Travel Tales of Enlightenment by Lyn Fuchs
This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lyn Fuchs, world traveler and author of Sacred Ground & Holy Water. I found his travel memoir to be passionate, insightful, and in places, laugh out loud funny. It’s a book suitable for anyone with a sense of adventure and an appreciation for sleeping under the stars. The stories, all personal, some peppered with spice, read like letters from a best friend. It’s a book to keep around … whenever wanderlust strikes.
Here’s the interview:
Where in the world is Lyn Fuchs right now?
Right now, I´m wandering around doing some research for my second book: Fresh Wind & Strange Fire. Otherwise, I’m professor of communication at the University of Papaloapan in the jungle lowlands of Southern Mexico.
What was your inspiration for writing Sacred Ground & Holy Water?
My writing habit began when heavy snow sealed me for weeks into a log cabin, amidst the thick timber of Canada’s craggy mountains. Life was forever changed. With nothing to do but observe minute details and reflect upon them, I spent silent solitary hours grasping for exact words to convey my experience to others, for when that connection would be restored. Meditations transformed into magazine articles. From eye to mind to pen, the journeys of my life were distilled into the stories that now make up my first book, to the very last one written on an isolated Mexican ranch under a fiery sunset and the influence of tequila. My spirit is within the pages too. If you aren’t currently holed up at a snowy cabin or a sunny ranch but wish you were, I hope you’ll let this work take you there.
You describe the book as “Travel Tales of Enlightenment.” Which was your favorite place to visit?
My favorite place is always wherever I’m going next. My name is Lyn, but I should be called Lyndiana Jones. I’ve survived enraged grizzlies, erupting volcanoes, Japanese sword fights and giant squid tentacles. I’ve been entrapped by FBI agents and held at gunpoint by renegade soldiers. I’ve sung with Bulgaria’s bluesmaster Vasko the Patch and met with Mexico’s Zapatista Army commander Marcos. I’ve been thrown out of forbidden temples in southern India and passed out in sweat lodges off the Alaskan coast. My navel has been inhabited by beetles and my genitals have been cursed by eunuchs. I’ve shared coffee with presidents, beer with pirates and goat guts with polygamists. I’ve contracted malaria, typhoid, salmonella and lovesickness around the world. I’ve written about all these adventures in my new book and I’m excited to share it.
What was the most enlightening? What did you discover?
Travel opens the eyes. For me, the needed enlightenment was to see how absolutely beautiful the world is in its natural state, so that I would also be able to accept the harsh primal realities that operate in much of this world. Many sweet people have good intentions but don’t have the guts to face, much less address, some global realities. Even glowing reviews of my book have recoiled at my use of politically-incorrect language. While we claim to value other cultural perspectives, we rarely acknowledge the fact that, in many places, people are justifiably given de-sensitivity training, so they stand a chance of surviving a brutal existence. I sometimes write from places where Rosa Parks couldn’t even buy a ticket to sit on the back of the bus, yet when you sound the alarm that black children are being enslaved or retarded children are being raped, some people, safely ensconced in their breakfast nooks, are more bothered by your vocabulary than such injustice. This travel book ain’t no summer in Tuscany. It invites readers to think outside the cultural box. For me, that’s enlightenment.
How did you develop your sense of adventure?
My father was a history teacher who took us on long summer driving vacations. I’ve tried to forget the station wagon and the funny-smell-motels-from-hell, but I’ll never forget the grandeur of the landscape or my dad’s stories that made local history better than fiction. I was also fearless of new experiences, which made me a regular at the hospital emergency room.
What is the message you hope to leave with your readers?
Wherever you go in this world, most people either believe in God, believe they are God, or spend a lot of money on therapy. Don’t wander without a compass, and a compass requires a point of reference beyond yourself.
As a professor of communication at the University of Papaloapan in Mexico, what advice do you give students and aspiring authors?
Too many authors write to escape the world instead of to fully embrace the world. First, get a life. Then, write about life.
What’s next for you as an author?
The upcoming sequel to Sacred Ground & Holy Water is called Fresh Wind & Strange Fire. You’ll have to read it to believe it.
For more on Lyn Fuchs and his adventures:
Sacred Ground & Holy Water is available in Kindle and print editions on Amazon.com. Hardcover and paperback editions are available through Baker and Taylor or the Ingram catalog. Books can also be ordered through coffeetownpress.com. Other ebook versions will be sold on Smashwords. Readers can follow Lyn’s blog at http://lynfuchs.blogspot.com.
- Paperback: 166 pages
- Publisher: Coffeetown Press (December 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1603810870