Tag Archives: 100

Older Peace Corps Volunteers

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What’s it like to be an older Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova, in eastern Europe, or in more than 60 other countries around the world?

Not Exactly Retired celebrated its 100th blog post with a special series sharing the experiences of some of Moldova’s older volunteers.

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Here are the four stories from the series:

Insights and Advice shares what some older Americans have learned in Peace Corps Moldova.

Expect Surprises explores some of the situations and emotions that most surprised them.

Looking to the Future considers how Peace Corps service has changed their life plans.

Carla’s Story shares the story of one older volunteer from Yuma, Arizona.

Are you or someone you know thinking about joining the Peace Corps? You’ll find lots of helpful information on the agency’s main application site, which also offers a website addressing the special concerns of older applicants. If you’re especially interested in Peace Corps Moldova, check out the Peace Corps Moldova Facebook page, which highlights volunteers of all ages.

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-10-00-34-amYou’ll also find more stories on this blog, Not Exactly Retired, such as Peace Corps After 50, an earlier post that was reprinted on NextAvenue and elsewhere.

[Added later: Peace Corps: Now vs. Then describes the six biggest changes I’ve seen in Peace Corps since serving when I was younger. Mulling What’s Next highlights resources for older Americans looking to combine travel, service and adventure in their lives. The Surprise of Travel encourages travelers to venture off the beaten path. My Unpredicted Birthday reflects on what it’s like to turn 65 while serving in the Peace Corps.

Shortly after we completed our service and returned home, the Kiplinger Retirement Report profiled the two of us in an article about older Americans serving as Peace Corps Volunteers.]

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We welcome your comments and invite you to subscribe to Not Exactly Retired, which has been chronicling our journey since we left our conventional jobs and American lifestyle in mid-2015 to pursue new lives of adventure and service. Perhaps it will inspire you to consider changes in your own life — or just entertain you. It’s free, and more than 10,000 people have visited. Join the journey!

Thanks to all of the Peace Corps Moldova volunteers who assisted with this series, which was published in December 2016. Unfortunately, we were unable to include all of them. Many of the others have great stories, too. See the Facebook page (above) to read some of them.

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100 Posts

This is my 100th post on Not Exactly Retired, which has attracted more than 7,500 visitors since it began in mid-2015. I’ll be celebrating the milestone with a special series about older volunteers in the Peace Corps, starting with my next post.

First, though, especially during this holiday season, I want to pause to tell all of you how much I love producing this blog and appreciate all of you who read it.

img_2535Before Champa and I began our journey 18 months ago, I spent a career doing communications for nonprofit organizations, much of it ghost-writing articles and speeches for others. For four decades, I largely put my own writing aside.

Only after I started Not Exactly Retired did I realize how much I’d missed speaking in my own voice.

Now I get to report first-hand on issues such as immigration or the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal. I can be silly, as with the adventures of our traveling gnome. I can produce videos one week and share recipes the next. Some posts get picked up elsewhere and reach national audiences.

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What I’ve enjoyed most is sharing the incredible experiences Champa and I have had since we walked away from our conventional American lives to pursue new lives of adventure and service, most recently as Peace Corps volunteers in eastern Europe. I treasure the many messages I’ve received and posts I’ve seen from people saying the blog is inspiring them to consider changes in their own lives.

I’ve always been a quick writer, so I can produce the blog while remaining active with everything else I am privileged to be doing as a Peace Corps volunteer. Things go even faster because the layers of my institutional vetting process now work as follows:

Me talking to myself: “So, David, do you approve this?”

Me answering myself: “Yes.”

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-11-22-25-amMost blogs fail. A 2009 New York Times article cited a Technorati survey saying 95 percent of blogs were “essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.”

Not Exacly Retired is going strong thanks to all of you who read it, offer comments and send encouragement. I hope you enjoy the upcoming series and everything that follows. If you have a friend or relative who is pondering how to live the second half of their lives,  or who just has a sense of adventure, I encourage you to share Not Exactly Retired with them, too. Perhaps they will find it useful, or at least entertaining.

As always, I recommend you subscribe directly to the blog. If you’re just linking to it from Facebook, you’re missing out on some of the best stuff.

I also welcome your comments.

And now, on to the series and whatever comes after that. I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly finished yet.