“The author’s depictions of exotic, international locations and experiences are spot-on! Reading Travel Mania really made me feel like I was right back in these destinations that I too have visited. It’s a very fun read with a great message. Anyone reading will certainly get in touch with their adventurous side and be inspired to see the world for themselves!”-Dr. Evan Antin, author of World Wild Vet and host of Animal Planet’s Evan Goes Wild

Since leaving home for Europe alone at age seventeen, Karen Gershowitz has travelled to more than ninety countries.

In pursuit of her passion for travel, she lost and gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change. She learned courage and risk-taking and succeeded at things she didn’t think she could do: She climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. She visited remote areas of Indonesia on her own and became a translator, though only fluent in English. She conquered her fear of falling while on an elephant trek in Thailand. And she made friends across the globe, including a Japanese family who taught her to make sushi and a West Berliner who gave her an insider’s look at the city shortly after the wall came down.

An example that will inspire armchair travellers to become explorers and embolden everyone to be more courageous, Travel Mania is a vivid story of how one woman found her strength, power, and passion.

Travel is Karen’s addiction―and she doesn’t want treatment.

Author Q&A with Author of Travel Mania Karen Gershowitz

What inspired you to write? 

When I was a child, my mother suggested I keep a travel journal. I recently found one, complete with drawings, from when I was seven years old. It started a lifelong habit.  I’ve used those journals, plus many thousands of photos as inspiration for my travel memoir, Travel Mania.  A few words and / or a photo helped to bring back a flood of memories and great stories.  Once I began writing the stories it became a near obsession. 

What 5 books have changed your life?

As someone passionate about travel, well-written travel books are high on my list.  In the early 90’s I picked up Bill Bryson’s Neither Here nor There at Heathrow on my way home to New York.  For most of the flight, I laughed out loud, so loud that everyone around me wanted to know what I was reading.  Since then, I have read every one of Bryson’s books and have introduced his writing to many dozens of people.  In my own writing, I try to emulate the clarity, wry observations and wisdom he never fails to provide.  

I’m also fond of Dervla Murphy’s writing. The first book of Murphy’s I read was Full Tilt and her adventures inspired me to seek out more exotic locations to travel. However, over the years I’ve learned that while I am adventurous, she is far braver than I.

Paul Theroux, Peter Hessler, Michael Palin, and Anthony Bourdain are also travel writers I enjoy and admire.

What are your top 5 tips for independent authors? 

Join or create a writing group.  My writing group has been invaluable in providing thoughtful critiques and lots of encouragement.

Write because you love it but understand that publishing is as much or more work than the writing. 

Unless you are very well known you will need to do all of the marketing for your book, even if you work with a traditional publisher. 

Prepare for rejection, you’ll need strong resolve to get beyond all of the “we love it, but…” notes you will receive.

When you do have success, no matter how small, celebrate. 

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