Genre: Nonfiction, Travel, Central America, Costa Rica, Travelogue, Travel Writing
Publication Date: November 25, 2016
Costa Rica is one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the Americas with some of the world's most attractive natural surroundings teeming with wildlife. Most visitors spend years saving up for a trip of a lifetime, or perhaps even a honeymoon, but Joe decided to move there for ten months to get a closer look at life in and around Costa Rica.
Over the course of his time abroad, Joe brings his experiences to life alongside the history of the region as he travels throughout Costa Rica and its Central American neighborhood with stops in Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala. Xenophobic expatriates, delicious food, vibrant market scenes, an epic battle with Mothra, and inevitable culture clashes all make an appearance in Talking Tico, leaving readers with a new impression of this fascinating region.
What inspired you to write this book?
A few things come to mind. First, I fell in love with this genre of travel writing a few years back when I got a copy of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" for Christmas. Couldn't put it down, and since then I've been hooked on travelogues that mix narrative with history, observation and humor. When I moved to Costa Rica, I noticed a severe lack of English travel literature outside of the guidebook format, so I had an inkling I'd want to do something. As time progressed, I unsurprisingly realized there's more to Costa Rica, and Central America for that matter, than what the tourist brochures offer, and I wanted to explore that in a way that I hope readers find informative and entertaining.What is one of the most important points you make in the book? Why do feel this one point is important? Let us know what makes this point so meaningful to you.
The end of my El Salvador chapters are especially important to me. I got frustrated with the number of people telling me not to go to El Salvador. Sure, it came from a good place. They didn't want anything bad to happen to me. In reality, that's nice. But it really bothers me when cities or entire corners of the globe are erroneously painted as too dangerous to visit. People were telling me not to go to El Salvador because of stuff they saw on the news, and I just think it's terrible to view the world from one lens. There are people in places like El Salvador who deserve our travel dollars as much as any other destination, whose people's stories are just as important as any other. That experience in El Salvador framed my preference to go to places that suffer from a poor international image to try and find a different narrative, and it's detailed at the end of my El Salvador chapters.Who are some of your favorite authors?
I rarely read multiple books by the same author, because I like dabbling in as many voices as I can. That said, Bill Bryson, Douglas Adams, Christopher Buckley and Polly Evans come to mind. But now that I type that out, I realize it's not a terribly diverse list. That's something I've been cognizant of in selecting new books to read.What are you currently reading?
I'm between books at the moment. I might go back and finish The White Island or Venice by Jan Morris, but lately I've been craving African travel literature by African authors. Looking For Transwonderland caught my eye, so I might switch tracks to that.What do you enjoy doing when you are not reading or writing?
Traveling, which is basically my research for finding new things to write about. Beyond that, hiking, road cycling and attempting to dance.Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about the book?
I have a new appreciation for self-published authors. It takes a lot of stones to compile hundreds of thousands of words that you deem important enough to not only share publicly, but to promote. It's been a difficult process for my typically introverted self, but doing the travel and research for this book was an absolute blast. I hope this book does well enough to simply justify finding another project to work on.
Also, a small portion of proceeds will go to a charity in El Salvador and another in Costa Rica. I decided to do this because so much travel art (literature, photography, video, etc.) is created by taking from a place and/or a culture without giving back. I've been guilty of it myself. So, this is my admittedly small way of trying to change that trend.
About Joe Baur
|Joe Baur, author. Reprinted with permission.|
Joe Baur is a travel writer, author, filmmaker, photographer, and podcaster. He's even stood in front of groups of people to share his experiences and answer questions, so feel free to add "speaker" to the résumé, too.
Before moving to Costa Rica, Joe contributed a chapter to Rust Belt Chic: The Cleveland Anthology and published Best Hikes Near Cleveland with Falcon Guides. Following those 10 months in Costa Rica, he returned to Cleveland where he launched the Without A Path travel podcast, Best Hikes Near Minneapolis and Saint Paul released, he completed Best Outdoor Adventures Near Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and he continued his independent travel writing and filmmaking with trips to Germany, Ireland, Japan, Honduras, England and Jordan.
Over the course of his career, his work has been featured in a variety of international publications, including BBC Travel, Viator, AFAR Magazine, Yahoo! Travel, National Geographic and more. In August of 2016, he made the move abroad again, this time to Düsseldorf, Germany where he continues his independent travel work and searches for that next big project.
His fourth book, Talking Tico: (Mis)adventures of a Gringo in and Around Costa Rica, is now available.
Contact the author at email@example.com.
I really appreciate Joe taking the time to feature his book on On My Kindle, and I am looking forward to reading this book!