One Year Lived Book Review and Giveaway!

One Year Lived bookThe personal finance space is all about making sacrifices.  We preach that we should work hard to find a way to retire with the money we need to enjoy life.  If you aren’t saving for retirement, you must not be doing something right.  This is something that I see on many blogs and many people here in the US aren’t ready for retirement.  One thing that we don’t talk about much is using your money the way you want to.  You work hard to build wealth, but we forget to use the money the way we want to.  Well, this idea has been pushed to the limits in Adam Shepard’s new book, One Year Lived.

I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this book and I enjoyed every word of it.  Adam throws the “norm” on it’s head and does what he wants in order to enjoy life.  That is what I am talking about!  Adam, called “Shep”, lived in a medium-sized city (actually I live in the same city as him) and had a job that he didn’t mind.  He wasn’t searching for the meaning of life or upset with how our society functioned, he just wanted to experience what else was out there.  He wanted to do what everyone talks about, but never actually does.

Adam just simply asked Why?  Why do we have to wait until retirement to enjoy our money and life?  Simply Why?

Adam wanted to see what the rest of the world was like.  Many people have a “bucket list”, which is a list of things that people want to do before they pass.  What a horrible name for a list of exciting things!  Adam instead created a List o’ Good Times when he was in college.  Armed with over 100 actions to accomplish, his buddy told him that it would take millions to accomplish them all.  He wanted to ride an elephant, run a mile on the Great Wall, castrate a bull, attend the Super Bowl, hug a Koala, and many more.  These are just things that people dream about.  While others dreamed, Adam planned to actually tackle his list.

From that point on, Shep dedicated himself to save up for 2 years in order to travel the world for a year.  He sacrificed the luxuries that he once enjoyed to save the money necessary to travel.  He lived with roommates, cooked food at home, and took a break from the expensive bar scene by drinking before he went out.  He also drove a clunker.  He wanted to take the year and see what else the world had to offer.  In One Year Lived, Adam gives us a glimpse into what his travels were like.  He takes us along for the ride and I am going to say, he had some fun adventures.

Adam traveled to the following locations:

  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • Spain
  • Slovakia

Adam didn’t just travel the world to see what else was in the world, he traveled to experience the culture.  He lived with the people in Antiqua (not the good one in the Caribbean, but the one in Guatemala), he took language classes to immerse himself into the culture.  He found friends, rented bikes, and bartered for things that he wanted.  Oh yeah, he also fought bulls!

Many might think that there is no way that you could just pack up and go for a year around the world.  I ask you why?  Why do you think you can’t go?  Do the costs scare you?  Do you have any obligations holding you back? Well, if you think it is expensive, then Adam will let you know that he spent less in his year trip than he would living at home during the same time frame.  He did this by being creative.  He planned his trips, he compared costs, and he went out and did it.  He saved a lot of money by choosing countries where the US dollar still had a high value, so he could stretch his dollar more.  He didn’t travel to many destinations, except choose to stay put in less locations, but enjoy more time at each stop. Resorts were not an option and he didn’t go wild with alcohol.

There are so many things that Adam accomplished when he was traveling.  If you listed his experiences, you would think that he had to spend a lot.  Adam provides anyone that wants to break free from the normal a way to get out and experience life.  By showing that anything is possible, One Year Lived provides a guide to how you can get up from your normal lifestyle and build upon your experiences.  Uprooting and heading abroad might not be for everyone, but with Adam’s guidance, it can be for anyone that wants more.  More life, more experience, more culture.  The world is out there ready for you to take it by the horns.

If you sacrifice now, then you can enjoy your hard work in the near future.  You don’t have to wait until you retire to travel the world.  Adam Shepard shows us that anything is possible. Here is his best quote that he figured out at the end of his trip, when back home. This is why we don’t do things like Adam Shepard. We fear being unconventional, but that is truly the best way to live life. Unconventionally.

America is the greatest country in the world, but the core reason we’ve fallen behind in a few places is because we chase certainty and shun nonconformity. Our aversion to risk increases every day. Fear takes over. This is a world that favors those who challenge conventional thinking rather than those who fall in line, and getting out into the world challenges us to think in different ways.

If you are interested in the One Year Lived book, then go check it out at Amazon.

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Grayson Bell

Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $50,000 in debt. I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a blog management company, along with another blog. It is Empowered Shopper, which helps people get information about products they want to buy. You can also check out Eyes on the Dollar, which is a great blog that I co-own.


  1. April 18, 2013 at 7:20 am — Reply

    Glad you enjoyed the book as well! I love the whole notion of being able to do this through delayed gratification. I think that is sorely missing in a log of our lives today…just look at how much debt we all have. Thanks for sharing your review!

