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Wide-Eyed Wanderers: A Befuddling Journey from the Rat Race to the Roads of Latin America & Africa Paperback – May 23, 2005
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From the Inside Flap
"There has got to be more to life than this." Rich and Amanda Ligato quit cushy corporate jobs, left their home, and said goodbye to lives that felt just a little too guaranteed, insured, and sealed for their own protection. Stuffing their tiny VW camper bus full to the pop-top roof they drove more than 60,000 miles through Mexico, Central America, South America, and Africa while witnessing first hand how others find happiness.Observing life from every which way - from the most mundane to the absolutely ridiculous - they let their guard down, and at times were shocked, disgusted, and amused by what they experienced. Peeling away deeply ingrained inhibitions they opened themselves up to whatever came along. While learning lessons the hard way they picked up unmentionable habits and did the most bizarre things in order to survive on this journey of a lifetime. After three years of near constant motion, unrecognizable even to themselves, they returned home and did the unthinkable...
About the Author
Crossing borders has been a way of life for Amanda Bejarano-Ligato for many years. While living in Tijuana, Mexico she held down two jobs, worked towards a bachelor's degree, and eventually a master's degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University. Amanda is proud of her Hispanic heritage and her life continues to be deeply rooted in Mexico. She is bilingual and has dual citizenship.Rich Ligato was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he attended Temple University. After graduation he drove the first of a string of old Volkswagen vans to the west coast where he lived on an old wooden "Dutch Shoe" sailboat in Glorietta Bay, Coronado. He became friends with a group of rugged individuals and old salty live aboards, and learned from their simple, honest ways.The couple met while working for the City of Coronado and decided to marry on the island. Their wedding ceremony had a unique combination of Mexican culture and the laid back San Diego attitude with a dash of rowdy boaters thrown in for fun. Before setting our on their three-year journey the couple found themselves on the fast track up the corporate ladder. Amanda worked as the Director of Human Resources for University and State Employees Credit Union and Rich was a Manager for Kampgrounds of America (KOA). Once they decided to make this journey they bought their freedom by saving Amanda's entire salary and only purchasing what was necessary.With the journey complete, coming home to San Diego has been full of mixed emotions as the temptations and pressures of everyday life abound. Yet they have managed to avoid getting yanked back into the rut. With the lessons learned on their journey in their rucksack the Ligatos strive to live a simple, modest life.
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