Joseph Davida

Author of Traveling High & Tripping Hard available January 30, 2018

Author: admin

Eccentric Bookaholic- Guest Post

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Guest post: “Not Far from the Tree” by Joseph Davida, author of ‘Traveling High and Tripping Hard’

The seeds for me wanting to become an author were probably planted before I could even write. Although I was raised in a pretty working-to-middle class household, I was always surrounded by books. The walls in my father’s den were lined with bookshelves, filled with thousands of titles, many of them dating back to the eighteen and nineteenth century. This was not a common sight in the neighborhood where I grew up. In most houses, you’d be lucky to find a copy of the Reader’s Digest, let alone anything to read at all. But before I was even old enough to recite the alphabet, I knew that those books held some kind of power…and that one day I would learn their secrets.

In that same room was a heavy wooden desk and  a typewriter where I would occasionally see my old man pound away on its keys. He mainly wrote articles for fly fishing magazines, and though I never inherited the same passion for angling that he had, I was always in awe of watching him become engrossed in the process of writing. Something in him changed when he was in front of that typewriter, and for short periods I would get a glimpse into the soul of my father as an artist, instead of just as a parent. He did not write for a living, but somehow, he seemed most alive when he was putting words onto paper.

It wasn’t until later, that I learned that his father was a writer too… My grandfather had his own column in a local newspaper, where he wrote reviews about local bars and restaurants. And while it’s true that few people would consider what they were writing about to be serious contributions to the field of literature, they were both trying to capture something about the aspects of life in which they were most passionate.

In the case of my father, his passion was fishing. For my grandfather, it was essentially drinking booze and picking up women. Even though their subject matter(s) couldn’t be any more different, there was something about their work that was very similar. They didn’t seem to write as much specifically about their individual subjects as much as they wrote about how those subjects made them feel. And though I didn’t really get a chance to read much of their writing until after they both had passed away, those columns captured little bits and pieces about who they were that I barely got to know when they were alive.

My father once said the greatest sound he had ever heard was the sound of a common loon crying out over a hidden lake, deep in the Adirondack mountains. My grandfather responded that the greatest sound he had ever heard was the sound of ice-cubes hitting his glass the moment before having his first scotch of the day. For both of them, these were their moments of Zen…and the passion they felt about these experiences, could not be denied in their writing.

I guess that’s why any of us ultimately feel the need to write. To convey something about all of the beauty and tragedy in the world, from a perspective that’s all our own…but something that we just can’t keep to ourselves. That, and of course the hope that through our creations we may become immortal, and leave behind a little bit of a legacy for the ones who come after.

And although it will be many years before my children become old enough to read any of my own work, I hope that when the day comes, they not only get a chance to learn something about me, but that they might feel inspired to embrace the passion within themselves.

Joseph Davida is the pen name of a successful Nashville- based entrepreneur, former rock musician, and New York native.  He is currently at work on his next book, as yet untitled. Connect with him on the web:

Check out the book on Amazon!


Article originally appearing at:

My Book Launch Blog- Guest Post

The Story Behind Traveling High and Tripping Hard

By: Joseph Davida


Some folks might sa-ay that I’m no good

That I wouldn’t settle down if I could

But when that open ro-oad starts to callin’ me

There’s somethin’ o’er the hill that I gotta see

-Hank Williams,

Ramblin’ Man (1951)


I always knew I wanted to travel and see the world. My first “real” trip abroad was to Italy in 1988, when I was 12 years old. We were mainly there to visit my family’s villa in Sorrento, but first, we had to fly in to Rome. It was my first glimpse of the ancient world, and after seeing things like the catacombs, the Colosseum, and the Sistine Chapel—I was absolutely blown away. Aside from some of the amazing artifacts at the Met and Museum of Natural History, nothing that old existed anywhere near where I grew up in New York, or even in North America for that matter. And while I loved taking class trips and seeing all the antiquities at the museums, it couldn’t compare with actually standing inside an arena where gladiators fought to the death.


It wasn’t just the monuments that made Rome different…it was the food, the language, and even the pornography! On one of the first nights there, my mother tried to save a few bucks on a hotel and decided we would stay at a local convent. Earlier in the day, I picked up a copy of some weird Italian nudie mag, and hid it under my mattress before going to bed. The next morning, one of the nuns who made up the rooms found it and started screaming at me in Italian. Although I was definitely embarrassed and in fear of my life…I quickly realized that this was what traveling was all about! There was something about getting into trouble in a foreign place that made things more fun…and somehow the memories that got made became that much more vivid.


