A BRIEF intermission: My 30 Life Crisis … solved?

Written by on January 12, 2010 in 30 Life Crisis, Blog, Travel - 58 Comments

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.”

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

58 Comments on " A BRIEF intermission: My 30 Life Crisis … solved? "

  1. jo ann levitan January 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm · Reply

    good for you girl! love it! look forward to reading about your adventures!

    • dtravelsround January 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm · Reply

      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!

  2. Travelfusion January 13, 2010 at 8:57 am · Reply

    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/

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm · Reply

      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!

      • Travelfusion January 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm · Reply

        I’m in London now after three years in Paris. Would love to meet up when you get here – we’ll have to stay in touch!

        • dtravelsround January 15, 2010 at 11:52 am · Reply

          YES!! Will be there March 7 through ??? Trying to get involved in Hadrian’s 500 torch event. Looking forward to meeting you!

  3. Stephanie January 13, 2010 at 9:35 am · Reply

    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!

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm · Reply

      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. :)

  4. Shawn January 13, 2010 at 9:54 am · Reply

    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 :)

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm · Reply

      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.

  5. Me January 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm · Reply

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! I’ll go and read some more! What do you see the future of this being?

    • dtravelsround February 5, 2010 at 12:08 am · Reply

      Not sure yet … will tell the tales of my adventures …

  6. Heidi January 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm · Reply

    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.

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm · Reply

      Thank you so much for the sweet words, Heidi. It means a lot.

  7. Candice January 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm · Reply

    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!

  8. Cassie January 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm · Reply

    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.

  9. Shannon OD January 13, 2010 at 4:02 pm · Reply

    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!

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm · Reply

      Thank you! I used miles to book my trip, otherwise that ticket would surely be one-way! I can’t wait to start my journey. Although, I guess in a way, it’s already begun. :)

  10. Adventure Girl- Stef Michaels January 13, 2010 at 8:29 pm · Reply

    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

    • dtravelsround January 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm · Reply

      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!

  11. Chris January 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm · Reply

    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.

    • dtravelsround January 15, 2010 at 11:54 am · Reply

      Lucky you for getting to the 30LC early. I think I hit it right when I turned 29, but it took the events this year to really light a fire and get me going. Look forward to meeting you!

  12. Adam January 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm · Reply

    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!

    • dtravelsround January 15, 2010 at 11:54 am · Reply

      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!

  13. Earl January 13, 2010 at 11:18 pm · Reply

    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!

  14. Nomadic Chick January 21, 2010 at 12:27 pm · Reply

    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!

    • dtravelsround January 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm · Reply

      Absolutely! You are on mine as well!

  15. Grant Kalichman January 28, 2010 at 12:55 am · Reply

    found your web site on del.icio.us and genuinely like it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more more later ..

    • dtravelsround February 5, 2010 at 12:13 am · Reply

      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.

  16. Laura February 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm · Reply

    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!

    • dtravelsround March 1, 2010 at 11:49 am · Reply

      Thank you!! Do our schedules intersect at all during our travels?

  17. Christian August 28, 2010 at 3:16 am · Reply

    I think I’m going to hit my 30-life crisis next year (at 42). Just RSSd you and will try and read this in chrono order. Apols for turning up late – nice post!

    • The Adventures of D September 6, 2010 at 9:10 am · Reply

      Thanks for the note! Enjoy the read!! It’s been a long, amazing journey! And, live up that 30LC. It’s the best thing to ever happen to me!

  18. Aimee September 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm · Reply

    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.

    • The Adventures of D September 12, 2010 at 10:53 am · Reply

      Ooof, you are getting old. J/K. The 30LC isn’t so bad!! Promise. See you sooooon!! xx

  19. Kristin February 16, 2011 at 10:35 am · Reply

    Let’s hear it for the 30 life crisis! Mine happened at 32 and led me to 2 years of traveling and the seed planted for more!

  20. Jeremy Branham July 19, 2011 at 1:11 am · Reply

    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!

    • The Adventures of D July 19, 2011 at 1:30 am · Reply

      For sure!! I am SO thankful I did what I did when I did it! It has left me wanting more though … :) Pretty sure you agree when I say doing what we did was the best decision we could ever make. :)

  21. Neil Skywalker October 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm · Reply

    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.

    • Diana October 29, 2012 at 10:51 pm · Reply

      Good job, Neil!

  22. Emma April 9, 2013 at 3:51 am · Reply

    I found this to be a hugely inspiring article – very honest writing. Thank you for posting, D.

    Emma

    • Diana April 18, 2013 at 2:08 am · Reply

      Thank you, Emma!! :)

  23. World Traveler, Like Everyone Else July 9, 2013 at 2:23 am · Reply

    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.

    • Diana July 9, 2013 at 2:41 am · Reply

      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.

      • jmayel July 9, 2013 at 2:54 am · Reply

        lol great response. Well said

        • Diana July 9, 2013 at 3:20 am · Reply

          Thanks. :)

          • World Traveler, Like Everyone Else July 9, 2013 at 5:36 am ·

            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.

          • Diana July 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm ·

            Yes, and Elvis is still alive.

      • John July 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm · Reply

        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.

        • Diana July 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm · Reply

          Ha ha, half if just fine. :)

    • Stacy Phemister July 9, 2013 at 4:58 am · Reply

      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.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. What I learned in Croatia (The List) « The Adventures of D
  2. Somewhere with a view | The Adventures of D
  3. What I learned in Croatia (The List) | The Adventures of D
  4. 35 Life Lessons To Learn The Closer You Get To 30 | Thought Catalog

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