Flashlight Friday! A Diamond Goes to Africa

By | January 24, 2014

Flashlight Friday

Flashlight Friday—the day I shine a tiny little spotlight (a.k.a. flashlight) on a traveler who I admire.

What a week! It was filled with carrot cake and chocolate-covered/chocolate-filled croissants. Serious sugar. I seem to have taken a sabbatical from self-restraint and healthy eating.

What could be better than croissants and chocolate together?

What could be better than croissants and chocolate together?

It made the week go by fast, though! (This is the first time in a very long time that I can say that. For two years, I’ve experienced SLOW time. Now things are picking up again… I’m not sure how I feel about that.)

So now it’s Friday, and I want to give a friendly hello to those of you who have contacted me via my contact form recently. There have been a few of you. I’m always glad when you take the time to write.

And also, since it’s Friday, I want to introduce you to a really cool lady named Denise Diamond, of the travel blog, “A Diamond Abroad—tales of solo travel…past thirty.”

Denise has some cool insights that I don’t see from many younger travel bloggers.

A Diamond Abroad Screenshot

A Diamond Abroad Screenshot

Thirty is not the new twenty. It’s way, way better, especially for traveling. (I wouldn’t know, as I’m not quite there yet, but it’s encouraging for me to hear. And for those of you who are older than me, I think you can resonate with (and admire!) what she has to say.)

For example, she has a wonderful post about why she loves traveling in her 30s. Let me give you two spoilers: 1. More disposable income. 2. More self confidence.

Although Denise and I haven’t traveled the exact same path through life, we have some similarities.

Let’s start with this:

“I was not one of those people who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

“I chose Marketing. I chose it because I thought it sucked the least. Don’t all people choose their careers this way?” (From “Jumping Off the Corporate Ladder Halfway Up“)

I did sort of the same thing with my college education. I decided on my college because of the close proximity of it to my hometown and the scholarship money. I chose my degree after scouring the course catalog and picking a degree description that sounded kind of interesting. The title was less than thrilling, however: Scientific and Technical Communication.

Denise got a job in marketing (whoa! I did marketing!) and wished she had traveled.

On her About Me page, Denise writes:

“On April 7, 2010 I was sitting at my desk and posted this comment on Facebook: ‘I wish I was one of those people who could just decide to take a sabbatical.’

My first thought when I read that was, “That’s my birthday!!!” That was totally not her point. She realized that she could be one of “those people!”

“I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do anything that you think you are ‘supposed to do’. What’s right for some people isn’t right for others. And if there is something you want to do, for crying out loud do it already.”

That’s what I realized when I joined Peace Corps. I couldn’t not go, just because there were people who thought it was a stupid waste of time. It felt right to me.

Denise took a 6-month trip through Europe and Asia, then went back to San Diego and got another full time job in marketing. I lived in San Diego doing marketing, and then I left America for 2 years. Now I’m back, with a full time job.

Here’s the kicker:

“At first, I was happy with my decision. I loved San Diego and was glad to be back. I had missed my friends and favorite spots. Small luxuries were nice -like the day my dresser was delivered and I could finally, after a year, unpack my suitcase into drawers. It was good to have a sense of familiarity and a stable paycheck again–but it didn’t take long until I was regretting my decision. Two months, to be exact.” (From “Creating Your Life Without a Script“)

I am really enjoying being “stable,” with a real paycheck. I’m so excited to move next weekend and get a bed and a dresser, unpack all my things, and make a place my own.

I’m left wondering, “How long until I regret that decision…?”

Denise’s new adventure is going to take place in Mto Wa Mbu, Tanzania, starting this month.

When will mine take place?


Are you over 30? Does Denise inspire you? Do you have any predictions for how long I’ll stay put on California’s Central Coast? As always, I’m looking for your comments.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Flashlight Friday! A Diamond Goes to Africa

  1. Denise

    I am very honored to be highlighted on your blog! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and I look forward to reading about your next adventure!

    1. Ev Post author

      Hi, Denise! Thanks for stopping by! I enjoy your blog, which is why I featured it; keep up the insightful writing!

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