What happens when you turn 30, and realize the life you are living isn’t what you expected?

You are single.

You have no children.

You want out of your job.

You don’t own a home.

You don’t have anything tying you to any specific place.

You aren’t sure exactly what you want out of life, but know what you’ve got isn’t what you want?

What do you do?

Well, let’s make this a little more specific.

What do I do when I wake up, realize I am not living the life I ever imagined?

Sure, my future has gone through many different versions: as a child, I dreamt of winning an Emmy for my dramatic performance on a soap opera (preferably “All My Children”); as a teen, it was being a sports reporter covering the NHL; and as a 20-something, I lived to become a power publicist in Las Vegas.

Now, at 30, what do I want for my now, for my future?

What I’m doing isn’t working for me. I have all of this passion, all of this unbridled desire to LIVE, but just haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly how to accomplish this. Until now. 

Since my return from Croatia, I have teetered between sanity and tears (bless you, Mom and Dad and my inner-circle of amazing friends), a career change and a life change. This is what I have lovingly dubbed my 30 Life Crisis. Easily defined, a 30 Life Crisis is the point where one wakes up on their 30th birthday (or close to it) and wonders just what the hell is going on.  A person can clearly recognize where they are in their life and can understand how they got to that point, but also comes to the realization they want like hell to change it. For those who are nodding in agreement and living this moment, embrace it. Enjoy it. Make a change.

After months of research, weighing my options and learning from my travel peers what works and what doesn’t, I have decided to take an oh-so-scary step to infuse my passion with my daily living and quit my job, put my life in storage, foster my cats (shout out to Megan P.), and GET LIVING.

Not to stop the Croatia story in its tracks (promise, it will continue and lead up to this post and beyond) but I am too excited to not make this announcement:

I have booked my flights for my upcoming solo

backpacking adventure through

Europe and North Africa.

Stay tuned, The Adventures of D takes a whole new turn on Sunday, March 7 when I leave for London. My return ticket is for Fall 2010 out of Zagreb, Croatia, but I don’t have to take it …

Ah, 30 Life Crisis, I do love you so.

And, while I don’t expect traveling to solve my crisis, I do expect to learn more about me. About other people. And, most important of all, about life.

In the words of the travel agent who just booked my flight: “Little one, find yourself and tell me about it.”

58 comments

    1. Thank you!! I look forward to sharing. Starting with what a pain in the arse it is to get all of your stuff together in order to leave the country for a extended period of time. At least I know it will be worth it!

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  1. WOW – congrats and well done! My mid-20’s crisis is what was responsible for my move to Europe and here I still am, 3.5 years later! While it can be difficult, it’s so worth it, and hey -you can ALWAYS come home! Can’t wait to read about your adventures/

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    1. Oooh!! You got to stay? That’s awesome!! My Quarter Life Crisis landed me in Las Vegas, but that’s another story for another time. Thanks so much for the note! Where are you? I’m thinking I should get off the train in your town and say hello!

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  2. I already knew you were doing this but this post still makes me really happy! I think it takes a lot of strength and wisdom to look at your life, realize it isn’t working for you and make such a radical change.

    It’s not always easy but I think it will be a great thing for you and I can’t wait to hear about it!

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment! Reading what you wrote makes me smile. I can’t wait to share my stories. And, I can’t wait to hear about your travels, too! I hope we can grab a drink before I cross the Atlantic. 🙂

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  3. I don’t know, an NHL reporter would have been pretty damn sweet 🙂 Best damn sport. But anyways, yea, good on ya for having the spine to step out of the american dream mold and take a look around. I’m looking forward to hearing how it all goes. And as an anonymous internet stranger I can promise you that you won’t regret this decision 🙂

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    1. Ah, yes. Being an NHL reporter would have been pretty damn sweet. I guess I’m rebelling against corproate America, like so many others embarking on their own amazing and fabulous journeys. And, as an anonymous internet stranger, I appreciate the time you took to post a comment. And your reassurance that I wont regret the decision.

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  4. I burned out in PR after being the power publicist in LA then NYC as well – I think while it starts out exciting; the pace, the pay, the bitchy people and doing the same thing again and again gets old.

    Kudos Diana. You are doing something that will open your eyes and change who you are as a person. You are brave and I admire you.

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  5. Yes yes yes!!! I LOVE seeing people do this rather than sit around and mope about what could be. Geeeeez. I feel like forcing some of my friends to read this entry so they can stop whining. Excited for you!

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  6. I love you so much and I have the unique privilege to have known you through your acting years, sports journalism years, and PR years. Get out there and discover whatever it is you’ve been itching to find out about the world.

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  7. Huge congrats!! That is such an empowering step – I remember the thrill and fear when I booked a one-way to Australia with no set plan but a life crisis bubbling up 🙂 Can’t wait to follow your journey!

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  8. I have three (very over used words) for you.

    YOU GO GIRL!

    Sorry to have to go there with that age old adage, but it fits.

    U simply rock and I am honored to call you “friend”. Will C U for sure somewhere in the world. Can’t wait…

    Let the adventures begin.

