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TO FIND - The Search for Meaning in Life on The Gringo Trail


The year was 1980. Having recently completed a doctoral degree, J. R. Klein, aka Alex Moreau, is totally burned out. Life is dull, routine, monotonous. On a whim, he sets out with photographer friend Stefan Kale on a trek through Mexico and Central America with a mere four hundred and ninety-five dollars in his pocket. TO FIND is a wild adventure across raw deserts, up into remote mountain villages, out onto pristine islands, and deep into tropical rain forests. Relegated to the most basic forms of transpiration - peasant buses, dilapidated trains, and more often than not using their thumbs to snag a ride - they live a vagabond existence devoid of plans, destinations, and schedules. Above all, TO FIND is an excursion of the soul. It is a kaleidoscope of exhilarating experiences that includes mystical encounters with the lost civilization of the Maya, and a rich cast of characters that flows endlessly across the pages. Klein delivers an unforgettable odessy of self-discovery in the tradition of Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

Two years in Amazon Kindle Top 100 Books in Central American Travel and Adventure Travel!


"(Klein's) vivid mix of real events, bizarre dreams, an magical visions gives his work a special piquancy..." - The US Review of Books - RECOMMENDED

"To Find is indeed a memoir, a telling of a person's life experiences. However, what sets it apart from the deluge of other memoirs that are vying for attention on bookshelves everywhere is J.R. Klein's masterful ability to not merely tell readers what happened to him in the summer of 1980, but to thoroughly engage them with such vivid descriptions of his travels in Mexico and Central America that it hooks readers from the beginning, and takes them on an enjoyable odyssey throughout the book to a simple, yet satisfying end. Readers easily feel as if they're one of Alex Moreau's fellow amigos riding alongside him in sweltering hot buses through deserts and jungles with the ultimate goal of experiencing everything life has to offer, and finding oneself." - Feathered Quill Book Reviews

To a book about a travel experience which turns into a spiritual journey. If I would have read this literary work in a different time, I would have recommended it to travel lovers, but today...after diving into the wonderful remembrances of the author, I can absolutely say that this book is for everybody. During this literary travel, readers can sense the sound of nature, the pace of time, sunrise and sunset, where the protagonist experiences the fight to survive a hurricane or the danger of being shot during the rampage of a civil war...a book of courage and wonders, where human beings, who believe to know, realize that they know nothing, at all. We are all unaware in front of unknown events of life. Often, we are helpless and unarmed! Start your inner journey now, read To Find: The Search For Meaning In Life On The Gringo Trail by J. R. Klein. - Advicesbooks International

"Adventure awaits as readers are treated to an expedition without leaving home. This memoir is gripping and emotional. The cast of characters he creates are down to earth and very relatable. Many who have the urge to travel can do so with this book and never leave home." - InD'tale Magazine

"What I like about this travelogue is the grit it takes to impulsively take off on a journey with little planning and no expectations. As you read, you travel along with the author on his encounters. The descriptions make everything come alive, and you feel you're really there. Klein is clearly on a trek of self-discovery and rejuvenation, and I wondered what his life would have been like if he hadn't taken this trip. In a way, this trip was a variety of things for him--a cap on his life goals, a doorway to personal awakenings, and a treasure chest full of experiences he could carry with him for the rest of his life. Klein is more than a mere traveler. He seems to be a born writer who is able to paint living postcard memories for you to enjoy." - Reader Views

“If you've ever been through the Yucatan or even if you’re planning a trip down the gringo trail you should put this on your list of must reads. Yep, it happened years ago but I can tell you it is still an adventure today…Whether you go or not you'll certainly feel like you did by reading the Gringo Trail. Thanks again Mr. Klein for allowing us to travel vicariously through your book.” – Les French’s Reviews

“To Find is one of the finest real-life adventure stories in print. It tells the story of Klein, aka Alex Moreau, and his travels through Mexico and Central America in the early 1980s. He traveled when most of the coastal islands, from the tip of the Yucatan down to Belize, were not yet inhabited, and life there had not yet been consumed by commercialism. Along with his friend Stefan Kale, their long, exhausting trek made them wiser. Not only from encountering panoramic vistas, remote mountain villages, enchanting islands, and obscure rainforests, but because it became a journey with spiritual and philosophical values....This odyssey of self-discovery reminds me of The Motorcycle Diaries….” – Readers’ Favorite

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Writing the manuscript of To Find in Del Mar, California in 1980. Yep, that's a Smith-Corona manual type-writer. The manuscript sat on  the shelf above my desk since then, until I published it in 2019.

Where to Buy books by J. R. Klein (click on the image)

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