And that’s why I wrote Traveling High and Tripping Hard…to try and share some of my adventures from around the world before I forget them all. And while I might not get the chance to trot around the planet the same way that I used to, there are still plenty of things over the hill that I gotta see. If all goes well, maybe I’ll write a sequel in another thirty years: “Traveling with a Walker and Tripping Harder”.


Because ultimately, no matter how old you get…it’s never too late to jump on a plane and find some trouble, and hopefully get yelled at in a language you don’t understand.


Article originally appearing at:

The Writers Life Interview

The Writing Life with Joseph Davida, author of ‘Traveling High and Tripping Hard’

9:37 AM



What got you into writing?

I’ve always been writing something. Whether it be music, lyrics, or poetry, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Maybe it’s something in my blood. My father was a writer, my grandfather was a writer… I’m even related to Stephen Crane. A bit of misery seems to be the common thread.

What do you like best about being an author?

Not much. Unless you are doing it for purely cathartic reasons, it’s a pretty terrible thing to try and pursue.

When do you hate it?

During the editing process. There are just a million ways to write the same sentence, and being a little obsessive, I usually try to explore them all. (Even though I usually just wind up back where I started anyway.) But sometimes, hating what you write pushes you to keep writing, and to try and write something even better.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

It depends. If it’s creative writing, they are not really regular, and usually contingent upon what substances I have ingested. If it’s an editing day, I’ll generally try to stay sharp. No matter what day it is, I usually like to start it with a bagel. With lots of butter. If my heart feels like it won’t give out, then I might even have some bacon. If the writing is going really bad, I deep fry the bagels in the bacon grease, and hope I have a heart attack to put me out of my misery so I won’t have to write anymore.

Do you think authors have big egos?

Of course. To think anyone should care about what you have to say, is about the most egotistical thing someone can do. But the truth is all writers are fragile beings, who just want to be loved. If your mother gave you attention as a child, it is doubtful you would want to bother with the whole writing thing in the first place.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I haven’t really had any yet, but I’ll probably be getting some soon. When it happens I’m sure I’ll pretend like it doesn’t bother me, and then will obsess over them until I question every aspect of my life and every decision I’ve ever made. My handlers have been instructed to remove all sharp objects from my vicinity once the book is released.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Haven’t had many of those either, but I’m sure I will receive them with suspicion. My doctor says I am a glutton for self-punishment.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

I don’t bother. I assume if they don’t know that on their own, there is probably a good reason for it. Where I live in Nashville, every person you meet is a writer or a musician. The only thing people generally care about is if you can get them a discount at the restaurant or store you work at.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

It depends where the vodka takes me. If I find a good Neil DeGrasse Tyson podcast on Youtube, you can assume I will not be doing any more writing that day.

Any writing quirks?

Em dashes—and ellipses…

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I’d sic my dog on them, and then ask if they feel like taking me more seriously now… Sadly, he’d probably just wind up licking their face, so it is unlikely they’d wind up taking me very seriously anyway.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Sure. You can’t be passionate about anything unless you love and hate it. Most people don’t write because it makes them feel good. They write until the demons in their heads get so exhausted, they can only taunt you with whispers.

What’s on the horizon for you?  

Hopefully lots of free drugs, adoration, and writing groupies.

Leave us with some words of wisdom about the writing process or about being a writer.

I’m not sure if I’m very wise, or a good writer…but if there is anything that matters to me, it is honest writing. I’d always rather read something true and from the heart, then something technically perfect, flowery, or full of shit.

Article originally appearing at:

Why Being in the Music Business Convinced Me to Self-Publish (San Francisco Book Review)

San Francisco Book Review
Why Being in the Music Business Convinced Me to Self-Publish
On February 6, 2018

By Joseph Davida


For most of us, there are parts of life that are just plain dreadful. A good example is getting invited to, or even worse, being asked to participate in, somebody’s wedding. Despite the fact that it’s almost certainly bound to cost us something, we are still expected to muster up some kind of reaction that is both positive and encouraging—even when we might not necessarily feel like participating in someone else’s bad decisions. But no matter how much of a pain in the ass it might be, society dictates that we at least try to entertain these kinds of indulgences. Society is not, however, designed to cater to the whims of those who pursue artistic endeavors.

