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Travel as Transformation

Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity
Narrated by: Gregory V. Diehl
Length: 3 hrs and 22 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

From living in a van on the streets of San Diego, to growing chocolate with indigenous tribes in Central America, to teaching in the Middle East and volunteering in Africa, best-selling author Gregory V. Diehl has followed a worldly and unconventional path through life. Leaving his California home as a teenager, he fully immersed himself, living and working, in 45 countries across the globe - all by age 28. In Travel as Transformation, he puts his diverse cultural experiences on display and asks the listener to question how their own identity has been shaped by the lifestyle they live.

As you delve into Travel as Transformation, you will learn just how profoundly travel can influence your perception of yourself. Diehl teaches aspiring travelers, vagabonds, and nomads to let go of their internal inhibitions and former sense of self. To encourage world wanderers to embrace change, he shares his own stirring experiences of transformation across Costa Rica, China, Morocco, Armenia, Iraq, Monaco, Ecuador, and more. By embarking on this nomadic journey alongside him, you will learn to examine all of humanity through unbiased eyes and discover all that lies just beyond your backyard. A new, vast cultural experience awaits.

To travel with a truly open mind is to forget who you were when you started. It is to be constantly born anew, and identify with ways of existence you did not know were possible. Travel as Transformation will give you the wisdom, the inspiration, and the resources to conquer the limitations placed on you by your home culture. It's time to take advantage of everything the world has to offer and become everything you can be.

©2016 Gregory V. Diehl (P)2016 Gregory V. Diehl

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Fabulous book. Mature, well considered and challenging

Gregory Diehl has written a book that offers a path to a liberated mind and true freedom in your short and precious life. His narrative challenges your comfortable shell of conformity and self-limitation. The values he advocates rise above our humdrum existence being no more than what we do. He has reached a place of genuine enlightenment through his travels. And yes, there are other routes to where he has found himself but if you're feeling brace, take up his challenge and travel for transformation.

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  • Olivia Roach
  • 05-03-19

Quite the Transformative Listen

I am so glad that last year I was able to fall in love with non-fiction, because it is a genre I am really learning to appreciate. Travel is something I love – I love exploring different countries and cultures, and seeing what I can learn from other people. So when a non-fiction book about travel was offered to me I jumped at the chance to read it.

I really liked that Diehl didn’t say that you need to quit your job and travel around the world and sell your house – all the usual stuff you hear a lot from travel content creators nowadays. But in this one the concept of difference and adapting is the main focus of the travel we are discussion. Which means travel can come in the form of exploring surrounding cities or states, or moving to a new city. It doesn’t have to be traveling around the world and switching country every single month. That’s not realistic for some people.

I also really like what Diehl said about time, and the learning that comes with travel. As someone who has lived abroad and also who travels a fair amount (no where near as much as him!) I have experienced some of the things her refers to in this book time and time again. So, if you wanted a second opinion, I do think this is a really true to the experience book.

One thing that I wish Diehl took more into account was the financial side of things. While we did get to hear about how he funds his travel around the world, and how he started making that work for him, he glosses over that the initial push into traveling came from money he ‘had’ that enabled him to book a flight to go visit a friend without booking a return ticket. But some of us don’t have that kind of money! I would’ve been curious to know more about how to travel when you have limited financial options. Maybe in another book…

Another discussion I appreciated in this book was the discussion of whether you are an ‘outsider’ all the time in a country, even if you have lived there for a while. He touches upon cultural and social norms, and how much research you should do before approaching travelling to a new place. I also like that he mentioned how breaking the social norms may have consequences for you but also for the local people living there.

This was an incredibly well researched book, and you can tell. You can see it through the facts that smoothly are woven into his personal account and story. It makes for easy non-fiction reading that way as well.

