The Adventure of Finding Me in New Zealand is three books in one, as indicated in the author’s chosen title. One part adventure story, built around a harrowing near-death experience, one part coming-of-age story as a young man sees the world through different lenses and one part travelogue filled with interesting people, places and cultural insights.
As one might expect when journal notes are reviewed and edited thirty-five years later, the author chooses to add periodic updates to add texture to the interpretation of the time or the effect of its passing (like how an incident or person’s influence has impacted him even today). It’s fun to see how the sometimes simple and sweet 27-year-old’s emotions are interpreted by the mature author of today with the benefit of further “seasoning.” I’m sure it was an adventure in itself to review the old journal notes and see the formative phases of his current being and life.
It is a quick, flowing read that will take you to a different time and place. And little poems or fables inspired by his travels interspersed throughout help give a little more flavor to the cockles and pipi stew. All in all, a fun read that will make you wish you had detailed journal notes from an important phase of your life.
“Spider” Hilarides AKA “Scum Bro”
I just finished The Adventure of Finding Me. It was fascinating to read the details of your escape from Grebe Valley and, one of my favorite parts, your circumnavigation of Stewart Island. But in so many ways, it was interesting to read the reflections of your 27-year old self . . . with many of the thoughts and doubts and questions that all of us had at that age. Fundamentally, the Jim from 1983 – 84 is the same Jim I know today . . . one who loves people, values experience and learning, is passionate about the outdoors, willing to take a risk, trusting your hunches, is sentimental about family and friends.
And, I am sad that you have never been able to track down Dr. Bob.