Let’s face it… being born with any kind of artistic inclination is a curse. Any inherent need to express oneself, whether it be through music, art, or writing—is basically a form of mental illness. The only variables seem to be the degrees in which one succumbs to their individual compulsions. Most of us realize that the majority of the world will never give a shit about what we do; yet the desire to put ourselves out there, only to hope and pray we’ll receive some kind of affirmation, is the cosmic slot machine that most artists can’t seem to break away from.

So, naturally, after finishing my first book, the only question I had to ask myself was whether I would try and find a publisher or publish it myself. Sadly, the idea that I could just be satisfied with my own sense of accomplishment never even crossed my mind. But, in this glorious technological age of the internet, I guess I should be thankful for even having that choice. While vanity publishing has surely existed since the advent of the printing press, its high costs almost certainly would have kept it out of reach for most mortals…whereas now we have a whole industry built around those who suffer from delusions of grandeur. The only major difference these days is that someone eventually realized that having the word “vanity” in the product description probably wasn’t the best way to increase profit margins.

Progress is grand, isn’t it?

Even still, it is nice to have options. And, for me, the decision to self-publish ultimately came down to one simple thing: Control.


Having spent years in the music industry, I couldn’t help but think back on all the times where it felt like the entire trajectory of my career rested in someone else’s hands. And I HATED that feeling. But, back in the 1990s, it never really occurred to me to try and put out my own music. Granted, I was broke, but even that was far from the only obstacle. There was a system in place that made it almost impossible for artists to break into the industry without passing through a series of gatekeepers. Computers changed all of that. And, while it is true that every terrible artist on the planet can now utilize the internet as a platform for their work, there is also the hope that a few good artists might break through who never would have had the chance. Of course, this equation applies to me as much as anyone else—but at least now we can all get a small seat at the table, instead of being forced to keep the dreams and uncertainties forever locked up within the confines of our own heads.

And maybe, just maybe… someone will miraculously stumble across what we have done, and care.

Article originally appearing at:

Why Being in the Music Business Convinced Me to Self-Publish

Book Publishing Secrets with Travel Memoirist Joseph Davida

Monday, February 5, 2018

Book Publishing Secrets with Travel Memoirist Joseph Davida

Name: Joseph Davida

Book Title: “Traveling High and Tripping Hard”

Genre: Travel Memoir

Publisher: Dark Planet Press

Find out more on Amazon

Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?

Joseph: I had no choice. I was captured in an opium field in the Golden Triangle, and sent to a Burmese prison camp. The head prison guard found my work habits (digging holes) lacking, and beat me with a bamboo cane until three quarters of my body was covered in blood and bruises. I begged him to just leave my right hand alone, so I could still use it to comb my hair and write. Then we somehow wound up getting into a long conversation about Dostoyevsky, and he agreed to leave my hand alone—so long as I promised to write a book for him, and give him all of the profits. He is still holding my pet rat, “Ping”, hostage, so I really need to start selling a few copies ASAP.

Is this your first book?

Joseph: Yes. I attempted to write a cook book on French cuisine first, but my meager diet of crickets and half cooked rice left me so hungry, I wound up devouring all of the pages I had written one day during a fit of dehydration and delirium.

With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?

Joseph: I chose to self-publish this book. A friend of mine told me it could be months, if not years before a big publishing house will even release a new title—and every few weeks I’ve been getting a small package sent to me, with what appears to be little tiny rat toes inside. I just can’t stand the thought of what will happen to my beloved Ping if he is left inside that prison camp a digit-less cripple.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?

Joseph: Well, after I had finished the book, I was granted parole on the condition that I would get the book published immediately. I borrowed a rickshaw and pedaled it as quickly as I could to the first internet café I could find. Once I made it there, I got online, and set up an account with Amazon, and paid for the ISBN number with a golden Buddha amulet I stole off of a blind beggar. I felt really bad about taking it from him, but luckily, I still had enough credit to type up the entire manuscript, and find your blog.

What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?

Joseph: I learned you should never get caught milking poppies in a Burmese warlords’ opium field. As far as the publishing industry goes, it generally seems like a racket to get terrible writers to spend money on editors, book shepherds, and publicists.

Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?

Joseph: Self-publishing? Definitely not.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?

Joseph: Stop spending so much time discussing the particulars of publishing, and start writing about some shit that people will actually want to read.



About the book:

Traveling High and Tripping Hard is the story of a young man’s quest to find the meaning of life through a series of altered states and high adventures…

After accidentally ingesting a large dose of PCP at eight years old, Joseph Davida had an apocalyptic vision that would change the course of his life forever. Charged with the monumental task of saving the world, he set out on a mission that led him through the jungles of Central America, the pyramids of Egypt, the temples of Kathmandu—and into the deepest recesses of his mind.

For anyone who has ever wanted a glimpse into those strange places that lie somewhere between the darkness and light, hope and despair, and spirituality and madness, Traveling High and Tripping Hard is guaranteed to deliver.

Interview originally appearing at:

Dear Reader, Love Author Blog

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dear Reader, Love Joseph Davida

Dear Reader…

I wrote Traveling High and Tripping Hard for anyone who may be on the fence about making irrational decisions. Society is set up to keep most people from pursuing their dreams—to keep things safe, comfortable, and sterile. But life is short, and we only get one chance at it. Whether it’s school, a job, or maybe even a relationship that seem to be keeping you from getting out and experiencing the world; maybe it’s time to start asking yourself what you really want out of life…

For me, I always wanted adventure. And while it’s true that any good adventure comes with a little risk, sometimes it’s the exposure to danger that can bring the best rewards. Most people will tell you that traveling to politically unstable countries, doing drugs, and hanging out with questionable company is a bad idea. But anyone that tells you not to do the things they have done (while smiling), is probably lying to you. My stories specifically, are not cautionary tales. They are not works of fiction meant to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own couch. I wrote them to give you a little incentive to go out and experience some of them yourself.

I don’t want to sound like I am preaching, or that the decisions I made were the right ones. Anytime you stray far from the pack, there are bound to be consequences—and I’ve had to face plenty of them. Traveling is not all about capturing perfect postcard images. With all of the beauty and magic that can be found, there are also plenty of ugly and sometimes horrendous situations that you will have to face. But this is the reality of life—and any attempt to whitewash it comes with its own set of risks. And for me, those risks are even more dangerous. If we are all fed the same narratives, received through small screens that can fit into the palms of our hands, we’re all going to miss the big picture. And I, for one, have no interest in living in a world where all of the mysteries of life can get swept under the rug.

Don’t let anyone tell you there is nothing left to see and explore. The planet is big and filled with wonder. Even if there aren’t any new continents or lost tribes to be discovered, there are still plenty of stones that have been left unturned. Go find them. Be curious.  Get out there and see what the world has to offer before it’s all gone. And that way, when someone asks you for a story about your own life…you’ll have a tale ready that’s guaranteed not to bore them to death.

The worst thing that can happen, is you’ll die before getting a chance to tell it.


Joseph Davida

Article originally appearing at:

Book Cover Junkie Interview


He’s here today to chat about his book TRAVELING HIGH AND TRIPPING HARD. Visit his website at


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

Well, it was a combination of things. Probably the biggest inspiration came from the books I read as an early teenager, before I had a chance to get out and see the world on my own. For better or for worse, it started with “On the Road” when I was thirteen. That quickly led me to Burroughs, who immediately became a huge influence. After I had done some serious traveling, I decided I wanted to share some of my own my stories.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

I had too little patience to try and take the traditional publishing route. After dealing with some music industry people when I was younger, I figured I’d be better off trying to do things on my own terms. The idea of sending out a manuscript to agents and publishers sounded like a nightmare.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

I had bits and pieces of stories I had written down while traveling, so the title didn’t come until much later. I knew I had to have some reference to the words traveling and tripping, and I just played around with them until something sounded right, and seemed to capture the essence of the book. I’m not sure “trip” is technically a double entendre, but certain readers will definitely get the double meaning.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

Yes, I had a good idea of what I wanted the cover to look like. I worked as a tattoo artist for a few years ages ago, but never considered myself much of an “artist”. That being said, I have a decent eye…so I sketched out a few ideas of what I was looking for.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

I got online, and looked at ton of different artists’ work. Finally, I found a guy named Travis Gillan, and as soon as I saw what he was doing, I knew I had to hire him.

