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Independence Day in Tanzania

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Hello from Moshi, Tanzania, and happy Fourth of July. In case you aren’t familiar, today is the day when The United States celebrates its independence by eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and blowing things up with fireworks. If you’ve never seen it, I highly recommend it at least once in your life.

While I won’t be able to celebrate with my friends and family back at home, I’ll be celebrating independence in my own little way.

You see, it was just one year ago that I started Riskology.co, and I had no idea at the time just what it could become. Today, this site supports my humble lifestyle and allows me to travel to cool places like Africa. In fact, if everything goes well, I’ll be reaching the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro today, the first of my bid for the Seven Summits.

Just like me, you don’t need to be in or even from the United States to celebrate your own independence. Even if you don’t feel that independent right now, you can decide for yourself to focus your attention on the parts of life that you do control. By choosing to see the good instead of the bad, you naturally begin to find more of it. If you want more independence, focus on the independence you already have, and you’ll begin to see ways to get more of it.

Introducing Dancan

Take the story of Dancan, for instance. Dancan found me on the street in Moshi and offered to take me on a tour of the city if I gave him a tip at the end. I declined, but Dancan was persistent, so I gave in and let him lead the way (this is how many locals make a living—giving tours and selling small trinkets and souvenirs to tourists).

Between touring the markets and taking me to the local shops, Dancan told me about how he grew up in a small village in Tanzania. When both his parents passed away, he moved to Moshi in order to support himself. While most people in Tanzania live in complete poverty (by no fault of their own), Dancan told me he’s doing okay because he’s willing to work hard enough to out-do the many other “lazy tour guides.”

Dancan started out with very little and had few options in life. But instead of accepting that, he found an opportunity and capitalized on it. Now he enjoys an independence that many of his friends and countrymen do not. Life isn’t all roses for him, but it’s getting better.

When we first met, I never suspected I’d find myself asking, “How can I be more like Dancan?” But now I think it’s a worthwhile question.

How can you bring more independence into your life? How can you be more like Dancan?

Happy Fourth of July,

~~~~~

Image by: Barry Yanowitz

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What smart people are saying about this...

  1. Here’s wishing you a great climb to the summit, Tyler!

    And great way to link into the theme of independence today. You are creating a inspiration snowball, showing how Dancan has inspired you. Sounds like you got a superior tour of Moshi.

  2. (Pre)-congrats on Kilimanjaro!

    I can bring more independence into my life by doing the work of completing my next book + sharing it with the world. This process will bring me greater creative independence and confidence, and additional financial independence as well.

    Happy 4th! :)

  3. Happy Fourth of July to you and other friends around the world! Sounds like you’re having a great time (what a cool story about Dancan, and thanks for the reminder that circumstances aren’t the only determining factor in our success), and best of luck with the summit today!

  4. Wonderful post, Tyler! Everybody’s got a great story to teach us, if we dig for it–thanks for introducing us to Dancan.
    Your own story with the 1% Club is great, too. Good luck with Kilimanjaro! Envisioning you on the top right now.

  5. Tyler,

    Good post . . . now I will always remember the day you started your blog! This week I’m going to visit a local middle school to check out their mentoring program. I will keep your 1% Club in mind cause I think your stories would be good examples for the kids. Sounds like you’re having a great adventure!

    Kurt

  6. I do hope you made the summit!

    Great post, Tyler. Congratulations on a full year with your website.

    We enjoyed the 4th of July in Cape Town sans fireworks, but expat friends came over with homemade tortillas, fresh salsa and beans and then we “braai’d” (South African for BBQ ;) ) I hope your African 4th of July treated you as well.

    All the best! Kerry

    • I had a great Fourth, Kerry–thanks! I was actually standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro right as everyone at home was starting to light off fireworks. :)

  7. Happy Kilimanjaro Day! What an exciting feat! I will bring more independence to my life by applying for yoga jobs and start teaching finally. I’m certified just hesitant to get out there. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope you had a nice 4th in Tanzania. I paddled out this year to watch the fireworks. It was pretty awesome…post to come.

  8. I like Dancan’s comment — that anyone willing to work hard and be creative can find a way to have the life they desire, even in countries or in situations that don’t have as much readily-available opportunity.

  9. Hey Tyler,
    Glad to hear your off exploring the world again.
    Interesting and thought provoking post. Thanks for the wake up call..have fun

  10. Hi Tyler,
    My best wishes in your adventure. I think there is always opportunities, and people like you or Danca bring us some help.

Founded with love by Tyler Tervooren