During his 29th year, spending just $19,420.68, less than it would have cost him to stay at home, Adam Shepard visited seventeen countries on four continents and lived some amazing adventures. "It's interesting to me," he says, "that in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, it's normal for people to pack a bag, buy a plane ticket, and get 'Out There.' In the U.S., though, we live with this very stiff paradigm: graduate college, work, find a spouse, make babies, work some more, retire, which can be a great existence, but leaves little room to load up a backpack and dip into various cultures, to see places, to really develop our own identity."
Shepard's journey began in "the other Antigua" - Antigua, Guatemala - where he spent a month brushing up on his Spanish and traveling on the "chicken bus." During his two months in Honduras, he worked with an organization that helps improve the lives of poor children; in Nicaragua, he dug wells to install pumps for clean water and then stepped into the ring to face a savage bull; in Thailand, he rode an elephant and cut his hair into a mullet; in Australia, he hugged a koala, contemplated the present-day treatment of the Aborigines, and mustered cattle; in Poland, he visited Auschwitz; in Slovakia, he bungee jumped off a bridge; and in the Philippines, he went wakeboarding among Boracay's craggy inlets and then made love to Ivana on the second most beautiful beach in the world.
His yearlong journey, which took two years to save for, was a spirited blend of leisure, volunteerism, and enrichment. He read 71 books, including ten classics and one - slowly - in Spanish. "If you can lend a hand to someone, educate yourself about the world, and sandwich that around extraordinary moments that get your blood pumping, that's a pretty full year," Shepard writes.
Can everybody take a year to get missing? "Maybe, maybe not," he says, "though that's not really the point. I'm just concerned that some of us are too set on embracing certainty. We want life to be cushy and regimented, but that's not how we can create a lasting impact on our lives or the lives around us. There's only so much you can learn in the classroom. Sometimes you have to get out there to experience it, to touch it, to feel it, to see it for yourself. It's fascinating the perspective we can gain when we step out of our bubbles of comfort, even just a little bit."
©2013 Adam Shepard (P)2013 Adam Shepard
I'm a sucker for travel memoirs but couldn't wait to get rid of this narrator, who's a decent writer but almost completely lacking in sophistication and insight. Traveling all over the globe, as this book demonstrates, doesn't necessarily mean being deepened or transformed in any substantive way by the experience.
So I really wanted to like this book. The major problem was the author reading his own text. It was flat and he sounded a bit dumb. He reminded me of boys I dated and grew up with that thought they were awesome and funny but were awkward and not very intelligent. The book storyline is good and if I hadn't heard him read it I think I could've appreciated the humor more. The book isn't really about a trip around the world it is primarily about his volunteering in Central America and his meeting his girlfriend. The rest is rushed through. I did like when he gave little history blurbs of information. I wish he had told more about the trip and less about the girl. The writing flowed better and he read clearer during the historical and background references which I liked. I just really wish he had hired a professional reader. I won't read or listen to anymore of his books because now I know his voice and just can't get it out of my head.
Yes, Adam Sheppard does a good job explaining the opportunity costs of a trip around the world/
his description of New Zealand.
Adam Sheppard did good narrating his story. I dont think he would be a good narrator for anyone else. But because it was his story. He nailed it.
The way he spoke of Ivanna was charming.
The book reads like a best friend telling you about his trip. Its got charm that way. And if you listen to it with that mentality it adds so much more value to the book.
It is nice seeing some people simply put still have the balls to venture out there & live life.
no, but this one was great.
maybe 2 but definitely holds your interest.
Good for you Adam, keep dreaming & keep reaching for whatever it is that gives you inspiration.
Adam Shepard has done it again. This is an amazing story about grasping life for 1 year and not letting go. Even though this was his journey we should all find a way to some type of journey like this in our life.
An amazing story that is one of the best non-fiction adventure audio books I have listened to.
The enthusiasm from the author/narrator was contagious. I really enjoyed the detail in the story.
Authentic. Excited. Hilarious.
The inspiration for adventure.
I would have given this book higher marks, if not for the quality of the recording. The volume changed throughout the book, obviously when the engineer stopped the daily sessions. The author/narrator is not an experienced voice talent, which caused several mis-pronunciations and unclear pronunciations.
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