Sunday, March 7, 2010

Travel tales with a spiritual edge

By Carleen Frost
Wednesday, 3 March 2010

WALTER Mason hated his first trip to Vietnam.
Terrified of being approached by beggars, he spent the first three days of the journey locked in his hotel room.

When he returned, everything changed.

“I felt instantly connected,” he said.

“The beauty of the place and the wonderful atmosphere there outweighs any of the negatives.”
Mr Mason has lost count of how many times he has been to Vietnam since his first trip in 1994.

He spent six months studying Vietnamese at the Ho Chi Minh Social Sciences University in 1996, and went back for three months in 2008 to write his book Destination Saigon.

The travel memoir was last week named book of the month at the Better Read than Dead bookstore in Newtown.

“It’s about my love affair with Vietnam - I have been travelling there for almost 10 years,” he said. “There’s a real emphasis on spirituality because that’s my main interest.”

Born in 1970, Mr Mason grew up on a tin mine in rural North Queensland. He left Queensland to study theatre at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst before moving to Sydney in 1991.

Mr Mason spent years working in bookshops, and has studied at a number of the state’s best universities.

He is now part of the University of Western Sydney’s Writing and Society Research Unit, and has made a home in Cabramatta.

“Cabramatta really excites me. I love it because it reminds me of Vietnam.”

Mr Mason is working on his second book, which he hopes will also be about spiritual travel.

“People are reaching the stage where they don’t want to be on tour and they would not want to just be backpackers going out and getting drunk all the time,” he said.

Mr Mason will sign copies of Destination Saigon at Sydney Unitarian Church from 7pm this Thursday.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails