Book Review: Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity

About the book:travel as transformation

Title: Travel as Transformation: Conquer the Limits of Culture to Discover Your Own Identity

Author: Gregory V. Diehl

Published: November 1st 2016 by Identity Publications

Source: received from the author and Identity Publications in exchange for a review

Format: paperback


A daring, intelligent, and unapologetic call to find yourself in wanderlust.

When you travel to a foreign place, do you experience this new life as your old self? Or do you become a new self?

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, bestselling author Gregory V. Diehl has followed a worldly and unconventional path. Leaving his home in California as a teenager, he went on to live and work in 45 countries across the globe by age 28. In Travel as Transformation, he uses his diverse cultural experiences as a world traveler to ask the reader to question how their identity has been shaped by the lifestyle they live.

As you delve into Travel as Transformation, you will learn how travel can profoundly influence your perception of yourself. Diehl teaches aspiring travelers to let go of their internal inhibitions and former sense of self. He shares his own moving experiences of transformation across Costa Rica, China, Morocco, Armenia, Iraq, Monaco, Ecuador, and more to encourage travelers to embrace change. He takes the reader on a nomadic journey that examines all of humanity through unbiased eyes.

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 you did not know others could exist. What affirms you most? What would it take to destroy you? Travel as Transformation will give you the wisdom, the inspiration, and the resources to conquer the limitations of your home culture. It’s time to take advantage of everything the world has to offer and become everything you can be.

Check it on: Amazon  & Goodreads

My Review:

When I was approached by the author to read and review some of the non-fiction books that Identity Publications was willing to provide I was doing just what Gregory Diehl is advising in his book: exceed our limits, leave our comfort zone and experiment. Yes, mine was an experience at a lower level, but still. I would like to thank the author and Identity Publication for yet another amazing title I was lucky to receive from them.

“Travel as Transformation” is a self-discovery book, with a very powerful message: reinventing oneself by breaking free from society rules, by taking a chance. The author is relating from his own experience how he managed to overcome his limitations and fears, using traveling as his way of understanding the world. As many other readers, I believed this book was indeed a travel journal, where we see how he experienced different counties and cultures. But it is so much more than that. It is Gregory’s development journal (if I may call it like that), containing his accumulated experience, step by step.

There is a holistic approach to global travel that will fundamentally change you as a person.

The author’s journey begins with the discovery of other extraordinary people, who have also broken their boundaries: artists like Debussy or writers like Asimov. He learned to face his fears, to give up his preconceptions and to form new opinions of the world by experiencing different societies and ways of living.  Changes in Gregory’s mentality and personal life are described analytically, starting with his view of the world to his relationship with family members.

To some, this book might seem as instigation to a rebellious attitude. However, this is just how the author perceived his limitations. This is the objective: “Conquer the limits of culture to discover your own identity” and this can be achieved by conquering one’s fears, by surpassing the borders of our development.

The world is a book of many pages waiting to be read. The self is a library of ancient tomes written in languages you cannot fully understand. You grow accustomed with the characters you find on the first shelf and never get to know what remains on the vast arena of you.

I am a believer in education as guidance for a harmonious personal development and I believe society shapes us in one way or another. It is up to us how we let it influence us in the right way. Has this book achieved its purpose? Well, yes, in my case. Although I am not a risk taker, I was faced with not knowing what I wanted. I had my world turned upside down and learned to adapt. This process made me rethink my own identity. Again, my trials were at a lower scale, but significant to my own experience. Gregory Diehl’s book is a manifest for self-development, search for knowledge and achieving the best self we can be, by opening our mind to our surroundings.

Do whatever is difficult until it is no longer difficult. Let yourself grow into all the ways you are capable of being.

I hate loneliness; I need to be close to my family, although I live one hour drive from home, and I feel scared when I do not have the people important to me close. But I am learning to cope with these moments and finding mechanisms to adapt. I take my own adventures in the unknown through books and books I would not normally read for fear of not liking them (not being what I am used to).  So on some small level, I am starting my own journey to a more developed identity.

 About the Authorgregory

From a young age, Gregory Diehl understood the importance of universal ideals. Though he was raised in California, he soon embarked on a journey of global quest for learning, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, and inquiry. Since then, Gregory has lived and worked in 45 countries and continues to use his experiences to help others along the path of self-fulfillment through exploration.

Gregory’s first book, Brand Identity Breakthrough, is an Amazon bestseller. His podcast, Uncomfortable Conversations with Gregory, taps into the core of people’s conceptions of self. He helps entrepreneurs prepare complex value messages across many mediums, and offers unconventional lifestyle coaching and brand identity consultancy for impassioned individuals.

In his free time, Gregory kidnaps felines from streets around the world and bathes them in his sink before passing them along to strangers.

Find him at



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