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Travelling With Maria: Embracing Life [Kindle Edition]

Fred Schäfer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After the publication of The Short and Wonderful Life of Henry Hemingway – Fred’s wildly humorous and hard-hitting memoir of his years in Berlin, the USA and Canada – he surprises his readers with an enchanting and tender travel and love story about a two year journey through India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Travelling with Maria is an entertaining book, a page turner, full of amazing events like running away from wild elephants, meeting a goddess in a Hindu temple, lunchtime striptease shows and a lot, lot more. Ultimately it is a book about how to embrace life.

Table of Contents

Part 1: First time in India
Crazy things like running away from elephants
How life in the jungle taught me two lessons
Introducing the travellers
First contacts with India’s wildlife
As if the bell had rung and the stock market closed
As the Minolta clicked for the third time…
About friendship, trust and honesty
How do you forgive yourself?
How Maria shook the foundations of my world
A quick meeting with a goddess
How I was made a hero for the price of ten rupees and a few paise
A discussion, yet to be finished
About death and how this time we got it right

Part 2: Sri Lanka
Let’s have a look at Buddha’s tooth
A biscuit tin in Rameswaram
How we survived gigantic cockroaches, bloodsucking insects and rats the size of little dogs in a hotel in Colombo
A delicious fish and true beauty
How an old Buddhist monk caused turmoil in my mind
How I discovered another side of myself
How we discovered the real thing at the end of a hard tourist day

Part 3: Back in India
If Medhananda had waited only a few more minutes
Everything went smoothly and drove me nuts
No sex and no answers
How I nearly figured out how to bring two mosquitos back from the dead
Overloaded and time to leave
Some of us are close to the Sun

Part 4: Perth
The first miracle
Why Perth?
How to get a job in Australia
About tools and unfulfilled dreams
How I discovered that Australia was not the conservative country it was meant to be
The difference between Maria’s work and my work
About Australian politics and an amazing election night
Replaced
Thoughts about Hemingway
How Maria and I discovered the true meaning of fish and chips
Things that really matter in life
When life was perfect and money didn’t matter
Hard to say

Part 5: Across Australia
People do it all the time
On the road
A word with many meanings
Looking for George
Perfect peace and happiness on the Nullarbor Plain
How I fetched the wrong water three times in a row
Old people, wise people and a recipe for a happy life
Sorry, our mistake
Sorry, another mistake
A man with a slightly damaged brain
How a collection of beautiful shells can become a serious obstacle in a relationship
How to catch a crayfish at the bottom of the ocean, in total darkness and surrounded by sharks
Who would have thought that guts can taste so heavenly
Forty five minutes can be a very long time
Too much
A travel agent who knew exactly what had to be done and did it
A thank you to a great man and a great Australian
Home…


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fred Schäfer is the author of fiction and nonfiction books in English and German. His most recent novel, "The 92-Year-Old Lady Who Made Me Steal a Dead Man's Car", is a hilarious romp through the world of literature, philosophy and crime. His bestselling novels are "An Almighty Conspiracy" and "The Invention of the Big Bang". His latest nonfiction book is entitled "How To Make Great Things Happen In Your Life". Just as "The Solution Within Yourself" and "Success, Money and You" before, it is free of hype and offers a sincere and proven approach to lasting happiness and success. Fred Schäfer was born in the south of Germany and lived and travelled in many parts of the world. Today he lives with his family in Western Australia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1678 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1490400443
  • Publisher: Condor Books (July 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008NWF27S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,800 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nice, Honest, Travel Memoir September 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Fred Schäfer's "Travelling With Maria" is a collection of fine anecdotes about travelling, love, and shared experiences. The book follows the adventures of Fred and his wife Maria as they make their way through India and then establish a life in Australia.

As a traveler myself, I could relate to many of Fred's stories about problems with immigration, less than clean hotels (with bed bugs), and the quest for a good place to settle down. I especially enjoyed the last few chapters about the adventures with Steve, a jovial character who has suffered a series of ailments which rendered him delightfully quirky.

Something about the narrative led me to think from the beginning that the book was going to end on some kind of tragedy. There was a certain reflective melancholy to the text as if the author was searching for meaning in his reflections. I'm pleased to report that the book didn't end on some kind of sad revelation, but it did drift a little bit.

There are a lot of great stories in this book, but I would have liked to see them come together a little bit more to produce a kind of overarching theme. Everything is related, and the stories do fit together to form a larger whole, but I think I needed a bit more guidance from the author as to what all these reflections meant. As I write this, I find myself suspecting that perhaps there was some sort of tragedy that prompted the writing of this book, but from which the author decided to spare the reader.

