The 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
- New Zealand
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.