Independence Day in Tanzania

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, 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