Now while I will not give away any juicy details of Mr. Lingel's escapades that occur quite often throughout the book, I am sure that you will definitely drop your jaw a few times at some of the trouble (both good and bad) he finds himself in. Let's just say it is not every day you find yourself on a beach in the middle of the night with three women. Enough said.
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Format: Paperback
Who hasn't thought about just packing up and leaving? Not making any reservations... no itinerary. No ticket home. Just you, a one way ticket to a country you've seen only in books and on television, and only a few hundred dollars to sustain you on your journey. Grant Lingel did just that. He left his friends, his parents, and his whole life behind in hopes of finding himself and pushing his limits. Imagine is a story that explores the friendships that can be made when you meet people on the same path as you are, and how those friendships can surpass language barriers through a common interest in travel and adventure. It's a story that shows that in the Vagabond lifestyle, friendships flourish quickly, end abruptly with departure, but the memories are all that truly matter.

Grants adventures through Mexico, Beliz and Guatemala are an inspiration to us all. His bravery to explore the unknown and live with so little is something I truly admire in him. Grant had several run-ins with the Mexican police, many exciting nights with pretty girls and even more amazing adventures in which he explored Central America, made some fleeting friendships and some that will last a lifetime, and got to know himself. If only we were all so brave.
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Format: Paperback
This book shares the wisdom and experiences of someone who has obviously seen and explored many things. Wonderfully told with just the right amount of excitement and free will. A must read.
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Format: Paperback
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.

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!?!?
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Format: Paperback
Seven lousy credit points short of completing his degree, a spot of confusion on what to do next at this watershed moment in anyone's life and with a few hundred bucks in his back pocket, Grant Lingel heads for Mexico.

Starting as a guest entertainer in a flashy Mexican hotel, Grant very much lives life day-to-day. Early days are a blur of easy sex, cheap drugs, gallons of alcohol and brief acquaintances in among work shifts. When a chance to share a van with six strangers arises, Grant grabs the opportunity with both hands. Over a short period, Grant and his new friends trek through tropical rain forests, scuba dive, hike dingy caves full of bats, climb smoking volcanoes, sit atop Mayan pyramids, discover tumbling waterfalls in remote national parks with gun-toting soldiers and drive their van off a steep mountain track as they venture through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

Eventually Grant settles a little, volunteering at a couple of Guatemalan hostels meeting a "United Nations" of backpackers, guests and volunteers with their potpourri of languages, cultures and upbringings. At this point, Grant seems to change character being shaped by friendships that are more than temporary and with values that starts to shape Grant's thinking and life.

The book beautifully captures the varying characters that Grant meets with a wonderful eye for fascinating detail - some are types of people that I could picture from my own travels. Similarly, Grant captures the exotic wilds of Central America - the stunning landscapes, the dusty villages, the harrowing roads.
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