From Heartbreak to the Hippie Trail: Sex, Drugs, and Backpacking in Europe, Israel, East Africa, and Asia
When Ken’s wife suddenly leaves him, little does he imagine this will give him a lifelong love for travel. Soon he is sharing a truck with Maasai warriors and his tent with a lion, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and having his cheek broken by an irate restaurant owner in Singapore.
From being mistaken for Ringo Starr and having his frisbee mistaken for a bomb in Indonesia to smoking opium in Laos at the end of the Vietnam War and fleeing comically from a bathroom disaster as a result, he immerses himself in a ’70s world of drugs, sex, and backpacker life.
Will he make a success of selling Singapore-made shirts when he returns to the US or will his crazy lifestyle prevail?
When 10-year-old Ken jokingly puts ketchup on his face and lies lifelessly in the backyard to scare his mother half to death, it’s clear he has no ordinary mind. Now in his 70s, he imagines rubbing a brass lamp from which Linda, his third wife, emerges, promising to review his life and possibly grant him a wish. From sex on LSD in the bathtub to being handcuffed naked on a four-poster bed with a loaded revolver pointed at him, will his life story of drugs, travel, and infidelities encourage Linda to grant him the wish? And if so, how will he use it?
Who is Kenneth Liss?
Born in San Francisco, Ken Liss graduated from high school in 1966 and went to College of San Mateo then University of California, Berkeley where he spent his time mixing academics, LSD, and watching anti-Vietnam War demonstrations on the campus and adjoining Telegraph Avenue. He attended many live music shows in the early days of Fillmore Auditorium, Winterland, and free shows in Golden Gate Park, developing eclectic musical tastes.
After two years in the Army National Guard, he was released four years early after claiming to an army psychiatrist he had dreams of punishing his superior officers. Following a short marriage, which ended abruptly in 1972, he began traveling in Europe where he caught the travel bug. Today, he lives with his Vietnamese wife and her two daughters in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, and enjoys day after day relaxing and meeting travelers on the beaches of the Gulf of Thailand.