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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
To Find: The Search for Meaning in Life on the Gringo Trail by J.R. Klein is one of the finest real-life adventure stories in print. It tells the story of Klein, aka Alex Moreau, and his travels through Mexico and Central America in the early 1980s. He traveled when most of the coastal islands, from the tip of the Yucatan down to Belize, were not yet inhabited, and life there had not yet been consumed by commercialism. Along with his friend Stefan Kale, their long, exhausting trek made them wiser. Not only from encountering panoramic vistas, remote mountain villages, enchanting islands, and obscure rainforests, but because it became a journey with spiritual and philosophical values. By the end of the travels, Klein encounters a visionary experience.
Part of the excitement of this memoir is the adventure that takes place on the author’s whim. Considering he had only ninety-five dollars in his pocket, traveling to the other side of the world with barely enough to get by requires a great deal of resourcefulness. Klein uses an engaging narrative to tell his experiences. They burned into my consciousness so that I connected with the lessons he learned. From the pre-beginnings of his travels, he met interesting characters that added color to the journey, such as Elvira the waitress, Ozzie the used car salesman, and Jose Ramirez, the nonagenarian. This odyssey of self-discovery reminds me of The Motorcycle Diaries. I can't tell how Klein’s experiences will conclude or how he will steer the course of his future. But in retrospect, I can see how crucial the journey has turned him into a better version of himself. To Find by J.R. Klein is a book that may well inspire you to set out on your own enriching journey.