Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Ilgunas

The readers can download Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom Audiobook for free via Audible Free Trial.


The story of a student who went to extraordinary lengths - including living in a van on a campus parking lot - to complete his education without sacrificing his financial future. In a frank and self-deprecating voice, memoirist Ken Ilgunas writes about the existential terror of graduating from college with $32,000 in student debt. Inspired by Thoreau, Ilgunas set himself a mission: get out of debt as soon as humanly possible. To that end, he undertook an extraordinary 3-year transcontinental journey, driving to Alaska and taking a series of low-paying jobs. Debt-free, Ilgunas then enrolled himself in a master's program at Duke University, using the last of his savings to buy himself a used Econoline, his new "dorm." The van, stationed in a campus parking lot, would be an adventure, a challenge, a test of his limits. It would be, in short, his "Walden on Wheels." Ilgunas went public in a widely read Salon article that spoke to the urgent student debt situation in America today. He offers a funny and pointed perspective on the dilemma faced by those who seek an education but who also want to, as Thoreau wrote, "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."



  • The book doesn't actually give you a step-by-step guide on how to escape debt, but instead dives into the author's radical actions and his unique approach, which might come across as a bit extreme for certain readers. Nonetheless, it remains an intriguing tale that is definitely worth checking out.
  • The author occasionally goes off on tangents about certain subjects, but his skill in relating the events of his life to society is truly remarkable. The narrative is captivating and prompts deep introspection about one's own lifestyle choices.
  • Even though there were instances when it came across as preachy, there were valuable lessons and thought-provoking content throughout the book. The author recognizes the precariousness of his chosen lifestyle and acknowledges that it may not be suitable for everyone, including those who are caught up in a hectic daily routine. However, it can still be an engaging read or listen for such individuals. Nick Podehl does a fantastic job as the narrator, his talent shines through even when reading recipes, making them captivating.
  • This is an awesome real-life account. It may not have the most captivating beginning, with a few cheesy and clichéd jokes, but don't let that discourage you. It progressively improves and captivates you. It truly immerses you in the author's life, emotions, and connections, allowing you to vicariously live the kind of life you sometimes fantasize about. The protagonist is an extraordinary and daring individual, and his writing is top-notch.