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Author: Joseph Davida

Title: "Traveling High & Tripping Hard"

Publisher: Dark Planet Press

This book was an odd reading experience for me because I know so little about the so-called "drug culture" as my association with it is quite limited. It was an education in reactions, thought processes, availability, justification and more by those who do use drugs.

Though written in the first person, individual names, places, their physical properties, places of residence and occupations may have been changed or omitted to maintain their anonymity. The book covers about four decades of Joseph Davida's life wherein he does travel high and trip hard all over the world.

Davida's first drug experience happened at age 8, when he and a friend made their usual after-school stop at a candy store. Unknown to him, one of the candy pieces he ate had been laced with PCP, which caused violent behavior, then thoughts that he was evil, was to kill his parents and that the world was doomed. He then heard a sweet voice telling him that his heart was pure but that it was up to him to save the world. Throughout his life, he never forgot this mandate.

We then skip 10 years of Davida's life, now most continuously stoned, where he lived in a drug-infected tenant building in New York City. There he learned that high-grade drugs were available in Holland, so at 18, off he went. In New York, he wasn't even old enough to buy a beer so the idea that there he could smoke a joint in public seemed like the greatest thing in the world. Thus began his search for knowledge of how he was to save the world and from what.

The quest took Davida from Holland to London, his father's cabin in Vermont, to Napal, Pakistan and the Pacific Northwest with stops in New York City in between. These visits lasted anywhere from a few days to months at a time. It was in Napal that he learned for the first time that he was to contact "the professor," whoever that was, and find the Book.

Davida finally found it during an exasperating search when in NYC. He immediately began to read about the most bizarre of all conspiracies, some of which told of an ancient society, global banking and world politics. It said that Americans would be incarcerated and everyone's personal freedoms would be at risk. People would be brainwashed to believe in a new era of peace called "the New World Order" and of a polar ice shift that would melt the ice caps, which, in turn, would kill all the world's unilluminated so earth could then be repopulated by the insurgents.

It was to begin in Y2K when all computers would shut down, with natural disasters to begin on May 5, 2005. It also said that clues were scattered all over the ancient world. Davida thought if he was to save the world he had to find them soon, but he was running out of time.

He sought some answers in ancient Mayan cultures so his destinations were Central America and Guatemala. He then went to the worst epicenter of evil he could think of — Hollywood. He attended a celebrity party on Dec. 31, 1999, to  Jan. 1, 2000, where the guests expected computers to crash, the power grid to end and the world to go dark. When nothing happened during Y2K, Davida returned to NYC.

Davida continued to look for answers. He experienced most of the world's great religions, including the Mayan, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Hindus, Buddhist and Zen but found nothing for which he was searching.

Davida finally decided it was time to make some serious changes in his life, but couldn't seem to find an incentive or purpose. Then he met the woman that changed his life. During the next few months, he began breaking some of his bad habits, cutting down on the booze and getting a real job. Then he learned he was going to be a father. Over the next 10 years, he had two wonderful kids, he started a successful business and bought a home in a good school district.

Throughout his travels, Davida gained significant insights of his own being, the world and its people. It was gratifying to learn of Davida's philosophical growth and beliefs as he traveled from country to country. (Note: Bad language and explicit sex throughout.) 

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