How was your experience working with the designer?

Amazing. At first I told him kinda what I was looking for, but I wanted to see what he came up with by himself. When he sent over his first sketch, it was almost EXACTLY what I had envisioned, except a million times better. I showed him the rough drawing I had done, just to show him how well he nailed it, and he got to work on the final cover.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Everyone who has seen it so far has loved it. You can’t deny the talent of this guy. I loved what he came up with so much, that I decided I had to have him do a few illustrations for the inside of the book as well. His line work is incredible, and the way he uses colors is very specific. His style is so distinct, I’m just glad I found him and had a chance to work with him while I could still afford him. Expect to see his work all over the place in the future.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Spend some money, and don’t chince out. Your cover is the first thing people are going to see before they ever even decide if it’s worth reading a word of it. There are a ton of great artists out there, a lot of them desperate for work. Look around until you find someone who jumps out and grabs your attention…then hire them.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

Yes, go buy it. It is available on January 30th, at fine online retailers everywhere! I hear Jeff Bezos needs the money…

Interview originally appearing at:

A Chat with Author Joseph Davida

A Chat with Author Joseph Davida
Posted on January 31st, 2018
by Mayra Calvani in Entertainment, Literary News


Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write it.

Well, Traveling High and Tripping Hard started out as a random collection of travel stories. They were really not connected to each other, and they certainly were not written with any kind of cohesive narrative. Once I became serious about trying to create an actual book, I realized there was one theme that tied everything together…the fact that I was searching for something. I was looking for answers to the big stuff—like where do we come from, and where are we going—all of the things that give meaning to life. Of course, I never really found the answers to any of these things, but at least some of the experiences I had during that period helped shape who I am today. If someone can read it and become inspired to get out and see the world on their own, I would consider it all a success.

Who is your target audience?

Ideally, I’d like the people who hold very conservative views, the people who’ve never left the small towns where they grew up to read it—but that will probably never happen. So, if I can’t change any minds, I guess I gotta stick with my base—musicians, backpackers, college students, psychedelic enthusiasts…you know, free spirits and progressive types. Probably the people who don’t go to church too much, and like to smoke pot.

What will the reader learn after reading your book?

Probably not too much. I wasn’t looking to educate people on anything as much as I’d like to hopefully entertain them. If there is anything to learn, it is subtle things…like realizing that we live in a big world, and not everyone sees things from a typically Ameri-centric perspective. With that exposure to things that are unfamiliar, I believe we begin to understand our own place in the world better, and hopefully gain a broader point of view. I’d doesn’t mean we all have to become hippy-dippy dreamers, but we can at least realize that the particular strain of nationalism that is on the rise, is a dead-end street. We are all far too interconnected these days to realistically believe any form of isolationism is going to be productive.

What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?

I’m generally not too interested in fantasy. Every once in a while, you will come across a writer like George R.R. Martin who writes so well, you can’t help but be captivated by it…but usually there is enough interesting stuff happening in the real world, where if it’s captured and conveyed honestly, will generally beat out any work of fiction. So yeah, I am definitely the type of writer who likes to write about my experiences way more than my fantasies. My fantasies are probably better portrayed by pornography anyway…

Technically speaking, what do you have to struggle with the most when writing? How do you tackle it?

The editing process. I hate editing. I can sit around for hours and just blather on about nearly anything, but when it comes time to read things back, I become obsessive, and start nitpicking everything. But ultimately, no one would be able to get through a manuscript with bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation…so it’s something that needs to get done. I generally just buckle down, tell myself it’s going to suck, and concentrate on the task at hand. When you finish it though, and can look at something that has really been polished, it is usually the most rewarding part of the process.

What is(are) your favorite book/author(s)? Why?

I like biographical works. And I find the dirtiest, and most hard-boiled stuff the best. As far as raw, honest writing goes, you are not going to find a book better than something like “Pimp” by Iceberg Slim/Robert Beck, or “Junky” by William Burroughs. Those guys weren’t just writing down stories, they lived the life. Anytime someone really lays it all down, the good and the bad, it is going to hit you in the gut a lot harder than someone who just writes beautiful, flowery prose, purely for the sake of putting words down on a page.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

I do, I am currently working on some of the stuff I was doing when I was home in New York during the 1990’s, and early 2000’s. Since Traveling High and Tripping Hard pretty much details the things that were going on in my head when I was essentially on vacation, the new book will be a lot darker, and will go a lot deeper. Mental illness, betrayals, drugs, death…all kinds of good stuff. And although I’m sure it won’t be as heavy as any of Icebergs’ stuff, I hope people might, at the very least, find it entertaining.


