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‘Wandering Jew’ takes gay travel to new heights

New travel book, ‘Seriously… What Am I Doing Here,’ by gay gadabout Ken Schneck, provides ‘perfect escapism to adventure for stay-at-home non-adventurers.’

Now more than ever, we all need a little escapism to gain perspective on our world and our lives. Realistic escapism is not buying a villa in Italy and pretending to be Diane Lane under the setting Tuscan sun.

Sometimes it’s taking two weeks to lose yourself in the Colorado Rockies when you’ve never been camping, and the idea of digging a hole for a restroom feels more metaphorical than actual.

Enter Seriously…What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew, due out next month from 1984 Publishing by Ken Schneck. In just two weeks of pre-sale, Seriously… sits at No. 1 in both the Gay Biography and Gay & Lesbian Travel sections on Amazon.

Ken_SchneckSchneck’s literal and figurative journeys in this travelogue present situations that he hopes everyone can relate to, especially the 35,000 weekly listeners of his radio show This Show is So Gay and readers of his viral Huffington Post column. For those who think the show sounds particularly familiar, it has even featured young gay Atlanta rapper J. Tyler among its many guests.

All the same, Schneck takes full responsibility if there’s a surge of inexperienced campers rushing to the Rockies the way day hikers flocked to the Pacific Crest Trail to Wild their way to personal fulfillment.

An academic gay Jew who had never been an adventurer, in Seriously…, he finds himself stumbling twice into rural Uganda signing up for a 425-mile bike ride deep in the backwoods of the aforementioned Colorado Rocky Mountains, and much more.

“There’s a dearth of gay writers out there who actually have focus, can write as opposed to tweeting or just relaying a salacious tale, and with supreme respect to David Sedaris, are under 60. Or under 50. Or even under 40,” Schneck says.

“I tried to write a book that is witty without being bitchy, intelligent without being academic, meaningful without being self-help-y¨ and entertaining without being fluff.”

His occasionally heartbreaking, often insightful, and reliably witty travelogue has at its core our never-ending search for meaning, our desperate need to grasp that elusive sense of place and community, and how we often fail to succeed — sometimes hilariously so — but keep right on trying.

“I could not be more excited for people to get their hands on the pages as I really do think they represent something quite different than what is out there on the market,” Schneck tells David Atlanta. “It is a well-written, hilarious and heartbreaking set of gay travel adventures. I think your readers would devour the content.”

seriously_ken_schneckFurther expanding on the insights found in Seriously…, Schneck proves a font of answers to questions that gays and straights, Jews and Gentiles, and everyone else will find entertaining and enlightening:

  • Does the geographic cure actually works and how this gay Jew used saying “yes” to the unfamiliar to answer that universal question of “Seriously…What Am I Doing Here?”
  • How can folks motivate themselves to get back up after they’ve fallen down?
  • What can we gain from throwing ourselves into adventure?
  • How can we all benefit from escapism right now?
  • So how does one not just cope with our current political climate, but use our dissatisfaction as motivation to affect change?

Besides being the producer-host of the radio show-podcast This Show is So Gay, Schneck is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Leadership in Higher Education Program at Baldwin Wallace University, where he teaches courses on anti-racism, ethical leadership, and how individuals can work with communities to create a more engaged and just world. Stalkers can find him telling stories in and around Cleveland.

Visit KenSchneck.com and ThisShowIsSoGay.com, as well as his Huffington Post column. Seriously…What Am I Doing Here? can be preordered at 1984Publishing.com and found after May 23 wherever books are sold.

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