Los Angeles, CA – Musings: The Short Happy Pursuit of Pleasure and Other Journeys is Emmy-award winning travel host Joseph Rosendo’s gift to those who love to travel- whether traveling by way of planes, trains, automobiles, or even from armchairs. However, the nicely-designed book not only contains Rosendo’s essays, photographs, and even line drawings sharing travel memories but also a wonderful melange of childhood remembrances and family of origin analysis. Rosendo looks back on his life experiences and shares his understanding of things that led to his becoming a professional travel writer and television show host, along the way, sharing insights- gleaned over forty years of immersing himself in situations in which he is the “visitor”- about how we, as travelers visiting other cultures and even other communities, can show up in the world for good.
Rosendo is described as a “travel connoisseur, motivational speaker and four-time Emmy award-winning director and (television) host for his PBS show Joseph Rosendo’s Travel Scope. He has been a travel journalist and broadcaster since 1980. His is also the Consulting Editor for the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide’s Where to Go When and Where to Go When- The Americas. He is also the author of An Insider’s Guide to Los Angeles. But Musings gives fans a chance to see even more deeply into Rosendo’s world.
With conversational introductions to his essay pieces, Rosendo shares the back stories to not only his various- pretty amazing- travels around the world, but also to his life. His recollection of his wonderful “aubelita” and his Cuban-cigar smoking grade-school educated entrepreneur grandfather, his disco-king father (“Gin Gin, the Dancing Machine”) warm the heart and provide a chuckle. The author’s sharing about the loss of his beloved brother, Ron to AIDS, as well about his take on the film I Am Sam is also quite touching. Rosendo’s stories remind that we “inherit” what we see, hear, and feel growing up as well as our height, eye color, and other genetic aspects of physical formation.
It’s amusing and further touching to come to know how the author was introduced to travel, ie via his “yearly family vacation” which “consisted of a one-day trip to Key West, Florida.” It was Rosendo’s father’s home town, sure, but it was a destination that, as he explains it, required the family climbing in together to his father’s station wagon. “I still love the feeling of being up before anyone else and on the way to somewhere others would like to go,” he shares. (p214) His recounting of learning about dining out (Rosendo is also a food & restaurant expert) via his family’s “dragging” him to an All-You-Can-Eat for $1.99 restaurant meal in Miami (“I hate buffet brunch,” he confides…p131) will both crack up and tug on the reader’s heart, too, as he describes the waitresses, the family witness, and his now-deceased brother’s amazing appetite.
Throughout the book, Rosendo not only muses- hence the perfectly apt title- about how he learned from other cultures and people, but also how his various life choices put him on a path that wasn’t really a “path,” per se to the travel writing/travel television show hosting career. He also speaks to what we can learn from visiting with the “natives” while traveling vs only sight seeing, an invaluable experience that changes traveling for pleasure from spectator sport to receipt of an education in how to live life to the fullest.
“Now that I’m older,” Rosendo writes near the end of Musings, “it’s clear that my life has been driven by chance and choice. First of all there are the many times I dodged death. To my surprise, I’ve discovered there are quite a few of them. I’m thankful and grateful the powers-that-be granted me a pass and gave me the opportunity to get older and wiser. Then there are the milestones that marked my journey to this time and place. There were many, here are a few: Not taking the parole officer job in Miami and going to graduate school in California. Accepting the role in the USO show that sent me to Europe. Going to the seminar in San Diego, which convinced me to become a travel writer. In the middle of a divorce, answering the heavenly call to create a non-existent television show. Meeting my wife Julie while covering a fundraiser for her PBS station in San Antonio. Living in Topanga. These were some of the forks in the road I encountered and I’m glad that, more often than not, I followed Robert Frost’s advice and ‘took the path less traveled.’ “
Rosendo also includes terrific insights about how meeting so many other citizens of our globe impacted his own personal and spiritual development in ways that are attractively “real.” His sharing in the areas of romantic relationship, spiritual and religious growth, and the value of close friendships who offer models of “living well” in any socio-economic bracket are invaluable. Particularly memorable are his mentions of significant glimpses into conversations while in Buddhist temples, on one end of the religious “spectrum,” to recounting a life-changing sermon delivered by a black fire-and-brimstone preacher in, presumably a Baptist or Pentecostal venue. Also memorable is Rosendo’s reflection upon the death of Donna Carroll, a woman who was one half of a couple who the author saw as role model insofar as their passionate integration of world travel in their lives by way of “just picking up and going” to places, children in tow, at any given time. Our life, we are confirmed after reading Rosendo’s Musings, is determined by us. We get that choice.
“Yet, one choice most of us don’t get to make,” Rosendo writes (p 230), “is when and where we’ll die. No matter when it happens, I’m pretty sure the timing will suck, so my only consolation is to live fully now. Or as the Greek philosopher and dramatist Seneca put it more than two thousand years ago, “Life is a play. It’s not the length, but its performance that counts.”
In Musings, Joseph Rosendo sums up his amazing 40-year career, but he also looks back on and shares how his early family and other experiences shaped his life and, yes, that zig-zaggedly path that led him “straight to” where he is today. As his appreciative reading audience, we are not only entertained and informed, but also inspired. And some, especially those in the creative fields, might even be confirmed in the knowledge that our own careers and lives are not always in need of explanation, conformation or, in some way, being proved out as they unfold.
Musings: the Short Happy Pursuit of Pleasure and Other Journeys is the perfect anytime read for anyone- especially at Valentine’s Day. Each brief chapter is its own contained story to enjoy, and each remembrance is perfect for those with a longing to travel- even during a time when that’s not possible.
Text ©2020 Michele Caprario –
Photos courtesy of the author and used with permission
Musings: The Short Happy Pursuit of Pleasure and Other Journeys
by Joseph Rosendo
$10.00 Trade Paper $9.99 Kindle version
ISBN # 978-1-7353307-0-9
More on Joseph Rosendo from his CreateTV web site: https://createtv.com/host/Joseph-Rosendo
For 23 years, as the creator and host of Travelscope Radio, Joseph Rosendo created features for numerous electronic media outlets including Discovery Channel Radio, the Associated Press and ABCnews.com. In addition, Rosendo is the publisher of Travelscope’s eMagazine, a quarterly travel, food and entertainment perspective, and contributes to the Travelscope.net website where his pod casts, as well as, radio and television shows are available for download.
Joseph Rosendo’s Awards include:· Emmy Winner and Five-time Emmy Nominee· 14 Telly Awards· Nine-time winner of Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Awards for Video and Audio· Travel Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) National Award for Tourism Excellence – Globe and Mail Travel Media Award· Government of France – Medaille d’Or du Tourisme· Two-time winner of the Canadian Tourism Commission Northern Lights Broadcast Award· Four-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers Broadcast Award· Aurora Awards – Platinum Best of Show for Video