Once Amanda got a taste of wanderlust she was hooked as inevitably happens to travelers and explorers. She began working as a waitress, saving her tips so she could travel the world. And she did, to far reaching places such as Latin America and Southeast Asia. But she wanted more, more adventure, more experiences more exploration. So she began to travel to countries in the midst of wars including Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria.
As others who find themselves traveling the globe, she began to earn a income while abroad – through writing and entry level television reporting jobs. Eventually she decided to travel to Somalia – despite the inherent dangers of doing so. At the time, Somalia was considered the most dangerous country on the planet. She arrived by plane, descending over what looked like bucolic countryside. But she soon found out it was anything but peaceful.
On only her fourth day in the country, she and a former boyfriend who she convinced to come with her, were nabbed by masked men in Mogadishu. Quickly realizing this ordeal was not going to be a short one, ultimately they were held hostage for 460 long and painful days. At one point she and her friend escaped but were quickly caught and she in particular was severely tortured, repeatedly raped and held in a dark tiny room – slowly starving to death. The hostage negotiations dragged on for months until finally a mutual decision was made between the families of the captured and the kidnappers.
Her bravery is remarkable and leaves one wondering if they would have been able to survive such terrible adversity. This is Amanda’s painful story of survival, in all its minutia.
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