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Before You Call Me Crazy...

More and more, I’m sharing my story of how I got to Afghanistan with the world. I did it with only $100 to my name, a one-way ticket, and no job. I’ve been waiting for this for years. See, I originally went to Afghanistan for many reasons, but one of them was to share my experience of Muslim culture when I returned home to the states. It was my intention because I was so tired of Americans—the ones who had never been to Afghanistan—telling me what Afghans and Muslims were like. In February, I will go on my first speaking tour ever to talk more about this, and it’s so incredibly exciting. My dream is becoming a reality.

Last week, I did a talk at a small intellectual meet-up in Portland, Oregon. I did the usual. I spoke, I connected, and I made new friends. One acquaintance said to me, “Liz, I tell a lot of people about how you got to Afghanistan with only $100 to your name and no job. People first say, ‘Wow! She’s crazy’ but then they see it in a different way when I tell them why you did it.”

This was an interesting statement. It’s not a surprise that people instantly say that I’m crazy, but I want everyone to stop and think about what crazy really is. I’m crazy. There’s no doubt about it. I can function as an average human living in western society, hold an amazing career, and do things that most people do, but I know that I look at life and the world in a much different way.

Before you call me crazy, think about what it is. It’s crazy for me to go to Afghanistan with nothing but $100, but westerners aren’t crazy for working seventy-plus hours a week to pay for luxury cars and palatial suburban homes where it’s hard for the average three to four family members to occupy all the rooms? And what about our American obsession with weight? Are you telling me that I’m crazier for following my heart to Afghanistan than western women who strive to look like photoshopped emaciated models in Vogue Magazine? Am I crazier than the Americans who are addicted to movie and reality TV star gossip, and don’t understand that innocent people die everyday in other countries because of our country’s nastier habits of war mongering and oil consumption (to name a few)?


olutosin's picture

Beautiful Lizgrozer

This is inspiring! We all are crazy, you are an amazing woman, a thinker and a world changer, if the world can think the way you think believe me, there wouldn't be hungry children anywhere in the world.
We are one, always will be all we need is a change of heart. Lots of love and wishing you the best in all your endeavors,

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


lizgrover's picture


Thank you Olutosin. That's really kind of you. Like attracts like. I'm here reflecting your beauty.

Nusrat Ara's picture

If this is being crazy I wish

If this is being crazy I wish the world fills with only crazy people. We won't be needing anyone else.

You are the best



lizgrover's picture

Blush Blush

Thank you so much. I hope you are well & happy.

Nusrat Ara's picture

I wish I had your guts Liz.

I wish I had your guts Liz.


jadefrank's picture

what is crazy?

Hi Liz,

I'm so glad that crazy women like you exist! And I much prefer your kind of crazy - the kind that takes risks and sees the larger picture, who stands up for people who may not yet have the chance to stand up for themselves in the global arena, who sees through the crap and straight into the beauty of the human spirit and the potential of humanity.

Never stop being your beautiful, crazy self!

In friendship,

lizgrover's picture

And what is sane?

Awwww... Sniff, sniff. That's so kind of you. I'm leaving Portland tomorrow for about a month. I hope we get to meet in person when I return.


jadefrank's picture


Hi Liz,

Yes - let's meet up when you return! We have many new members on PulseWire from Afghanistan, mostly women teachers and administrators of the Afghan Institute of Learning. I am anxious to start up a group for discussions on Afghanistan with these women and would to have your input/voice/participation! I will send more details soon.


vida.olive's picture


Wow, this is incredibly inspiring and maybe we're all a bit crazy, those of us who push through barriers, or maybe we're completey sane.

abrazos para ti :) tchau

lizgrover's picture


Thank you! You're beautiful. It's a this or that situation. The truth is somewhere between the lines.

vida.olive's picture


I agree, somewhere between the lines :) I enjoy so much your strength and passion.

jap21's picture

You are not alone

I am so glad to meet a person who also (like me) doesn´t mind being called crazy because she knows what she is doing is worth it! I am humbled to meet you, and send blessings to you, from the southern end of the continent. Our countries are like black and white, opposite, but yet in reality they complement each other and need each other so much.

Just like muslims complement christians, Afghans need Americans, cold needs hot, we are really not opposites, just complementary. And I celebrate meeting you in this community.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

lizgrover's picture


Thank you Jackie,

It's so nice to meet you and I hope we can meet in Bolivia one day. It's very likely, considering how much I get around.
Keep shinning bright and thank you for all that you do for the world.


Cara Lopez Lee's picture

Crazy Beautiful

I love, love, love seeing women make such brave moves to expand their understanding of the world. On the subject of people dying to quench our thirst for oil: I really don't think most Americans know, or want to know that this is really happening, and regularly. I believe the first step toward compassion is to first admit that we all have blood on our hands: only when we are first honest about this can we begin to move toward positive change.

I can't wait to read more of your courageous & informative story. I'd love to invite you to guest post on my blog. If you're interested, please drop me a line. I'm easy to find.

lizgrover's picture

Thank you.

Hello Cara,

It looks like we have a very adventurous spirit in common. :-) I would be honored to be a guest blogger and to have a conversation too. I also invite you to be a guest on my blog.

I checked out your recent book on your site and I can see that we have a lot to share.

Thank you for being true to your heart.


Cheryl Rask's picture

thank you beautiful butterfly

I too live by that part of me not afraid and enjoy what sparks in others when we share what that experience is like. I thank you for carrying a ray of light where you go and wish you well each step of the way. Possibly we could chat ... we're in the same neighborhood I believe... Bliss, Cheryl

Rita Banerji's picture


True the U.S. messed up things -- what the Taliban had already messed up really badly. I have lived in both the East and West, and I think that it is important not to completely demonize or idealize one or the other.

Still i would urge you caution when you are in Afganistan particularly as a woman.

Here are 11 Safety Tips for women traveling alone in India/ (asia) or for that matter anywhere in the world (on the Gender Bytes blog today).



Rita Banerji

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