“There we are, a pin stuck in a wall. There’s the United States, about 24 square inches’worth, and there’s the rest of the world, about 1,700 square inches begging to be explored”. Alarmed at his five failed applications to Amazing Race and inspired to discover the world, young American Adam Shepard, decided to experience the world to the fullest and encourage others to do the same.Over a year and with limited finances, Adam Shepard fulfils his promise and more. With a relaxed and easy to read writing style, the book engages As a series of stories digging beneath into the culture and fabric of each area he travels in. At times, Shepard eschews the typical for the unusual with reflective commentary drawn from his childhood (especially his will to become a topline basketballer and the influence of his coach, Jack). In One Year Lived Shepard seeks out the unusual and the adventurous. The reader is carried along as if they are sharing the journey with him. Shepard spends a year travelling and experiencing Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and parts of Europe.
In Australia, the author cuddles a koala (one of many items on his bucket-list) but more importantly experiences life on a million acre outback station (“with one homestead in the middle for twenty people”) where mail is delivered by plane. Shepard musters cattle on a scale that involves helicopters and motorcycles though becomes quickly aware of his own shortcomings in such a demanding environment – that he believes that his boss gave him the simplest jobs to keep him out of the way and not make things harder for the others.
Humanity bubbles from several of the ventures. In Nicaragua, Shepard assist in digging wells to supply a village with clean water while working in support of impoverished children in Honduras. Between times he steps into the ring with a fiery bull and becomes infatuated with the incredible life-and-death culture of football (soccer) in Guatemala.
The journey runs on the theme of discovery and makes a wonderful addition to any travel library.
“Get out there. Meet people. See places. Eat street food. Take a class or teach one. Inform yourself about the world and inform the world about you. Choose your own adventure.”
I heartily recommend it as an addition to your travel library.
Adam has kindly offer 25 free PDF copies to my readers. Simply comment below with how you’d spend “One Year Lived” and I’ll email you a copy, courtesy of Adam Shepard.
Koala photo courtesy of Adam Shepard.