My New Book, Spin the World Around, is available now on Amazon
At the end of my trip around the world through 24 countries, I found myself with a 750,000-word draft “travel book.” It was gargantuan. After months of editing, I realized I needed to split it into two books, and of course, continue editing. The first book was a guide for someone to travel deeply and cheaply entitled How to Spin the World Around. Now, I present a nonfiction narrative entitled Spin the World Around, in which the protagonist (me) essentially discovers the methodology of travel later outlined in the first book.
The experience of writing a memoir has been a time-consuming process, and it taught me about how we can play with time. Just the other day, I was cleaning out my garage and I found a journal in a filing cabinet. I opened it to an entry I had written when I was in high school, and it was about the desire to travel the world for adventure. “I’m not afraid of death,” was one of the lines written in the journal entry. I hadn’t read this entry probably in decades, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the same line written in my high school journal was later said during a key moment by a person I met years later in this book I’m about to release – about my world travel adventure. Be careful what you wish for; I’m glad that’s behind me. Then, I realize that this book I’m about to release actually ended about 3 years ago, and the protagonist was not only growing and changing over the course of the book, but once the book ended, I continued to grow and and change. I realize and accept that I am no longer the person I was in this book, just as a river is ever-changing and never the same moment to moment. That said, capturing the river in a given moment with a photograph or a story is a worthwhile creative endeavor. Learning to look back at our past selves with compassion is also worth it.
A certain amount of time was needed between the completion of the events and the manifesting of storyline omniscience. This allowed me to write a nonfiction narrative instead of just regurgitate a slew of chronological journal entries. Editing became key, as well as generating a story arc and developing a writing style. I worked with several editors and learned something from each of them. Before I even split to two books, I was encouraged to focus on action-based parts from the first editor. “More Action! Action! Action!” she’d write in the margins. The second editor was actually a writer who I paid up front through a proxy, but they never got back to me after they got paid. One guy offered to edit, but after reading the first chapter, he claimed to already know how it ended, so I knew I was in for another re-write. The editor I ended up crediting on the title page spent the most time with me and made the most impact on the writing style. The entire process helped make me a better writer… and editor. The good editors would generate writing assignments for more writing to be further edited. This process could go on for infinity, but eventually I needed to let it go. I encourage everyone to write their own memoir, if only to learn about oneself through creating it and become a better writer (and editor). In the mean time, I hope you enjoy my story and find my message valuable.
With that, I present to you – Spin the World Around. Available now.
I've had my kundalini awakened by a Siddha Yogi in India, visited ma ayahuasca with shamans, participated in white tantric yoga, become certified in reikki and breathwork, worked with the akashic records, practiced guided and silent meditation for years, experienced lucid dreaming and out of body experiences, and even once spent a night in jail, but nothing could quite prepare me for my recent 10-day vipassana seminar near Dallas, Texas hosted by dhamma.org.
I have to say first-hand that it was a life-changing experience, and in great alignment with my philosophical beliefs. The retreat taught me a new way of meditating that has made it a great pleasure to meditate for long periods of time while sitting still; witnessing sensations arise and pass with objective equanimity has also led me to approach the world in a different way.
Since being back (it's been two weeks as I write this), I've been meditating twice a day, averaging at least 90 minutes of meditation per day, and in those times, really getting to know my body, mind, and senses, inside and out. This practice is one that I can see carrying on for a long time because it is so empowering, and it allows me to journey within myself for the answers by exploring sensations arising from within. As I continue to meditate daily, I can literally feel physical healing, and I am more able to connect with others to "be there" with an few extra moments to listen before letting my thoughts and sensations lead me to a hasty response. I've also totally lost interest in facebook debates, politics, and other argumentative divisive activities disguised as worthy philosophical discussion. In fact, reading some of my older posts on this site yesterday, I can see a growth in my thought processes. Certain things, which used to sometimes consume me, have just become irrelevant, and I don't even need to try to explain anymore. "Change starts from within" has a more genuine meaning to me now. I see a vibration shift, and I can see how this helps me focus on giving more time to positive contributions. The work continues, but it's been a great start.
Here is a blog I wrote about the retreat on my Guided Meditation Treks site with more details. I highly recommend that ANYONE gather the motivation, strength, and courage to take a 10-day retreat with Goenka. It will change your life... actually YOU will change your life! - READ MORE
I originally published this article with Austin Daze back in 2013, but I've been seeing the images disappear on my original article, so I wanted to reprint the article here for eternity! Rumor has it, Jamiroquai is about to release a new album in 2016. This month marks the 3-year anniversary of their Latin America tour. Back in February of 2013, Jamiroquai played a show in Monterrey, Mexico. Local Austinites took a trip to give you this report:
Usually, when I travel, the first thing that people say when I tell them where I’m going is, “Wow, that’s going to be awesome!” When I said we were going to Mexico to see Jamiroquai, the response was, “Be careful.”
