Adam Shepard, the author of Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream, has a new book out. It’s called One Year Lived and like Scratch Beginnings it’s a memoir of a a year in the life of the author, Mr. Shepard. However, this time Mr. Shepard decided find out how the other half lives in a different way: he saved up his money and spent his 29th year traveling the world. He spent less than a year of college would have cost him (>$20,000), and he visited seventeen countries on four continents.
What did Adam Shepard do on his journey around the world? Well, according to the publisher’s blurb, he dug wells in Nicaragua, rode an elephant in Thailand, mustered cattle in Australia, and went bungee-jumping in Slovakia, among other exploits and escapades.
Even better than all of that adventure, Mr. Shepard read seventy-one books on his way around the world, including one in Spanish. Who says you can’t read and experience the world at the same time?
From the back of the book:
“I’m not angry. I don’t hate my job. I’m not annoyed with capitalism, and I’m indifferent to materialism. I’m not escaping emptiness, nor am I searching for meaning. I have great friends, a wonderful family, and fun roommates. The dude two doors down invited me over for steak or pork chops–my choice–on Sunday, and I couldn’t even tell you the first letter of his name. Sure, the producers of The Amazing Race have rejected all five of my applications to hotfoot around the world–all five!–and my girlfriend and I just parted ways, but I’ve whined all I can about the race, and the girl wasn’t The Girl anyway. All in all, my life is pretty fantastic. But I feel boxed in. Look at a map, and there we are, a pin stuck in the wall. There’s the United States, about twenty-four square inches worth, and there’s the rest of the world, seventeen hundred square inches begging to be explored. Career, wife, babies–of course I want these things; they’re on the horizon. Meanwhile, I’m a few memories short. Maybe I need a year to live a little.”
I haven’t actually read the book yet because it’s been kind of crazy-busy here in Semicolonland lately, but I’m looking forward to immersing myself in Adam Shepard’s around the world adventure. Mr. Shepard seems to have a knack for challenging himself and his readers with projects that demand a fresh outlook on life and inspire readers to try something a little crazy.
Like maybe fighting a bull in Nicaragua???
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Mr. Shepard says: “People need to travel more, not only because it is satisfying and fun and inspires purpose and provides service to a world that needs it and sparks creativity, but because we need to open up our eyes to what is really going on out there. . . . The bottom line is this: in this increasingly global world, it is essential that more people (young Americans, especially) step foot out of their country.”