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Life is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel
 
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Life is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel [Kindle Edition]

Judie Fein

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Review

One famous travel writer, Bruce Chatwin, one asked another, Paul Theroux, what he thought about his work. As recounted in Theroux’s collection of travel pieces, Fresh Air Fiend, Theroux’s major complaint was that Chatwin “never explained the difficulties and in-betweens of travel—where he slept, what he ate, what kind of shoes he wore.” In LIFE IS A TRIP: The Transformative Magic of Travel, Santa-Fe based travel writer Judith Fein describes many such in-betweens. For her, the most mundane moments are often turning points, when a trip can turn into a catharsis, where plans are thrown out and intuition takes over. Fein loves to take herself off the beaten path and then wait to see what happens. Her collection of essays is not so much about an intrepid traveler as a spiritual searcher, someone willing to travel to the ends of the Earth to find answers.

Michael Wade Simpson, The New Mexican

Life is a Trip, Judith Fein's globetrotting adventures remind us that we travel to be changed, in big ways and small. This book is immensely readable, steeped in a spirit of connecting with place, with each other, and with our inner selves."

--Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Travel

From irreverence, reverence. That's the magic of Judith Fein's writing. Her unconventional view of the world and her grand sense of curiosity open doors to new adventures and understanding. allowing us to look deeply in the differences that keep the word fascinating and the similarities that keep us unified. "Life is a Trip is a journal of the heart, soul and mind and we are much the better for it."

Catharine M. Hamm, travel editor, Los Angeles Times.

Delightful, vulnerable and at times painful are the scenes revealed in this fantastic volume. She catches the tender details of human interactions and pursuit of spirituality with a theme replete with grace for the subjects. Her writing inspires trust and those who want both heart and mind inspired will not be left wanting. A wonderful read."

Shannon Stowell, President, Adventure Travel Trade Association

Product Description

Collection of essays about travel that transforms you in spiritual ways.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2527 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Spirituality and Health (Aug. 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XVQ6NM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm With You All The Way! Aug. 25 2010
By Marla Finn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading Judith Fein's new book, "Life Is A Trip," and I absolutely loved every word of it! With my crazy scheudule, as a mom and businesswoman, I have almost no time to sit down and read for my own pleasure. It was so great to be able to grab this book, whenever I had a free moment, and dive into one of Ms Fein's exotically exciting tales. She's a wonderful storyteller, who opens her heart and soul to every person she meets in her travels.

And her writing is not only inspirational, it's absolutely hilarious! The situations she gets herself into, and the wild things she ends up doing as a result, had me laughing out loud from the first paragraph of her introduction. She makes us feel like we're on each journey with her, experiencing the unusual, the unique, the unheard of, the impossible. Each place she visits translates to her readers as astoundingly educational, immensely inspiring, shockingly honest, and emotionally uplifting. Each took me to places I've never been, and probably will never get the priveledge of visiting in my lifetime.

I'm sending this book to everyone I know who is in need of positive change, healing, love, inspiration, or just plain fun. The life lessons that come through Ms Fein's amazing adventures are eye-opening, mind-expanding frolics that should appeal to anyone who loves people, life, travel and just plain existance on our planet. Judith shows us how to love and appreciate everyone and everything around us. Don't miss this book. It's a delight from beginning to end, and I can't wait for her next one!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Reading Sept. 15 2010
By Judith M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let me begin by saying I don't usually read travel books. But this one is very appealing. First, it is composed of short meaningful travel stories which means you can pick it and put it down without sacrificing your reading pleasure. Each story is unique and and captures the essence of the author's unusual approach to travel. Fein is open to whatever comes her way and seeks out interesting people and experiences. She is unafraid to venture into strange and unknown territory, wherever a story can be found, and to approach individuals who can offer her wisdom, a special window into an unusual culture or some life lesson. The presentation frequently ends with a lesson learned for enhancing her life and the reader's. JM
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like hearing it from a friend... a slightly crazy friend! Sept. 11 2010
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I simply devoured this book. Judith's stories from her travels are both touching and hilarious. Only she will find herself in situations no one could possibly expect or imagine. Also, she writes like she's talking to you directly. Her storytelling is so personable and funny, you'll feel you know exactly who Judith Fein is by the end of the book if not sooner...and she'll be your best friend. Paul Ross's photos are fantastic!

More, please!!!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel souvenir worth keeping Jan. 28 2011
By Zinta Aistars - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The reasons why we who are travelers do so are probably as varied as we are. Just as the places to which we travel and the ways in which we travel can differ widely, no doubt, so do the resulting experiences. I, too, am a traveler, and for me, the travel experience is always transformative. I have never gone on a journey that doesn't simultaneously become an inner journey. As I cross physical terrain, so do I cross internal, that is, spiritual terrain in some way at the same time. I never come home the same person as when I left.

For this reason, I was fascinated to read Judith Fein's Life is a Trip. The title alone clued me in to our similar approach to travel. I suspected these 14 stories would tell of the author's trip, of course, but also how that trip changed her as a person.

One can travel in luxury, and plan far ahead and for most all possible and imaginable consequences. Travel agents can secure our accomodations, buy our tickets, insure our comfort, arrange most every moment of our traveling days ... if we so choose. Or, we can travel wildly, with open mind and heart, ready to see whatever we can see and embrace whatever comes with open arms. This would be Judith Fein.