    Stef

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    1. Stef, thank you so much for the comment. It means a lot to me. Um, if I don’t see you during this trip, we’ve got a problem. Here’s to merging adventures somewhere in the very near future!

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  9. Good work I can’t wait to read about what you get up too and hopefully catch up with you in Europe when I get over there in June.

    I reached my 30 Life Crisis at 28 and am lucky that I just happened to find myself in a situation that would allow me to escape Australia without too much hassle.

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  10. I’m so excited for you! I’ve got a book which has been passed around between me and my 2 sisters: The Quarterlife Crisis. It describes your same emotions!

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    1. I thought I coined the phrase Quarter Life Crisis when I first turned 25. Turns out everyone goes through it. Which makes me feel much better. Only different between QLC and 30LC is I am going far, far away, versus a few thousand miles. Thanks for the note. And, can’t wait to meet ya!

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  11. The first thing a person should do when they wake up at any point in their life and realize that they are not living the life they dreamed of….is to CELEBRATE! It is time to make a change!

    It is better to make this realization at any age, than never make it at all, so consider yourself way ahead of the game.

    I’m excited to see where the journey takes you…and I love that you said you don’t have to take your return flight home in the fall…you definitely have the right mindset!

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  12. Where have I been? I meant to view your site, glad I finally have! I can relate to all your feelings even though I’m a few years older than you.

    On that note, if you’re cool with this, I’m adding you to my linkroll. 🙂 Whatever happens, change will occur – its all good!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I am glad you like it. 🙂 Feel free to subscribe so you get the posts sent to you instead of having to check to see when it’s updated.

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  13. Congrats on taking the plunge on the best decision you’ve ever made in your life! I can totally relate to all the pre-trip emotions and know what an anxious/exciting time it is. I’m on month 4 of my 14-month trip and am enjoying the daily adventures. Looking forward to watching your journey unfold!

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  14. DE! It has been way too long since i visited your website, but I’m loving it. And, after just reading this, I think I am entering my 30 Life Crisis with less than a month in my 20s. Oh where the road shall take me.
    much love to you. A.

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  15. Believe it or not, I was 30 and in the same position as you (well I was 29 and getting ready to turn 30). I also did what you did – I went to Europe. When I got back, life changed and has never been the same since! Don’t think things are so bad at 30 in that situation – there is PLENTY of life and good times ahead!

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  16. My 30’s crisis led to a round the world trip through more than 40 countries for almost3 years, a blog and a 500 page book written in English which is not my native language.

    So yeah, That was kind of a turning point.

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  17. Only an American could possibly be this narcissistic and self-absorbed. I hope that as you travel, you realize that none of this is unique. Everyone has problems and everyone travels. It’s just that most have a sense of dignity and privacy. Since you don’t, I recommend that you write a sequel to, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I’m sure it’ll be a huge success.

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    1. Actually, that’s my plan. I am sure there are plenty of others just like me who are narcissistic and self-absorbed who would love to read it. Am guessing I can’t count on you to help my book sales. It should be noted, there are also plenty of assholes out there willing to take the time to read blogs like mine and leave a hateful comment to someone they have never met … clearly certain people have too much time on their hands reading said narcissistic and self-absorbed travel blogs and taking their precious time to comment on something and someone’s life they clearly dislike greatly. I love that you took the time to comment, but didn’t have the balls to leave your real name or e-mail. Stay classy and enjoy being a faceless bully on the internet.

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      1. What a crock of shit. I left my email address. I’m not being an anonymous Internet bully. You are being fake, which is obviously expected.

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      2. I’m narcissistic and self-absorbed, and I’d read that book. But I’m also an asshole and a bully, so maybe I’d only read half of it.

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    2. Only someone so pathetic, and unhappy with themselves would post a comment so moronic. It’s nice for everyone to have their own opinion, but after all my personal travels around the world, I’ve noticed most people like to lift up their fellow human beings. Do you think it really helps anyone to be so angry for doing nothing more than sharing, or cataloguing an event? It must really suck to be a pathetic waste of O2. Try trolling somewhere else, because this isn’t the place for it. I bet it’s extra fun to sit on the computer all day, and never experience anything other than your phone, or laptop. Just because someone travels, (I’m talking to you “world traveler like everyone else” does not mean they have learned anything. A true traveler Such as D’, loves life, and doesn’t turn her nose up at any culture. Traveling and Living are two different things. Go back to pretending you matter in your cyber world, while the rest of us are enjoying ourselves. Sorry you’re so unhappy that you have to make the rest of the world unhappy. You seriously need a massage, or you need to get laid. Oh, wait. You’re too busy trolling to actually go out and meet people. I’m very excited to see what response I get. Try and defend yourself, because your narrow minded, conceited, and useless brain probably only understands anger, and hate. A true traveler is always smiling, and a listens more than they talk. You can call yourself a world traveler all you want, but until you respect the entire human race, you’re nothing but angry bitter waste of space. I could go on all day, but I have some actual exploring to do. I don’t mean cyber trolling. I hope your pillow doesn’t get too wet when you lay your huge head down, and cry yourself to sleep because you’re a lonely twat.

      Like

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