THE ZEN OF SOLO TRAVEL is for those of us who are seeking spiritual solutions to real-life problems. In this book, it comes through the healing power of the road.
Michael Jason Sherman takes us right from the drop-off point at LaGuardia Airport where he leaves behind a troubled marriage to find answers about his life in a ten-day sprint across Japan. Facing personal issues about fatherhood, mental illness, career direction and personal identity, we follow Michael down through the subways of Tokyo, the Buddhist Temples of Kamakura, Karoake bars of Sendai and the Zen Rock gardens of Kyoto, as he soaks up every moment of a solo journey to Japan that gets under his skin and awakens his soul.
This book is both a memoir and a meditation of motion. Each chapter is introduced with a passage of spiritual principles for the "solo traveler" - a role we take on when we leave everything behind for a little while, but also as a kind of living metaphor for learning about the emotional journey that we must all take in our lives.
In the book, we follow Michael on a solo to Tokyo. We move through wild and cosmic inner dialogue as he chases the next bullet train towards a personal awakening. With fascinating and often hilarious narrative that come alive like a one-man show, we can connect to our own journey out of our past, coming to make peace with our present, and discovering a deep knowing of the future that is to come as we watch Michael move through Japan. The pace is sometimes manic, other times reflective, but always relatable, honest, authentic and often vulnerable.
THE ZEN OF SOLO TRAVEL is loaded with enlightening philosophy drawn from the worlds of Zen, Aikido, Jewish Mysticism, the hero's journey monomyth and other spiritually based studies. It is a modern text with ancient principles, providing us with insight about how we can revitalize and redeem the most important relationship we will ever have - the one with ourselves.
Whether or not you are ready to travel solo, THE ZEN OF SOLO TRAVEL will awaken your soul.
It is a testament to the integration of learnings from great writers and artists like Jack Kerouac, who took to the road to experience its healing mysticism. In this book, Michael shows us that we all can channel the Kerouac within us, temporarily taking ourselves and all our issues and dilemmas somewhere away from home (or work, or the therapy office or what have you), where we are able to create new and inspired life for a little while.
We learn that there is much more to us than our frustrations and issues. We discover that there are undiscovered parts of ourselves waiting for us out there, and all we have to do is say "Yes!" to the adventure.
This book helps us understand that there is a structure to a spiritual journey, and that by watching one man's solo unfold in a new land, we too can move through to such a trip in a way that brings us to a new identity on the other side. In this way, THE ZEN OF SOLO TRAVEL is as much about who we become when we return from our journey, as it is about what it takes to leave everything behind.
If you are someone who loves to read about psychology and spirituality, who loves travel and the possibility of using travel as a means of personal awakening, who wants to find innovative and inspiring answers to problems that keep us frozen (relationships, work/career, emotional well-being, parenting, making peace with the past), then you will want to take the journey of this book. It will not only bring you hope. It will make you feel alive!
You don't need to fly far, far away to know the energy that comes from just jumping in the car and wandering aimlessly for a little while. The road itself is the medicine that we gives us the energy to move through real change in life and work. This book takes you through one man's journey towards seemingly impossible change, towards a satisfying integration with spirit.
And always remember to keep it moving...