Traveling the World with Norm Part 2

If you are new to this series, Author Norm Schriever has been dropping in to thehouseoftrue for a Q&A Series on his upcoming book Pushups in the Prayer Room. Norm backpacked around the world for a year and wrote a book about his reflections on his experiences.

As I read Norm’s words and lived his experiences through them, I was shocked at some points he didn’t turn around and head home. Without giving too much a way and spoiling your experience with it, there was one point when he was in a taxi and the ride turned out to be such a nerve bending experience that he really did not know what the outcome would be. Right then and there, I would of packed it in, but not Norm. His real life experiences make this a book that you cannot put down.

From the Author & Publisher

In the spring of 1999, Norm Schriever leaves his old life behind and backpacks around the world for a year, not returning to the US until the spring of 2000.  Throughout his journeys he touches down in more than 20 countries in 6 continents, spanning 70,000 miles total, or the equivalent of almost three times around the equator.

There is never a dull moment on this wild and irreverent adventure, whether Norm is evading armed carjackers in a high-speed chase in the barrios of Venezuela, exploring ancient wonders of the world like the pyramids, the Great Wall, and Machu Picchu, almost landing in a Bolivian jail for cocaine trafficking, or witnessing the holiest sites on earth in Jerusalem.  Along the way, Norm encounters a broad spectrum of human existence and experiences a blossoming of consciousness and spiritual growth that he never anticipated.

Q & A: Series 2 Keeping Your Dream 

When you got the adrenaline rush and just did it… did you keep the momentum up and not stop? You didn’t exactly travel “Bentley style”. Was there ever a point that you thought you heard yourself incorrectly?

That sense of adventure, the “chaos and seduction of perpetual motion” or “elegant entropy” of the Third World, as I call it in the book, is very addicting.  It’s not about adrenaline – it’s about being a part of everything around you; having a humble connection with millions of other human beings, who are all in the “beautiful struggle” of life the same as we are.  The more I saw the more I realized there was so much more to see, and my desire to touch those places grew at a fevered pace.  I start the book with the quote “The bigger the searchlight the larger the circumference of the unknown,” and that’s exactly what that means.  So I craved new, alien experiences more and more as I traveled instead of that wanderlust being diminished. But there were many times I’d want a little civilization break – a nice hotel with a nice pool, a comfy bed, AC, a good taxi instead of the local chicken bus, and any time there was an American restaurant, like TGIFridays (which are surprisingly present all over the world) I would get a huge salad and an ice cream sundae.  I think I needed those breaks physically but also mentally, but never questioned what I was doing or think about stopping – I wanted more.  Mostly I was just an f’ing road warrior ready to go into battle with any challenge or experience that might be thrown at me.

Without giving too much away from the book, any one location that you thought maybe you should stop traveling and stay put?

Yeah – there were some beautiful places that I could tell would also be perfect spots for an amazing quality of life.  The fun thing about the way we traveled is that we always hung out with local people, went to local spots, and did more off-the-beaten path exploration than hitting touristy spots.  So we did get a fair sample of what real life looked like in those countries.

I would live in Brazil in a heartbeat, and I still might in a year or two (Nicaragua is next on my agenda, and then Columbia.)  New Zealand is so beautiful and mellow that I could live there.  Australia is amazing but I had my run in’s with too many of the meathead local guys. I did live in Ecuador for about three months in years after the trip – in a tiny cabin I rented from a farmer on the steep side of a mountain overlooking a valley with a tiny village in it.  It was super cool.  Where else?  I could live in Israel and love it.  Europe would definitely be a great place to spend time – every writer’s dream is to get a cheap apartment and cheaper wine in Barcelona or Prague or Budapest and camp out for a year to write the great American novel.  But the whole point of that trip was to get a taste of each country in a whirlwind blur of experiences, and we knew that we could always go back to a country that we lived.

Next Week Series 3: Safety on the Street

Presale February 15

On sale March 1st

Norm would love to say what’s up to you, so feel free to email him at:


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