Happiness on the Road and On The Road Of Life
Now that I have your attention, I have a confession to make. This book isn’t actually about shitting in the streets. It’s not about dropping trough in a busy intersection and letting lose. And if you were hoping to learn how to stealthily defecate in public, well you’re out of luck, and I think you might have some deeper issues to attend to.
The purpose of this book is to inspire you to travel and be inspired by travel. It’s about letting the emotional anxieties go and letting things flow. It’s about providing the spiritual fiber to help discover your fears and flush them away. It’s about preparing and transforming yourself, so that, if one day, you have no choice but to shit in the streets, a very plausible predicament if you’re traveling India, you will be empowered to do so.
If you’re like my mother and thinking, “ What a ridiculous, immature, and disgusting metaphor!” well then put this book down now and pick up a book by that self proclaimed Beverly hills guru. But if you’re looking for inspiration that is beautifully blended with just the right amount of toilette humor and personal poo anecdotes from around the world, this is the travel guide for you.
Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is Leif Harum. I am not extraordinary but I’m not quite ordinary either. I am assuredly not without faults, shortfalls, and inconsistencies. I don’t have the answers or know the meaning of life. I only have a perspective, and one that I feel compelled to share.
I come from a pleasant suburban town north of New York City. The scenery is heaven like and the people are well to do and friendly. There is a great long pier that seems to exist for the sole purpose of evening strolls. There are beautiful trees that expand and shrink with the seasons. It is in everyway a suburban paradise, a perfect community, and a place called home.
My family is also wonderful, well off, loving and supportive. I had plenty of toys growing up. There were go carts, scooters, skateboards, army men, board games, and everything else a kid could want. I had a healthy curiosity with poo but it was always limited to the occasional flinging. Other than being called Leaf my whole life, there really wasn’t much to complain about.
Never the less, I did something no sociologist would have predicted.
I ran away from home.
However, I didn’t just run away to the neighbor’s house or to the next state. I ran to Europe, the Middle East and even North Africa. I did it all without a cent to my name. I was 16.
Although you might think it sounds like loads of fun, most of the time, it was not. I went hungry for days. Slept under countless cold down pours. I fell victim to various vicious drugs. I spent weeks in solitude not talking or seeing a single soul. Ultimately, I suffered.
But through my suffering I grew. I was forced to comprehend those truths of travel, and also of life. In the end, I gained a unique perspective that few my age could fathom.
I have since journeyed through over 60 countries around the world over the past 8 years. I have dabbled in Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and budhism. I have discovered unique places, met eccentric and enlightening people, and undertaken life-altering adventures.
Throughout these travels, those same lessons I learned when I was 16 have been confirmed time and time again. They are lessons that have become a part of my being. They accompany me on all my backpacking endeavors. They are lessons that I am confident can benefit others.
I write this book to share my lessons and perspective.
I write to inspire and help allay apprehensions for aspiring world travelers.
I write to help travelers and non-travelers alike make the most of their journey.
I write with the hope of helping backpackers find inner happiness on the road and on the road of life.
Finally, I write to remind myself of these truths so that I do not have to repeat any. So that I can continue to experience, learn, and grow even further.
I am not a studied psychologist or philosopher. All I know derives from my life path, from my experiences, and through the witnessing of the experiences of others. I wish to share with you what I have discovered so that you may take what you like from it. So that you won’t have to suffer to the extent I did. So that you will benefit from my hard learned lessons and avoid the dark obstacles, and ultimately shorten your path to a happier and more confident state of mind.
Each of our paths are different. We all have unique tests placed before us that we must each individually overcome. However, much of our struggle is a shared one. There are certain aspects of life that transcend all cultures, and people. There are salient truths, which are innate to the human condition. They are these truths that I hope to illuminate.
This book is intended for everyone.
It is for the aspiring backpacker who is still apprehensive about embarking on the road. It is for the veteran backpacker who may have lost sight of their purpose.
And it is for everyone else who has ever contemplated the prospects of travel as a medium for change, enlightenment, and happiness.