Wander the Rainbow World Map

Media Room: About the Book

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Seven months. Six continents. Twenty-nine countries. Some names changed to protect the (not-so) innocent. But everything else is true in David Jedeikin’s Wander the Rainbow, a story of far-flung global exploration in the face of uniquely challenging life events.

Wander the Rainbow begins amid personal turmoil. A rare collision of fate renders Jedeikin the only match for his ailing boyfriend in desperate need of a new liver. The pair undergoes risky transplant surgery together — but its success doesn’t keep alive their relationship, which ends soon after in heartbreak, betrayal, and the couple on opposite coasts.

Jedeikin’s decision to journey far from home in search of perspective and enlightenment is familiar — but as a committed secularist and out gay man, he takes a path different than many, eschewing the spiritualist asceticism and personal squalor so often associated with big world journeys. Not that this precludes his taste for adventure: his sprawling trek juxtaposes traditional sightseeing with forays to some of the hottest gay nightspots across the corners of the Earth. His journeys also lead him to retrace family roots — and form new bonds with living kin in Latvia, China, Italy, Israel, and South Africa. They see him find romance — and some steamy encounters — with a Brazilian in Tokyo, a sex club bartender in Berlin, and an exchange student in Beijing, among others. They nudge him toward the usual suspects in global tourism — party beaches in Thailand, Pagan altars in Petra, Mardi Gras drag queens in Sydney, and the requisite Amsterdam weed; but also reveal the unexpected — from Viennese party hostels to Parisian models to hallucinogens in Cambodia. Through it all, he uncovers unsung similarities between disparate people and places, finding unlikely connections in art, architecture and culture across the seas and continents.

Wander the Rainbow also offers a compelling glimpse into the world of “flashpacking” — the travel style of jet-set, mostly European thirtysomethings that occupies the niche between conventional hotel-based travel and traditional rough-and-tumble backpacking. Largely unknown to North American travelers, Jedeikin’s forays into flashpacking provide a compelling glimpse of travel off the “pink-dollar trail” away from the conventional hotels, pre-arranged tours, and predictable destinations targeted at the gay traveler. It adds richness and texture to his unconventional memoir of wonderful anecdotes, timely advice, heart-rending insights, and refreshing perspectives on his wanderings across Planet Earth.

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