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Writer discusses marijuana, travel, and Trump

Photo // Korina Rojo

INTERVIEW WITH BART SCHANEMAN

Longing for a place of discovery and encounters with self-realization are the tools Bart Schaneman uses to guide his audience in his latest book Someplace Else: On Wanderlust, Expatriate Life, & the Call of the Wild.

Consisting of essays and poems, the book leads readers through the adventures Schaneman encountered while living in his hometown in Nebraska, traveling locally, and living internationally in places such as South Korea.

Audiences may be inspired to reevaluate their lives after reading of Schaneman’s genuine and simplistic encounters. His first experience with the ocean was the moment that initiated the idea to leave his birth town, igniting a nearly universal sense of wanderlust. Readers also learn of how Schaneman contemplated the uncertainty of succeeding, which is a constant theme in Bart’s essays.

Sentry: You were in South Korea for five years. What was it like living in South Korea’s political climate given their president’s upcoming impeachment, and how does it compare to contemporary America?

Bart Schaneman: I wrote about this when I was working for a mainstream newspaper in Nebraska and watching the rise of Trump. Park and her predecessors in Korea treated the media much the same way Trump would like to judging by his demeanor. If you wrote critical pieces about the South Korean presidency, you were likely to lose your access to the president. Trump has treated our journalists the same way. Throughout his campaign he was banning entire publications from covering his speeches and events. I expect this to get worse and I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump goes no communication for as long as his narcissism allows.

S: Are you presently working for any other publications?

BS: I’m employed as a reporter for Marijuana Business Daily. That and my freelance writing keep me pretty busy.

S: What is you opinion on Jeff Sessions being our Attorney General and his possible effect on the marijuana industry given his opposing view on legalization?

BS: The too long; didn’t read version is Sessions has said ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana’ and that he liked the KKK until he found out they smoked pot. He’s no friend to cannabis. But I’m hoping Trump will keep him busy fighting any number of other ridiculous fights that Trump has taken on in his first weeks as president.

S: In your book jacket you state, “Where we choose to live defines us.” How would you define yourself per this ideology based on your living in Asia and Denver?

BS: Some of us don’t get to choose where we live. But I have been lucky enough as a young man to live pretty much where I’ve wanted to, and a lot of those places reflected certain values and desires I had at the time. I lived in Asia for that long because I couldn’t give up traveling and the lifestyle. And I’m here now in Denver for an entirely different set of reasons.

S: What inspired your wanderlust?

BS: Reading. Most of my heroes either fought in wars or lived as expats or both.

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Schaneman’s new book leaves readers isolated with the idea of asking oneself,  “Am I finding what is beneficial for me in this place, or shall I search for it elsewhere? Someplace Else: On Wanderlust, Expatriate Life, & the Call of the Wild was published by Pioneer Press and can be found locally in Denver at BookBar.

Korina Rojo
Korina Rojo

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