One of my biggest struggles with this book was the chapter where he expresses strong negative opinions of China and some of the social behaviours there. I thought that until this point, he had been very careful to not give a completely negative view of a country – I hoped it was with the intention of letting the reader travel to the place and make up their own mind – but his dislike of China was blatant. I understand to some extent, as he did have a bad experience there and I understand how that would reflect on his view of the country. But I have also been to China and I had the complete opposite impression of the culture there. Maybe it was because he spent time with adults, and I spent time with students? But then he does mention students so… I’m not sure. But the obvious dislike unsettled me, and I wouldn’t want people to think that of the country. It would have been best if he focused on his personal opinions and didn’t criticise the country so strongly so the reader could make up their own mind.

I really loved how the author chose to delve into some of the theoretical sides of travel as well. The why and the effects it has on a person and their personality. It doesn’t deep dive too much as to get lost in the psychology and technical language. But just enough that it makes you think about what actually happens to you and your mind when you travel and explore a different country.

I am very much looking forward to reading more nonfiction from Gregory Diehl for sure.

This review can originally be found on Olivia's Catastrophe.

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  • S.C.
  • 29-03-18

So much more than I thought I was buying!

Excellent! Not what was expecting but just what I needed to hear! Thank you to the author for sharing this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon Nielsen
  • 21-12-16

Re-living my travel adventure and insights

What did you love best about Travel as Transformation?

The author manages to elegantly express some of the same experiences and emotions I've had living as a global traveler for almost two years. I've been considering writing about it, but this one will be hard to beat. I was honestly surprised at how well Diehl managed to express some of the deeper insights from leaving your culture behind and immersing yourself in new ones.

What other book might you compare Travel as Transformation to and why?

I first read Vagabonding, by Potts, which has a similar theme, but I found that Travel as Transformation gave a more in-depth look as what can happen to your core, your values and your sense of self during long-time travel and remote work&living, and so the two books really cover the topic in two unique ways.

Which scene was your favorite?

I must say that my favorite part was then Diehl described the realization that "we" (any of us) don't really come from the place in the world with the best answers to lifes questions - we only think we do. I recognize this in a lot of my friends and family who tend to think so highly or their own culture, and less of others, in the must subtle way. "We are fortunate to live in the best country on earth" people say (and granted, Scandinavia has a lot going for it). But no culture is really better (non-free societies aside), they're just diffent. My own experience of this taught me some much needed humility.

Any additional comments?

To anyone considering going on a long-term trip, or perhaps living the nomadic lifestyle, I'll say pick up this book, and perhaps Vagabonding also. Also for anyone looking to make sense of travel experiences they've already has, definitely read this book.

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  • Leon F.
  • 04-12-16

To Travel Is Human

What made the experience of listening to Travel as Transformation the most enjoyable?

When I saw the title I thought, "Another stop-living-a-boring-life motivational book." Instead, I was treated to a deeply personal meditation on culture, identity, and the human condition. It reads/listens almost like a letter from a close friend.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked how it is uniquely refreshing, and at the same time still packed with travel wisdoms.

What about Gregory V. Diehl’s performance did you like?

The author/narrator's soothing voice made listening to this book a pleasant experience.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I resonated strongly with the author's spot-on observations of the Chinese society.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this book without reservation.

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  • Amazing Brian
  • 23-11-16

Pure is self discovery

This is a great book for those who endeavor to become better people. I especially loved the idea of the international border less passport and I will be on my way to get one soon even though its still limited to six countries. This book is a great piece of art and science.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel P Casey
  • 15-11-16

I love listening to the author read...

Where does Travel as Transformation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Travel definitely ranks high among contemporary audio books I have listen to. I think it is the author's passion that makes a difference.

What other book might you compare Travel as Transformation to and why?

This book does not compare to anything I have listened to. The subject matter of this "travelers club" of sorts was not known to me.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Gregory was confronted with the clash of cultures in a restaraunt in the Middle East talking to a waitress, which might have ended up in an "honor killig" by her family.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Home is where the heart is

Any additional comments?

Gregory is a fine writer and a pleasant yet engaging voice to listen to while enjoying his book.
A really nice surprise!

