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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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About Grayson Bell

I am an average Joe, who built up over $50,000 worth of credit card debt and had to learn how to break it back down. It took 4 years of learning budgets, secrets, and many other personal finance tricks in order to cut the debt to $0. Now, I push to teach others not only how to get out of debt, but how to use credit wisely and how to start growing their wealth. You can view my other site, Sprout Wealth for ways to grow your money. I am also a freelance personal finance writer who provides staff writing and ghost writing services.


  1. 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 :)
    Greg@ClubThrifty recently posted..Life Insurance: What Would Happen If You Died?My Profile

  2. 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.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..The New Online Coupon StrategyMy Profile

    • 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. 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.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..The Cost of a Bad Credit ScoreMy Profile

  4. 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.
    Alexa recently posted..How to Make the Most of a Crappy JobMy Profile

  5. I’ve always wanted to do the Inca trail in Peru, one day! Great giveaway Grayson.
    Money Bulldog recently posted..Beware of ‘Quick Sale’ Housing CompaniesMy Profile

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

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

  8. 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!
    Jacob@CashCowCouple recently posted..5 Warning Signs That You Might Be Financially IlliterateMy Profile

  9. 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. 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.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted..Help! How in the World Do You Find Time to Blog?My Profile

  11. 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.
    Justin recently posted..5 Worst College Student Money MistakesMy Profile

  12. You’re the second person who has said nothing but good things about this book. I will be adding it to my wish list!
    Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin recently posted..Defend Against Cyprus Like GovernmentsMy Profile

  13. 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!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..Do I need an Emergency Fund?: One Cat’s DilemmaMy Profile

  14. 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

    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!

  16. 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 ♡
    Naznin Azeez recently posted..Are you beautiful?My Profile

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