Knowing that attitude is everything, my buddy JB and I figured embracing every moment with positive intentions and no fear would result in a great trip, and we’d be totally safe the entire time. With that, we drove to Laredo and ditched JB's car at Wal-Mart so we could take a cab to the bus station. By the border in downtown Laredo, bus companies abound, and each bus leaves at a different time. We meandered for 15 minutes, missing each by 5 minutes until we found one. We boarded it 3-hours direct to Monterrey. Though we saw a beater of a bus at the border that was worse, Greyhound was definitely not the nicest bus option. Ours was a luxury coach with only 2 other passengers, and the trip was only $25 each.
After traveling the world for a year, living the life of a movie character, averaging under $100 for each of my flights, and living for free in the homes of locals through 24 countries, I wrote a "How To" book to teach everyone how they too can see the world on a shoestring budget while having rich experiences at the same time. This small book is an easy read, and it is loaded full of all the latest and greatest web sites, social networks, and travel apps to make your smartphone a personal travel agent. It also goes in depth about mindfulness strategies to help you go deeper on your next trip. Check out the press release from Spin the World Around. Or, just go straight to Amazon.com and get yourself a copy. Guaranteed you will save more money in a single transaction during your travels than you spend on this book.
The stage is set for some terrific jazz festivals in the next few months! Which will have you grabbing your saxophone and dancing in the streets? I know this article gets me to want to start jamming on mine! Holiday Lettings picks some of the best from New Orleans to Nice.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, USA
24 April – 3 May
Every day is a jazz festival in New Orleans, but it’s not often that you get to catch Tony Bennett and Cassandra Wilson, two of the highlights scheduled for 2015’s event. This is also a great opportunity to discover the local culture, whether you dig into alligator pie or watch Cajun musicians crafting accordions.
There’s music everywhere in the city 365 days a year, and drifting around Frenchmen Street to spot street performers is great fun. While you're at it, join a ghost and vampire tour to see another side of this city’s unique spirit. Of course, if you’re into New Orleans’ elaborate parades, you’ll appreciate the extravaganza at Mardi Gras World.
This is the first of a series of travel blog posts I'll be hosting in partnership with a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, one of the Internet's greatest travel sites. Let us take you away! As a company out of the UK, please excuse the British spelling, but if you hear the English accent in your mind's voice, it's all the better! Tired of tinsel and turkey? Fancy a Rudolph-free zone? Join Holiday Lettings in some alternative holiday destinations, from Istanbul to The Bahamas.
Why dream of a white Christmas when you can bask on a beach with sand as white as alpine snow? In the Maldives the sapphire skies meld beautifully with the azure ocean waves and the palm trees sway gently on the shore. Just sit back with a coconut cocktail and watch a mesmerising sunset turn both sky and sea a gorgeous golden hue.
If you can drag yourself off the beach, dive into the warm water to see the neon-coloured fish and coral reefs. Feel the breeze in your hair as you try your hand at surfing or sailing. Then fall hook, line and sinker for night fishing (and the taste of your own barbecued fish).
I took a trip to London this past October for a conference called Tech Crunch. It was with my good friend, Zed, who had triggered me to take my journey around the world last year. At this conference, we presented a new musical technology and met some interesting people! Here's the full story!
...said the literary agent. Since committing myself to releasing a wanderlust guide about a trip through 24 countries on the cheap, I've been making my way though the system in place to maximize the experience. I went to the Writers' League of Texas conference last month and spoke with some agents with an intention to use a traditional publisher. Until book stores and traditional distribution are obsolete, there's something to be said about the format. Maybe it's like the record album, but I still love holding a former tree and reading from it.
So I'm focusing on this new entity called "Spin the World Around." It is the name of the memoir, but it's also a way of living.
What keeps the planet spinning? The force from the beginning. ~Daft Punk
All esoterics aside, I took some really cool pictures along the way, and I thought that sharing them would be a nice platform to illustrate the manifestation. My plan is to post a single high-res photograph each day until the book is released. With so many photos, I should have a platform by then. Here are the social network icons, without the names... Dig it!
Ok, well, so here's what i learned at the conference:
1. Twitter: you should be posting 4x per day and only 20% of your posts are about you.
2. Facebook: sadly, it helps to pay them to promote you
For the photo posting idea, here's a list (and my accounts for Spin the World Around):
1. Flikr lets you share high-resolution photos
2. Pintrest: photos pushed from Fliker whose locations can be added to a map
3. tumblr: similar to Flikr, but maybe not as high-res
4. instagram: has additional effects and a forced resolution, so postings are a separate work of art that can be re-posted to Flikr as such
5. imgr: for memes and funny pictures
6. Reddit to re-post photos
It's been about a year and a half since my adventure in Costa Rica with a Columbian Shaman and Ayahuasca. Once in a while, I get people contacting me on Facebook asking for advice for their upcoming journey. Here's my story.
Copyright (c) 2015 Russell Eric Dobda