    BTW – That is a pretty sweet video :)

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 9:31 am — Reply

      We have messed up priorities these days Greg. We are all told that we have to strive for retirement, but why is that the norm?

  2. April 18, 2013 at 7:51 am — Reply

    If I had the means, I would travel across Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America…for starters 😉 I would definitely want to spend more time in Belize, as my wife loves that country and one day there on our cruise was not nearly enough time.

    I will be sure to get this giveaway added to my giveaway roundup that is published tomorrow.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 9:31 am — Reply

      Those seem like some lofty goals DC. Those are great places to travel and I am sure one day you will be able to do it.

      Thanks for adding the giveaway.

  3. April 18, 2013 at 8:52 am — Reply

    Good review of the book Grayson, you have me intrigued to read it now. :) Like Greg said, I like the idea of accomplishing this through delayed gratification. I have been blessed to have been able to see a good part of the world, but there is so much more to see and experience.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 9:32 am — Reply

      That is what it is all about. Americans don’t understand delayed gratification. We really don’t understand delayed anything anymore.

  4. April 18, 2013 at 10:25 am — Reply

    That book sounds great. I will definitely have to check it out. I think people get to busy in life and don’t take the time to enjoy it. And you are right, why should we wait until retirement to enjoy our money. As long as you are steadily saving something it’s better to live in the moment.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm — Reply

      It is always better to live in the moment. We never know what is going to happen in the future.

  5. April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am — Reply

    I’ve always wanted to do the Inca trail in Peru, one day! Great giveaway Grayson.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm — Reply

      I have always wanted to go to Machu Picchu because that place has always fascinated me.

  6. Kelly R.
    April 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm — Reply

    I have always wanted to go to the Highlands of Scotland and also Malta looks intriguing.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm — Reply

      The highlands of Scotland would be cool.

  7. Alexandru Rusu
    April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm — Reply

    I never travel in another country but i want go to United States and visit Las Vegas because i like it.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm — Reply

      I can’t say that I would pick Las Vegas, but to each their own.

  8. April 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    Awesome review. I really need to read this book, although I already know I’ll love it. Vanessa and I really want to travel. We may do it after I finish the PhD, but who knows. I’ve never even been out of the States! Thanks for the giveaway too!

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm — Reply

      Well, I will be sending you a copy on Sunday Jacob. Thanks for the comment.

  9. charj
    April 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    I love urban environments, so I would travel to cities in the US that I haven’t experienced as well as go to major cities in the rest of the Americas, Southeast Asia and Europe. I’m more interested in how real people live than in tourist attractions.

  10. April 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm — Reply

    Sounds like a book I would like to check out. My wife and I were having a conversation just the other night about this idea of spending money now to enjoy life instead of saving it all for retirement. We were talking about loosening our budget some to reduce stress in certain areas of our life (like hiring a lawn or house cleaning service). I also want to use money in the present to build memories with my children. That will be more meaningful in the long run to them (and to me) than saving it all for later.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm — Reply

      Creating memories now are very important to having a great life. I will send you a copy this weekend Brian.

  11. Justin
    April 18, 2013 at 8:50 pm — Reply

    Why? Why do we have to wait until retirement to enjoy our money and life? Simply Why?
    Is actually the focus of a post I plan on writing next week.
    It sounds like a book that’s worth checking out.

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm — Reply

      I look forward to reading the post Justin. I will be sending out the book this weekend.

  12. April 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm — Reply

    You’re the second person who has said nothing but good things about this book. I will be adding it to my wish list!

  13. April 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    I already downloaded the book and look forward to reading it! I’m always amazed what people can do if they put their mind to it!

    • Grayson
      April 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm — Reply

      Awesome, enjoy it!

  14. Diane
    April 19, 2013 at 1:25 am — Reply

    If I had the money & time I would go to Italy, Spain, Greece and back to Paris… just for starters! I hope to be able to do this in the next few years, though right now it is not possible, due to our business being in start-up mode. The book sounds wonderful!

  15. Victoria Carlson
    April 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm — Reply

    If I had the means, I probably would first go to Europe, but I would love to go pretty much anywhere! I have no preference and can find enjoyment wherever I go! South America would also be amazing though! And I would love to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef!

    • Grayson
      April 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm — Reply

      South America is a place I would love to visit, especially Machu Picchu, but the Great Barrier Reef is also pretty awesome.

  16. April 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    Oh my!. I wish I was him. I would love to visit Europe, see snow capped mountains, see the sweet little villages there and basically travel anywhere I wish to. It would be an awesome dream come true… Hope to win this fab ebook copy and cash prize ♡

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