Fein is curious. She "lives to leave," she says, and never does research on a place beforehand. The occasional discomfort of travel does not intimidate her; in fact, she seems to seek it out. These travel stories take her to North Vietnam, Turkey, Guatemala, New Zealand, Istanbul, Nova Scotia, Micronesia, Mexico, Isreal, Spain, Newfoundland and San Diego. She travels not just to see place, but to delve deeply into local culture, acquaint herself with the residents, and involves herself in their lives as much as possible. A favorite thing to do is to get herself invited to weddings and funerals, since these are occasions that she feels show her best what a culture is all about.

"The difference between being a tourist and a traveler is that a traveler is open to unplanned experience and doesn't have her nose stuck in a guidebook, tracking down famous sites. She ventures out from behind glass windows (in hotels and touring buses) and meets people. She connects. The difference between a traveler and a travel journalist is that the latter is always searching for stories. But it occurred to me that any traveler can travel like a journalist--looking for cues and clues, diving into new cultures, and coming home with great stories and new ways of responding to life."

Being a spiritual seeker, Fein makes a point of connecting with healers, wise and holy persons, those who seem to have some deeper connection than most to enlightenment. If not in person, she finds the experience that is more intense than the every day. So, in one story, she attends a funeral in Micronesia, where she is stunned to witness one person after another speaking about the deceased not in flowery eulogy, selecting only positive memories, and if none are available, creating them--but quite the opposite. Funeral attendees express ill feelings, even anger, hurt caused them by the deceased. Intrigued, she pays close attention so as to learn the reasons.

"At first I was shocked. Can't they just leave the dead in peace? I wondered. But I said nothing, sitting and listening to the wailing and the talk. And the more I thought about it, the more I began to understand. During a Mog Mog funeral, people are expected to air all of their feelings about the deceased person publicly, so the negative emotions don't fester. The bad feelings are expressed, rather than repressed, and then they are buried along with the body. At a funeral, people unleash their true feelings, but speaking ill of the deceased outside of this context is taboo. And it is forbidden to bad-mouth the dead person once he is lying in his final resting place." (pg. 28)

What a wonderful discovery! In this alone is summed up so much of the value of travel outside of our home territory. Suddenly, we see new and different ways to cope with global experiences. Whereas in our American culture, good people tend to have the most well attended funerals, one would guess that among the Mog Mog, those who have done most evil in their lives might have the most crowded funerals, as one after another get bad feelings off their chests. Such funerals may even be motive to live better lives, it seems, as who would want a parade of spitting and fuming funeral attendees. Either way, the day ends with all ill feelings buried. There is something to learn here ...

In another story, Fein travels to a Mexican prison. She looks again beyond the surface, looking for the heart of the matter. Here, too, she learns something of value that could be shared with other cultures.

"Behind every criminal face is a human who was once a bouncing baby, gurgling with glee, and aching to be loved. Then, something happened. Each story is different, provocative, sad, and disturbing. Needs were denied or not met, the environment was violent or cruel or indifferent, and feelings with no healthy outlets were expressed in unspeakable acts ... What interests me is getting a glimpse into a criminal's heart and finding a place, however tiny, where there is authentic feeling and sensitivity. To my mind, this is where hope for healing, rehabilitation, and redemption lie." (pg.46)

As any traveler sooner or later learns, understanding--of oneself and others, of persons and place--comes through stories. Fein goes deep into place to find the people, and goes deep among the people to find the story. She is willing to deal with whatever comes along her way in order to dig out that story. From that story, then, comes her own transformation. Or magic, if you wish. And from her sharing these stories in Life is a Trip comes connection with readers, letting the stories ripple out among all to spread that magic.

Adding visual delight to fine stories are the black and white photographs taken by photojournalist Paul Ross, who is Fein's husband and frequent travel companion. His photography doesn't just illustrate Fein's stories. These photos add another dimension to the reading experience.

Judith Fein is a longtime columnist for Spirituality & Health magazine and a contributor to nearly 100 other publications over her writing career, in addition to acclaimed Hollywood screenplays.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read again and again Sept. 6 2010
By jujube - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Delightful, funny and honest. Judith Fein took me by the hand with the first line of the introduction and didn't let go until the last line of her acknowledgements. The fourteen stories are so down-to-earth and real that I felt I was "THERE"; feeling her apprehension when Ana, the curandera, gave her a solo healing, and her chagrin at the reaction of the Samaritan High Priest when she told him she had eaten camel. Her "back-peddling" out of that one was hilarious. I almost always read the thanks and dedication to any book before I read any of the contents. Fein's tribute to her husband, Paul Ross, grabbed me and I knew I'd found a great book.
I recommend this read to anyone who wants to be THERE, where ever they travel. Fein tells us how.

Popular Highlights

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&quote;
The difference between being a tourist and a traveler is that a traveler is open to unplanned experience and doesnt have her nose stuck in a guidebook, tracking down famous sites. She ventures out from behind glass windows (in hotels and touring buses) and meets people. She connects. &quote;
Highlighted by 11 Kindle users
&quote;
The difference between a traveler and a travel journalist is that the latter is always searching for stories. But it occurred to me that any traveler can travel like a journalistlooking for cues and clues, diving into new cultures, and coming home with great stories and new ways of responding to life. &quote;
Highlighted by 9 Kindle users
&quote;
I read epicurious, he said, and one sentence really struck me. I made it my own. It was: Why worry about death? When you are alive, it doesnt come. When it comes, you arent conscious. So why worry about it? &quote;
Highlighted by 9 Kindle users

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