Joseph Davida

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

Category: blog

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:

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

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:

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