Joseph Davida

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

Category: reviews


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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