Tag Archives: travel

Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The humorous adventures of author Simon Williams continue in Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. From the not so glamorous life of a movie extra to over the top river guides and everything in between, the author continues to amaze readers with tales that seem too surreal to be true. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

From being abducted off the streets of Los Angeles in the middle of the night, to facing off with the German mafia in a Bavarian nightclub, to wandering lost in a forest at the foothills of Mt. Fuji with ten people I just met, what else can go wrong on a trip? These are one man’s fascinating stories of wandering our planet that Travel and Leisure magazine doesn’t want you to know.

Simon Williams doesn’t go looking for trouble in life, but when he finds it he never keeps his mouth shut.

Travelling – it leaves you speechless then turns you into story tellers. Ibn Battuta

The Review

This humorous memoir/travel book is a real gut buster. Filled with hilarious tales of hitchhiking miscommunications, border agents with a mean streak and inexplicably getting involved in the finding of a dead man, the author’s life seems to take him from one adventure to another. These sarcasm laden passages do a great job of highlighting the cultural differences between various nations on our world, and brings often stressful situations into a better light to help diffuse some of that traveling stress.

This book also gives good insight into what to expect when traveling through certain areas. From the streets of Los Angeles to the travel system in Japan and everything in between, these stories bring a life lesson on how to react to situations (or not react in some cases), and showcases one man’s journey that taught him the hardships and lessons of the world through travel.

The Verdict

This is a wonderful continuation of this amazing five part travel/memoir series. Filled with action, humor and experiences everyone will be able to find to relate to, this is a must read book for anyone interested in traveling around the world. If you enjoy a good laugh and fun travel stories, then pick up your copy of Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams today!

Rating: 8/10


About The Author


If sarcasm was your acceptable daily allowance of protein, then author Simon Williams would be a juicy 12-ounce steak sandwiched between two pieces of red meat. In a recent Facebook posting of the 37 things people regret when they die, there was only one item he hadn’t done. Let go of a grudge, but he doesn’t regret it.

Born in Townsville, Queensland Simon now lives in Miami, Florida. He always wanted to see the world and still harbours a strong desire to visit Cambodia, Ceylon, and Leningrad, but is buggered if he can find where they are on a map. He has spent half his life having to tell Americans that he grew up near Sydney, as most of them have no idea that Australia has another city.

He found out how much he enjoyed writing when his 10th grade English teacher told him that he was lazy, so he wrote a 25-page story for his next essay just to annoy him. That is coincidentally when he found out he liked to shit stir people. His sense of humor was developed over 8 years of boarding school. As a way of both evading having the crap between out of him, while also dealing with being a smart boy who sat at the back of the class but who couldn’t see the board because he refused to wear his glasses.

His favourite pastime is trolling his mates on Facebook and taking the piss out of them. He has only been unfriended twice, on both occasions by his wife.

Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Return to the hilarious, sarcastic humor of author Simon Williams with his latest novel, Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Take a FREE shot of Tequila and make some poor choices in your life. 

When was the last time you laughed your f#cking arse off? 

Do you feel bored, listless, and trapped? Want to take off from your life for awhile? Ever tried taking a walk in someone else’s shoes… when their choice of footwear is a pair of flippers? 

Three things in this world are certain. Life can be repetitive and boring. Having more money would solve 99% of our problems. Pissing ourselves laughing will make 99% of our problems not seem quite as bad, while uplifting our spirits as we wait for our lotto numbers to come in. 

Soak in the literary intoxication of the Wanderlost series while you roar with laughter. On the bus, at school, or at work. The next best thing to drinking at work and your boss will never find a bottle. 

The Review

The first in a new series by the author of the nonfiction, humor/memoir series Torn, Wanderlost #1 captures the humor and sarcastic wit of author Simon Williams. Already this series of books has captured my attention, leaving me laughing out loud (literally) as I read the stories the author experienced.


From drunken fights about overpriced cab fares in Hong Kong that draws the attention of local police, to issues of personal space from the moment you exit your plane into New Delhi, the author uses humor to make light of otherwise frustrating struggles many travelers endure in the world. Being from another country makes world travel difficult, and only be leaning into the absurd and mind-blowing circumstances of travel can one hope to survive with their sanity intact.

The Verdict

This is a wonderful first book in what promises to be a hilarious, laugh riot of a travel book series. The honesty and personal experience of the author blend well with the sarcasm used by the author throughout the novel. This book showcases the various struggles of going to other nations around the world, as this lone Australian citizen treks the countries of the United States, China and more. If you enjoy funny, well written and quick reads about travel, then author Simon William’s novel Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10


Near Death in the Gila National Forest by Don Lubov Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

This honest and thrilling memoir takes readers across the United States in the early 1970’s, when drugs, rock and roll and free love was still moving a new generation, in author Don Lubov’s Near Death in the Gila National Forest. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

When his teaching contract is not renewed, a drug-taking, aimless, university art instructor heads out on a solo backpacking trip across the U.S. Two slick, wealthy drug dealers alter his trip. It’s 1971 and this novice hiker begins a painful series of learning experiences. From a rock concert in the woods, to an invitation to a lynching, to hitching, he plods on, one day at a time, to a purposeless future. Learning to live in the wild and taking a colorful variety of hitches, he detours to Acapulco, Mexico and a “Big” drug deal. Events beyond his control force him to beat a hasty retreat back to the U.S. In the midst of wilderness survival in fierce, desert heat and some brief, welcome female companionship, he has a spiritual awakening. Following this event, he gets hopelessly lost in the wild and prepares to die. Saved from death, he arrives in California, a fitting end to his cross-country trek. His California years include communes, a stabbing, teaching at Stanford and some letdowns. His life lacks direction and meaning. Finally, 41/2 years after leaving the east coast, he senses his purposeful future is in New York. He leaves California, not sadder, but a bit wiser, and heads East to meet his soulmate and a new beginning. 