Still, there is an honesty to this book which I enjoyed, and Schäfer is a nimble and effective story teller. He uses dialogue effectively, although at times I would have liked more of the stories to be told through dialogue rather than traditional narrative.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resonates with beauty and honesty September 4, 2012
By Sands
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Intensely personal memoir of the places and the people the author and his love Maria meet while travelling through India and Australia in the 1970's There are scenes such as the old woman dying in the streets of Old Delhi that will haunt you. Not only is the reader transported to India and Australia, but to the depths of the author's soul. Truly unforgettable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful December 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is just beautiful! The story, the people, and the places are just so rich and vivid that it makes me want to book a flight somewhere, anywhere really. What a wonderful journey these people had! Truly an enjoyable, captivating read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh, Cry, be Surprised! September 28, 2012
By Andy
Format:Kindle Edition
I love to read books about travel especially those that are author memoirs. "Travelling With Maria: Embracing Life" is a fascinating and very entertaining book that takes you through a two year journey of exciting and unusual adventures. It is obvious this has been written from the heart which makes it all the more meaningful. If you like travel books with more depth to them then this is the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quick easy read January 10, 2013
By zoeyc
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fred is a great story teller - I enjoyed this bok - it made me want to go hop on a plane and experieince the things they did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Warming Book September 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Travelling with Maria takes you to vivid landscapes which you experience with the author. In its pages I was transported to India, Australia and Germany and to the seveties. I also got to know the author very well and laughed, had adventures and reflected about life with him. Profound and light at the same time it was a great read.

Richard Klein, author of Lost Samba
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw emotion and beautiful writing February 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading Mr Schäfer’s “The Short and Wonderful Life of Henry Hemingway”, I was pleased to discover he had written another autobiographical piece, “Travelling with Maria”. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
It didn't disappoint. The author and his wife, Maria, travel to India, Sri Lanka and Australia with adventurous hearts and fearless spirits. There are trials and tribulations. There are heartbreaking moments as well as joyous ones.
The spirit of India is captured perfectly with many well-chosen stories.
The people of Australia, and the magical land they live in, are described with affection and wonder.
Parts of this book resonated strongly within me. Placed in difficult situations we humans do things that we question later, and the author writes about these moments with honesty and raw emotion. It is beautiful writing.
When I finished the last page, I found myself hoping Mr Schäfer has another round of real-life stories ready to publish, because I believe that his unique voice, with its wisdom and humour is something that should be heard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. A must read for the traveller. October 21, 2013
By Reggie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a travel writer myself, my partner and I travel around Australia in a caravan, as the author does with Maria and their child in the latter part of Travelling with Maria, therefore I was obviously going to compare memories and enjoy the journey; the work offered much more than I expected, and I loved it.

I enjoyed crossing the Nullabour, again, via the showing in this memoir. It was as if I were there once again. This is a part of the country that I love, and I could feel it through the authors words.

I laughed at the man who had lost his sense of smell. I'm glad that Maria got to experience the Great Barrier Reef; it was fun visulising the author's anxiety at that point. The oppressive pre-monsoon build up and the coolness of the Atherton tablelands, I felt all of it though the writing.

There was so much more than the visual journey, this was a journey of a man's thoughts. A sensitive side rarely shared in travel writing. Not overly done, just the right amount. The revelations when expressed made impact, as all good writing should. Yes, I was impressed both with the insights and the authors ability to seamlessly weave them through the story in the right places, sometimes to leave you thinking deeply about life's meaning, and human expectation.

The anecdote about preconceived expectations and Brisbane hit me, me and my life's travel companion felt exactly the same way about Broome, and reacted the same way. Yes, this memoir had me 'hooked' and reliving a journey of my own. Furthermore, even those places where I hadn't been, I felt as if I was experiencing them, far better than through any travel guide.

And I laughed; the advice on how to get a job in Australia when you speak English perfectly but cannot understand the Aussie lingo.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
An excellent story, with interesting details and tangible characters. I enjoyed feeling as is I was living life with Maria and Fred, as their circumstances and places of residency... Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. Huffman
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't do it for me
I like travel memoirs and this book didn't do it for me. I wouldn't recommend this book to my friends. I just skipped through it.
Published 4 months ago by Joann R. Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars I felt I was also traveling with Maria
A delightful read! Lovely word pictures of travel experiences that make you feel you are there with them. In fact the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Michael Marler
4.0 out of 5 stars relaxing
I enjoyed the book and the places they visited. I don't have the energy or finance to travels so this is the way I do it by reading.
Published 6 months ago by Mildred J. Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely blend of humor and observance of human frailties
Fred Schafer is a wonderful storyteller and never disappoints. This delightful book captures the highs and lows, plus everything in between of a young man's experience while... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nancy N. Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars A trip back in time
Surprised by all the great reviews . Written like a journal , it includes snipets of what could have been great stories but just fell short. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Mmmm... so so.
This book started with a bang but halfway through it I felt it lost it's voice. I didn't finish it.
Published 13 months ago by dog lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating, fascinating, humorous and thought-provoking
There are two problems with this book: a) once you start reading it, you can't put it down; and b) when you have finished reading it, you want to visit the places the author and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Solo
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, entertaining read
Schafer is a fine writer. I enjoyed this book very much, particularly when he adds his artistic and philosophical insights.
Published 20 months ago by Redriverpicker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Fred Schafer did it again. Travelling with Maria was an excellent story about a young Fred and his wife Maria traveling through Sri Lanka, India, and Australia. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Miranda
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