"Behind a vandweller's decision to move into what is often a cramped, smelly, heatless, air-conditioning less vehicle--there is always a story....a vandweller doesn't become a vandweller simply by purchasing a van. Rather, some personal change or transformation must first occur. The answer to the question about why I lived in a van is this book, which means that the following story isn't so much about a van but about student debt, and wilderness, and all the people and places and journeys that have made me the person I am today...."
How would I describe this memoir? It's honest, humorous, enlightening and entertaining. And it's about more than Ken Ilgunas trying to get out of debt or live in a van; it's a chronicle of his own journey to personal freedom and a better, more satisfying life. And I enjoyed every page of it. He meets a lot of interesting people and has many memorable moments in his quest to become debt free. I loved his Alaskan adventures and his experiences hitchhiking across America on his way back home. And all the living-in-a-van parts are especially funny. This is a great book. Here's just one of the quotes from it that I loved:
"Sometimes it's not until you see your shackles that you see your dreams. The soul must first be caged before it can be set free. For all the trouble it had put me through, I had the debt to thank for that. Still though, now that I was out of debt, I couldn't stop dreaming about what I could finally do. This sense of hope and anticipation that I felt made living a delight. This was freedom, I thought. Freedom didn't have to be about tramping around or having adventures: freedom was simply being able to entertain the prospect of changing your circumstances."