Mutiny! Bounty! Into The Wild! Kalahari! The Great Escapes!

Welcome To Paradise!

Paradise. Doesn’t it look perfect? Don’t you dream about getting away from it all, leaving behind all of your cares and worries, and just enjoying an idyllic existence?

Let’s Play Dress Up!

Or what about traveling to exotic places and hanging out with Cosplay girls, like I did in Tokyo? They are living out a dream life, dressing up and playing, without a care in the world….


Got Wanderlust?

I think we all get it. Well, these Authors tell stories about people who also had it, decided to get away from the world…with various degrees of success…



Serpent In Paradise by Dia Birkett – published in 1998

This is the amazing story of the Author’s move to paradise – Pitcairn Island, the real-life location for “Mutiny On The Bounty.” But what she found was FAR FROM PARADISE….

From the Author’s website: “I was sitting in the darkened cinema at the Elephant and Castle, central London, watching the film The Bounty, starring Anthony Hopkins as Captain William Bligh and Mel Gibson as mutineer Fletcher Christian. It was drizzling outside; my mood was as dreary. The story of youthful rebellion unfolded before me on the screen. Fletcher Christian led his cast of mutineers against the authoritarian Captain Bligh, casting him over the side of the ship. Ten months later, Christian and his mutinous crew, together with a handful of Tahitian men and, most importantly, women, landed on Pitcairn Island to found a new Utopia.

As the credits for the film rolled, the words came up on screen, ‘ . . . his descendants live on Pitcairn Island to this day.’ When I emerged into the dark street and it was still drizzling, I resolved to leave for Pitcairn Island.”

“Pitcairn has no airstrip, and the only way to reach it is to hitch a lift on a cargo vessel working the route from Panama Canal across the South Pacific. It took two years of planning and persuasion to eventually land on this uttermost end of the earth. And what I found was not a living Paradise, but an outcrop of Hell. Serpent in Paradise is the story of that slow revelation.”

Birkett’s story is an amazing adventure – and a tropubling look at paradise – one that shuns outsiders, and has some very dark secrets…after the book was published, half the men of the island were convicted of sexual abuse against children. Mayor Steve Christian was found guilty of five counts of rape against minors. Vanity Fair had a chilling article about this, and Birkett has written about it as well…this is a terrific memoir.


Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer – published in 1996

After graduating from Emory University in Atlanta in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska, where he went to live in the wilderness. Four months later, he turned up dead. His diary, letters and two notes found at a remote campsite tell of his desperate effort to survive, apparently stranded by an injury and slowly starving.

He lived in an abandoned bus, where all of his effects were found.

Krakauer, a contributing editor to Outside and Men’s Journal, retraces McCandless’s ill-fated antagonism toward his father, Walt, an eminent aerospace engineer. Krakauer also draws parallels to his own reckless youthful exploit in 1977 when he climbed Devils Thumb, a mountain on the Alaska-British Columbia border, partly as a symbolic act of rebellion against his autocratic father.

Although this book was a best seller, many may know it because in 2007, Sean Penn directed a film about it…great book and movie, and a sad story of a lost soul looking to escape…here are Penn and Krakauer at the bus location in the wild…


Cry Of The Kalahari by Mark James Owens and Cordelia Dykes Owens – published in 1992

This is the story of the Owens’ travel and life in the Kalahari Desert. Here they met and studied unique animals and were confronted with danger from drought, fire, storms, and the animals they loved. TI loved this book when I first read it, a great adventure with strong environmental overtones.

American zoologists Mark and Delia Owens work as conservationists . Delia Owens, Ph.D., B.S., and Mark Owens M.Ed., B.S., have conducted research and conservation projects on endangered species in Africa for 23 years. Shortly after they married, they auctioned everything they owned, and with $6,000, one-way tickets and back-packs, they headed to “the Dark Continent.”

Beginning in 1974, Delia and Mark worked for seven years in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve of Botswana studying brown hyenas and black maned lions where they made landmark discoveries regarding both species. For the first seven years they lived in tents in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Desert.

There they studied black-maned lions and elusive brown hyenas in an area so remote that the animals had never before seen humans. Cry of the Kalahari, their best-selling book, is a gripping and vivid account of their research and adventures.


Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan – by Jake Adelstein Publication Date: October 2009

From the only American journalist ever to have been admitted to the insular Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club: a unique, firsthand, revelatory look at Japanese culture from the underbelly up.

At nineteen, Jake Adelstein went to Japan in search of peace and tranquility. What he got was a life of crime . . . crime reporting, that is, at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For twelve years of eighty-hour workweeks, he covered the seedy side of Japan, where extortion, murder, human trafficking, and corruption are as familiar as ramen noodles and sake.

But when his final scoop brought him face to face with Japan’s most infamous yakuza boss—and the threat of death for him and his family—Adelstein decided to step down . . . momentarily. Then, he fought back.

This is a great look at the real world behind the lights…for example, this is an adults only store in Tokyo’s Kabuki-Cho district…I took this picture while filming there…and yes, we were approved for filming by the Yakusa.

In Tokyo Vice, Adelstein tells the riveting, often humorous tale of his journey from an inexperienced cub reporter—who made rookie mistakes like getting into a martial-arts battle with a senior editor—to a daring, investigative journalist with a price on his head. With its vivid, visceral descriptions of crime in Japan and an exploration of the world of modern-day yakuza that even few Japanese ever see, Tokyo Vice is a fascination, and an education, from first to last.

Let me know what you think!



Categories: Awards, Books / Media, documentary films, Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Tokyo!, Travel, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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  1. The Great Escape! World’s Greatest Adventure Books! « Spinning Orbit

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