Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: "Five Weeks in the Amazon" (Sean Michael Hayes)

Ever found yourself completely at the end of your rope? Maybe you don't know how you got there. Maybe you got there because someone else's actions put you there. Maybe you put yourself there on purpose, and now you're regretting your choices.

You're not the only one.

Meet Sean Michael Hayes, author of Five Weeks in the Amazon: A Backpacker's Journey (Life in the Rainforest, Ayahuasca, and a Peruvian Shaman's Ancient Diet).

On the surface, the memoir is an adventure story, about a young man who, finding himself at loose ends, decides to take a journey to a totally foreign culture on a whole different continent and see if he can survive and even thrive there for more than a month.

But at its core, there's much more to the story than that. The work is about how Hayes lost himself to negativity, disappointment, and fear, and how, overwhelmed by the apparent meaninglessness and insignificance of his life and person, he undertook a desperate effort, traveling hundreds of miles in the process, to find himself again.

Hayes writes with admirable honesty and bluntness about his experiences, from knowing almost no Spanish when he arrived in Peru to overcoming the language barriers of the rainforest dialects to his courage in seeking out a shaman whom he hoped could help him overcome everything that was holding him back.

The work is in turn poignant, heartfelt, self-deprecating, funny, and insightful. Written in the form of diary or journal entries, Hayes chronicles the people he meets and with whom he interacts, the steps he takes to recover, and the revelations he experiences about himself, life, love, faith, and more.

Real and readable, the work is well worth a look if you've found yourself stuck in a place of despair and hopelessness, and wanted to find meaning once more.

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Author: Sean Michael Hayes
Title: Five Weeks in the Amazon: A Backpacker's Journey
ASIN: B00PM987W2
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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