Writers Inspiring Change feature book review: Travel as Transformation
TRAVEL AS TRANSFORMATION by Gregory V. Diehl is a complete surprise package - a dark horse in the race. The book relates a fascinating narrative about the road to philosophical and spiritual self-discovery, one which every human being can experience, and really should, because this perspective is not one being taught in conventional schools or by society at large. Diehl depicts his observations and insights through the portal of his decade of travelling the world, to lands far and wide, and his existential insights are brilliant and fundamental and pervasive. One cannot help but relate to them and to start looking at one's own life in terms of how much more one can do. Well-written, Diehl convincingly shows that by casting off the shackles of cultural mediocrity, which we have grown up with from a very young age, we can achieve so much more in our lives. This quotation from the book sums it up quite nicely: “The world at first rejects whatever does not belong within its molds. But in time, it will respect anyone who stands firm and proud in front of the human race as themselves. It places them into a category unto themselves – a landmark for what people can become. Others will unconsciously emulate you because your existence shows them new limits to what is possible.”
Review by International Writers Inspiring Change
About Gregory Diehl
I’m originally from San Diego, but have been traveling around the world since I turned 18. I’m 28 now, and travel has remained a huge part of my lifestyle. I have learned the practical tips and interesting destinations that everyone talks about, but I also have experienced a profound personal evolution as a result of my journey. It has opened me up to becoming a very different kind of person than when I started, or if I had just stayed in one place my whole life. Aside from writing books (Travel As Transformation is my 2nd), I work in personal development and meaningful business development.
What prompted you to become a writer?
I’ve always been writing in one form or another. I see myself as a communicator, and writing is a just a convenient form for that. I used to write a lot of articles, and an absurd amount of sales copy for clients who hired me. I didn’t get into writing books until a woman who ran a company called Convertport convinced me I had a message worth publishing and that she could help me produce and market it. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a scam and I lost a lot of money, but it put the seed in my mind to become a self-published author. That was when I started learning everything I would need to do, and my first book (Brand Identity Breakthrough) was the result. It hit bestseller status while still on pre-order in May of this year, and has remained high in the rankings since then.
What do your readers like about your writing?
My tone is very distinct. I’ve worked hard to hone it over the years. It’s an unusual blend of directness, education, intellect, condescension and hopefulness. Even when I am writing about ordinary things, people say I have a way of really getting down to the core of it all and showing them a new side of something they thought they already understood. I deconstruct my subject and put it back together in a new way.
Is there a message weaved into your writing?
My message is all about understanding yourself beyond any falsehoods of cultural conveniences. When you have accomplished that, it’s about expressing this profound and authentic idea in the most appropriate way within the larger world around you. Whether that’s through a business, ordinary social interactions, the projects that consume your time, or anything, doesn’t really matter. People need to remember how to be themselves.
How do you inspire others with and through your writing?
I believe that for the right person, my writing can make them ask difficult questions and think more deeply about the answers than they ever have been willing or able to before. It’s a lot like having a live conversation with me, but in book form. Some people definitely find it off-putting, but others can’t get enough. It makes it very easy to find my target market. The goal is always to get them to do something they otherwise wouldn’t have the courage or clarity to do.
Tell us about your most recent book(s) and why you wrote it.
My first books are the start of many that will follow in the years to come. Brand Identity Breakthrough is about the lessons I have learned for constructing a unique and authentic narrative for a small business. It involves a lot of sales, marketing, and introspection to be able to tell your unique story better. Travel As Transformation tells how traveling to 45 countries over the last 10 years has completely changed my sense of self and my place in the world. It gives practical advice and motivation for others who want to do the same. I wrote both of them because I knew I had something unique and powerful to offer people who wanted to listen, and publishing on Amazon was the best outlet for doing that. Both have performed very well, and I plan to repeat the results many times over with future books.