How to Lose Yourself in Volcano: A Radical Way of Travel (Author Interview)

What do you think makes a great travel story?

As a world traveler I was and am always inspired when I meet and talk with others who share the same affinity for adventure off the beaten track, not staying in their comfort zones, but avoiding conformity, and embracing diversity. The conversation with these kinds of travelers goes inwards towards the center of that foreign land we are in, removing any obstacle that gets in the way of an authentic experience, an experience that only that perspective can bring, and it is that perspective that evolves the more one travels inward, so to speak, to touch the root of any particular culture.

What inspired you when writing How to Lose Yourself in Volcano: A Radical Way of Travel?

Well, I had just completed a 21-day fast sequestered in a cabin on the Big Island of Hawaii, and I felt a strong urge pulling up towards the volcano known as Kilauea. Kilauea, the home of the Hawaiian goddess Pele, is the most active on Hawaii island, in fact, the whole world. I was in such a pure detoxified state that my experience transcended my ordinary reality. I just had to share this in my journal, but I just kept writing and writing and could not stop until I had a rough draft of a manuscript in front of me.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Full time? Part time?

I am continuing to blog on various sites; I cannot stop that, I love to write and share with others. Continuing to write non-fiction with naturally progress without much effort, as I write from my impressions, it comes naturally. Now, I do have an interest in fiction and am beginning to explore that realm with short stores and coaching from my mentor.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always resisted calling myself a writer vs. an experiencer. I was under my self-imposed impression that if you write down your experiences or if you take photos of where you travel that would impede the authenticity of the moment, what you are looking at, breathing in, sensing all around yourself. I felt that your senses would suffer from the act as a writer is always looking at things from a literary point of view like a photographer looks at the world through the lens of a camera. Whew, okay, just wanted to get that out of the way, now, I began writing in 2008 when I opened a health spa/yoga studio in Bangalore India. I wrote copy mostly, websites, manuals, pdf documents, courses, etc. It wasn't until I arrived in Hawaii that I really because a full-time writer, this happened in 2013. Now I have several books on their way, and one of them has been published.

When writing How to Lose Yourself in Volcano: A Radical Way of Travel, did anything stand out as particularly challenging?

Yes! The most challenging in that it was a mystery that I chipped away at arduously until the beast revealed some of her secrets to me, was getting the manuscript polished and published, promoted. Wow! I learned a lot of stuff that I would not do again. I made many mistakes but hopefully will not repeat all of them.

How did you pick which topics and stories to write about?

That is easy, I mean I make this easy on me because I merely write or follow the momentum of what excited me in my life. Writing about topics that have changed my perspective to the degree that I look at life from a slightly wider angle, to use a photographer's analogy. I take more in with this newer perspective which changes all the time, every time I go out of my comfort zone to a different place, a foreign land or just my backyard, taking it all as new, in the fresh everlasting mom

What do you like to do when not writing?

Aside from the obvious, traveling, I get out in nature as much as possible: camping, swimming in a volcanically heated lagoon, exploring a jungle or trekking in a volcano, or going for a long drive are activities I yearn for when not glued to a screen. If I don't have time for those outings, I enjoy a silent meditation and reading books of all types.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Besides reading my new book (this is the most significant discovery a reader can make), please visit my website:

CS Schafer