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


The year was 1980. I had just completed a doctoral degree at Johns Hopkins University. I was burned out. Life had become dull, routine, monotonous. With a mere four hundred and ninety-five dollars in my pocket, I set out with photographer friend, Stefan Kale, on a trek through Mexico and Central America. TO FIND is the story of an 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 our thumbs to snag a ride - we lived an 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 include mystical encounters with the lost civilization of the Maya, a deadly tropical hurricane…and much more.

Four Months on Amazon's Top 100 Books in Categories of 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

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Writing the manuscript of To Find in Del Mar, California in the 1980. Yes, that's a Smith-Corona manual typewriter. 

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