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  • Karsten Aichholz
  • 28-10-16

An Inspirational Voice for Travel Ponderers

What did you love best about Travel as Transformation?

Gregory has a voice that sticks. You can tell he believes what he writes. Convinced of the transformational power of travel he outlines his own journey, gives his thoughts and thought processes a voice and provides inspirational reinforcement for anyone debarking from a more traditional path in life to pursue long term exploration.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Shwamy (did I spell that right?) was definitely one of the most unique characters I heard about. From bodyguard to hermit he's someone that was skin-on-skin and entirely removed from his fellow humans. You can feel the impression he has had on Gregory and it's a fascinating character to hear about.

Which character – as performed by Gregory V. Diehl – was your favorite?

His voice is really the strongest when he voices his own thoughts. While the foreword might give the book credentials, it's Gregory's own writing and voice that lends it real character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I particularly liked the early chapters of the book that are made up of the inspirational concepts that moved Gregory to traveling and keep moving him to the present day.

Any additional comments?

I have to admit that in terms of pragmatic and practical advice this audio book didn't exactly set a new standard, though this may be in part due to myself being a seasoned traveler who tends to struggle with different issue than first timers. Where the book works exceptionally well though is in the motivational area, when it's about giving people the reassurance that it's okay to step out of what's considered 'normal' and pursue their own path.

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  • K. St. James
  • 20-11-19

Thought Provoking but Too Demanding

The author shares many ideas that would be worth considering if not issued as demands. There were too many black or white statements, either/or instructions, and both "only" & "must" commands issued directly to me, the listener: "You must do this if..." I can appreciate that the author has found a way to live his ideals; however, he has yet to understand that there are no certainties. Despite his belief, he has not discovered THE truth, but only ONE truth - his. There are many truths even when it comes to one thing. I would have been more inspired if his (excellent) ideas had been presented in such a way that I found encouraging to emulate. Instead, I became more and more irritated with being told what I must do and how lowly I would be thought of if I chose otherwise, personal reasons be damned. The author embodied the judgments he made against others quite often throughout the entire book, which was very unfortunate. He had many outstanding ideas that could potentially be profoundly life & world changing if they don't end up getting ignored by individuals who want to avoid angry, accusatory diatribes. The author has a strong foundation and is still growing, so I expect him to present more accessible visionary works in the future.

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  • rod
  • 05-10-17

Travel as a way to self discovery

I was contacted by the author, Gregory V. Diehl, who is also the co-founder of Identity Publications and asked if I'd like to read one of the books published by his company in exchange for an honest review. I chose to listen to and review Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity as it sounded like the most interesting book to me.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity by Gregory V. Diehl.

Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity by Gregory V. Diehl isn't a travelogue by any means. It focuses more on discovering your authentic self beyond the limits of one's cultural beliefs and biases.

I see a lot of value in finding one's authentic self/identity by moving beyond limiting beliefs and biases that are culturally ingrained or based, but I am not sure travel is always transformative in finding ones own identity or even the end all be all in discovering one's true identity.

I think that being exposed to a lot of different ways of thinking, different religious beliefs, various philosophies, and other socioeconomic factors can help shape and enhance anyone's life in a positive way/manner without the need to travel outside one's country could possibly be very beneficial in discovering one's identity. Being open minded and inquisitive to what life has to offer and other ways of living can also help in discovering one's own identity I would imagine as well.

I think that Gregory V. Diehl makes a lot of good points in his book, Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity, that I agreed with and make it worth the read. But I think that people are able 'conquer the limitations placed on you by your home culture' without having to travel outside one's own home culture and become who they were meant to be in various other ways.

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  • Ranjeet
  • 21-09-17

It Will Help Me

Any additional comments?

It is an amazing audiobook I've ever listen to. I've studied that enthusiasm to adapt to other cultures is one of the great tools that can speed up an individual development into a better version of oneself.