Americans approaching retirement can redefine their lives and find new fulfillment by pursuing international adventure and service instead of drifting in their familiar jobs.
That’s the message of Not Exactly Retired.
Author David Jarmul describes how he and his wife veered from their conventional American lives to wander around Nepal and the United States and serve as Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova in their sixties. Readers in more than 100 countries followed their journey on David’s popular blog and in news stories.
Not Exactly Retired begins with a drive across 31 U.S. states as the author and his wife adjust from their workaday lives to a new rhythm of daily adventure. After a brief return home, they travel to Nepal in the wake of a major earthquake, visiting places rarely seen by Westerners.
Then comes their biggest trip, to Eastern Europe, where they serve for two years as Peace Corps Volunteers in the little-known nation of Moldova. They form close friendships with their host family and colleagues there and undertake projects at the local school and library. They touch many lives and, in the process, change their own lives as well, finally returning home with a perspective very different from when they left.
Not Exactly Retired is a book for anyone seeking inspiration about how they, too, might pursue adventure, serve others, and redefine themselves for the next phase of their lives.
"'Who in their right mind joins the Peace Corps in their sixties?'" writes Marco Werman, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Togo and the current host of The World on public radio. "'What were we trying to prove to ourselves or anybody else?' David Jarmul ponders these perplexing questions during an 11,000 mile road-trip across America and his second tour with the Peace Corps, this time in Moldova — explorations that have both personal and historic appeal. He gently teases out a striking contrast between his service in Nepal 35 years ago and in Moldova in the age of Trump."
Jonathan Look, Jr., LifePart2, calls Not Exactly Retired a “fascinating story about the rewards of doing good while seeing the world. It shows how adventure can give new meaning to our lives and make them richer.”
Debbie and Michael Campbell, The Senior Nomads, say “David's storytelling is engaging and will inspire you to find your own North Star, whether that is more travel or joining the Peace Corps like they did, or striking out for unknown personal territory.”