The Review

This was a fascinating story of self-discovery. Each chapter brought a new and interesting story that the author experienced on his cross country journey, (with a brief detour into Mexico). The author did a fabulous job bringing the early 70’s to life in a somewhat familiar yet refreshing way. While some moments in the author’s life seem to reflect the experience of so many others in this era, we also get to see the various social, political and cultural divides that made up the world at that point in history.

From former friends who turned out to be racists, to an elderly gentlemen living alone in the wilderness and a town overrun by a rock festival full of drugs, free love and rock and roll, this book had a story in every chapter that kept the reader hooked. A memoir is only as good as the stories the author has to tell, and Don Lubrov does a marvelous job painting a picture of the experiences he had in his journey.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic book everyone needs to read. The personal tale of one man seeking to find his place in the world and the adventures he goes on to discover who he is is something everyone can relate to. The imagery used to paint a picture of the various locations and adventures that the author went on made the story incredibly engaging and fascinating to read, and anyone who is a fan of memoirs or journeys of self-discovery will fall in love with this book. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Near Death in the Gila National Forest by Don Lubrov today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Author


Don has been happily married since 1976.

He was an artist for 34 years and exhibited his artwork at 3 New York City Art Galleries and the Heckscher Art Museum.

He spent 8 years teaching Art & Design at East Carolina University, McNeese State University, Suffolk County Community College.

He was a guest lecturer at Stony Brook University on “Hyperspace—A Visual Introduction to the 4thDimension”.

In 1985, he received a grant from The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation for his work combining art & mathematics, with his “Quantum Pictures”.

He has written about spirituality and stress relief since 1971. He is the author of 9 books. 10 years successfully teaching his “Six-Step Path” at College of Central Florida Sr. Center, MTP College, and The Lifelong Learning College in The Villages, FL. He has taught his unique brand of meditation to over 2,000 people, who subsequently achieved a level of inner peace.

Don has written for Yahoo Voices, Beliefnet.com, and Kinja.com. His writings have been published in various magazines and books.

He has written the following 6 books —

     An End to Stress – spirituality and self-help

     The Plague – sci-fi cautionary tale

     Near Death in the Gila National Forest – a memoir

     The Side Job – a novel of a female assassin

     The Writers Bloc Club – an anthology of prose & poetry

     Frosty the Soulman – an illustrated children’s book

He has 3 YouTube videos —

      “The Grassroots Manifesto”,

      “Creativity Manifesto”

      “Spirituality Manifesto”

He created and developed “Pyramoids” – an energy-efficient building system, and taught this system at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.  One of his “Pyramoid” designs was accepted and juried in The World Trade Center Memorial Competition.

Memberships: The Writers Bloc Club, Del Webb, Summerfield, FL, 2006 – present

                         The Florida Writers Association, 2006-2013

                         The Metaphysical Group, Del Webb, Summerfield, FL, 2007-present

Classes taught: Spirituality (Life’s Purpose, I & II)





Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity by Gregory V. Diehl Review

Travel can be fun. It can be a step onto the road of self discovery. It can also be a scary road filled with self doubt and financial woes. Trying to go into the world of travel and live your life on the road can be a daunting task, and yet in Gregory V. Diehl’s novel Travel as Transformation, you get to see first hand the trials, tribulations and wonders that travel can offer you, and how you can get started today. Here is the synopsis:

A daring, intelligent, and unapologetic call to find yourself in wanderlust.
When you travel to a foreign place, do you experience this new life as your old self? Or do you become a new self?

From living in a van on the streets of San Diego, to growing chocolate with indigenous tribes in Central America, to teaching in the Middle East and volunteering in Africa, bestselling author Gregory V. Diehl has followed a worldly and unconventional path. Leaving his home in California as a teenager, he went on to live and work in 45 countries across the globe by age 28. In Travel as Transformation, he uses his diverse cultural experiences as a world traveler to ask the reader to question how their identity has been shaped by the lifestyle they live.

As you delve into Travel as Transformation, you will learn how travel can profoundly influence your perception of yourself. Diehl teaches aspiring travelers to let go of their internal inhibitions and former sense of self. He shares his own moving experiences of transformation across Costa Rica, China, Morocco, Armenia, Iraq, Monaco, Ecuador, and more to encourage travelers to embrace change. He takes the reader on a nomadic journey that examines all of humanity through unbiased eyes.

To travel with a truly open mind is to forget who you were when you started. It is to be constantly born anew, and identify with ways you did not know others could exist. What affirms you most? What would it take to destroy you? Travel as Transformation will give you the wisdom, the inspiration, and the resources to conquer the limitations of your home culture. It’s time to take advantage of everything the world has to offer and become everything you can be.

This was an incredibly powerful book. Filled to the brim with insight and wonder, this book did an excellent job of highlighting the highs and lows of travel. As someone who is interested in travel, it was interesting to see the way the author approached the subject, diving into the differences in cultures, political and societal divides between nations and the impact travel has on you as a person. It allowed me to see what I want for myself in the future and embrace the idea of change.

A book with heart, emotion and a sense of excitement, Travel as Transformation was a fantastic read that will speak to the inner traveler in all of us. A fast yet evenly paced read, author Gregory V. Diehl does an amazing job of showing the paths we take both externally and internally as we step out of our comfort zone and embrace new and unknown adventures. If you are a budding travel enthusiast, be sure to pick up your copies today!

Rating: 10/10

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