Ken Schneck believes in the power of the journey. It’s something the Baldwin Wallace University professor and This Show Is So Gay radio host only began to realize when he agreed to a volunteer trip to rural Uganda in 2010. His career as a college administrator in Vermont was collapsing and his marriage was unraveling. “Someone had mentioned the geographic cure to me,” he says. So after Uganda, he kept traveling: a 425-mile bike trek, a Californian hippie retreat and more. His journal entries make up the witty and heartbreaking travelogue Seriously … What am I doing here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew ($21.95, 1984 Publishing) released May 23. Schneck shares lessons from his travels.
Q: Why go on these random trips?
A: The idea that for whatever is ailing you, a change of scenery can really help your perspective. … For me, it was just really important to keep saying, “yes” to traveling just because I knew that I needed change in order to really figure out who I was.
Q: How did you grow from these adventures?
A: Not giving up on that bike ride was huge for me, and the biggest part was that I didn’t give up even though I was a complete emotional train wreck. … I was able to stand at the end, and say, “Oh, OK. I did that and that is definitely something.”
Q: What do you see as the biggest benefit of being impulsive?
A: I have experiences that people normally would have shut themselves off to. ... Being impulsive means my mom is always going to say, “Oh, gosh. What did you do now?” For me, even when she said that, that means, “Wow, you are really putting yourself out there.”