Traveling High and Tripping Hard pairs a rock musician’s search for the meaning of life with a trip around the world, providing a memoir replete with humor, adventure, drug-tripping insights, and the highs and lows of a vagabond.

In some ways, Traveling High and Tripping Hard is reminiscent of Kerouac’s On the Road and other stories of counterculture searches for self-discovery and coming of age experiences; but this book’s expanded focus on altered states of consciousness and mind tricks that connect inner self to wider world events incorporates a singular focus that many earlier road trip classics don’t contain: “I had done it. The Jedi mind trick. Somehow, with the power and assistance of the Force, the Buddha, or Shiva, I’d manipulated someone else’s mind into accepting my will. Maybe that sadhu at Pashupatinath had installed some magical powers into my hard drive with that tika, or maybe something had rubbed off from the Tibetan monks at Bhodanath.”

What does swimming with sharks, checking out ruins in Belize, losing direction (and a father) in the Middle East, or facing the apocalypse and drugs in Thailand have in common? All are linked by Joseph Davida’s vigorous romp through life in search of truth, perspective, and trips that don’t conclude with a sense of failure.

Absolutes, pain and suffering, and choices made while living and experiencing life all come to a head in this story of mental and physical tripping that probes the essence of change and its various incarnations.

Readers who would take On the Road to the next level, journeying into mind-bending mental realms changed by drugs and challenging life encounters, will find Traveling High and Tripping Hard a vigorous, revealing memoir that closely examines personal change and larger life goals.

Traveling High and Tripping Hard
Joseph Davida
Dark Planet Press
9780999397503 $10.99

Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
Donovan’s Literary Services


What happens when you take a musician on a quest to find the meaning of life, facing the herculean task of trying to save the world, all while stoking an insatiable wanderlust? Throw in liberal doses of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, and what results is Traveling High & Tripping Hard.

The story of one young man’s quest to find meaning through a series of altered states and high adventures, Traveling High & Tripping Hard is highly unusual, highly unorthodox and highly entertaining.

Davida, a former rock musician, isn’t exactly what you’d call an “everyman.” After accidentally ingesting a large dose of PCP at just 8 years old, Joseph had an apocalyptic vision that altered the course of his life forever. He started a voyage of self-discovery that led him both inward and outward. From exploring the jungles of Central America, the pyramids of Egypt and the Buddhist and Hindu temples of Kathmandu, Davida never wavered in his mission, even when faced with hardships, doubt and despair.

A memoir like no other, Traveling High & Tripping Hard serves up a grand reminder that the truth is always stranger than fiction. Resplendent with laugh-out-loud moments, awe-inspiring travel tales and staggering stories certain to induce slack-jawed disbelief, this is one bold, balls-out, bodacious book.

What shines through in this buoyant memoir is the fact that despite Davida’s unusual back story, the concepts, questions, qualms and quandaries he faces are real, relatable and universal. While some may find his particular methods of discovery outrageous, few can deny that at a certain point, we’ve asked the very same questions. And while most of us will probably never pursue such a rigorous quest with quite the same vigor, ultimately Davida’s journey is one that we are all on together.

At its heart, a story that approves such universal themes as loss, sense of place, purpose and belonging, Traveling High & Tripping Hard covers the highs, the lows and all the interesting points in between. An engaging, self-aware and often self-deprecating narrator, Davida provides a glimpse into those strange places that lie somewhere between darkness and light, hope, despair, spirituality and madness.

A consummate storyteller with a keen eye for detail and unmistakable appreciation of the absurd, the sublime, and the downright inexplicable, Davida delivers a confident and un-put-downable debut. And it turns out, the high cost of traveling is nothing like the cost of traveling high.

Davida (the pen name of a successful Nashville-based entrepreneur, former rock musician, and New Yorker) is currently at work on his next book.

January 02, 2018 | SteveElliott
By Joseph Davida, Dark Planet Press, 2018, 211 pages.

© 2024 Joseph Davida

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