Thursday, April 18, 2013
One Year Lived
By Adam Shepard
Published by Scratch Beginnings Press, April 2013
Adam Shepard's first book, Scratch Beginnings, detailed his journey to achieving the American Dream having graduated with $25 in his pocket, and was a runaway bestseller, becoming a recommended freshman text at 80 colleges and universities in the US.
Adam contacted me via a serendipitous connection of links, sent me a chapter excerpt of his new book and asked would I be interested in reading and reviewing the book for "The Garden Window".
The chapter from his new book, One Year Lived, which he sent me via email, was about his experiences in bullfighting; normally this would be enough to send me fleeing for the hills as I don't like reading about animals being hurt in any circumstances, but Adam is a sensitive, thoughtful young man who writes passionately and respectfully about the topic and to my surprise I really enjoyed the excerpt so much I was keen to read the rest of the book and see what else Adam had done in his truly remarkable year's travelling odyssey around the world.
He bungee-jumped off high bridges, helped dig a well so locals could have access to clean, safe drinking water in Nicaragua, helped street children in Honduras, visited Auschwitz concentration camp, hugged a koala, rode an elephant in Thailand and fought a bull, amongst many, many other experiences. “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,” he notes.
I was amazed to discover that only 35% of Americans have passports; the overwhelming majority - some 71% - of UK citizens have passports and young folk here who have left school often have a "gap year" to travel before they embark on their university career in the the UK.
This is not the case in America, and Adam saved for two years to get enough money together (he spent $19,420.68, by the way) so he could travel the world, visiting 17 countries over 4 continents, determined to live life to the full and trying to make a difference to some of the people he met. In British terms I have not travelled much as I have only visited six countries, all of them in Europe and I really, really enjoyed reading about Adam's travels to places I have not visited but have only dreamed of : Australia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Slovakia, Thailand, Antigua in Guatemala, Honduras and more.
This book is an attempt to encourage young Americans to look at the whole world, not just at America and Adam believes so passionately in promoting his message to travel as much as possible, to learn, to experience life as much as possible, to step outside of our normal, safe, predictable comfort zone, that he has generously given me the opportunity to offer my readers the chance to have a free authorized copy of his ebook if they comment on my blog, share a link to this review on their own blogs/Facebook pages/Twitter feeds or want to write their own reviews.
Just let me know what you have done, giving me your email address and I can send you a copy directly or I can give you the link and login details so you download your own copy from his site, though this latter option will only run till Weds next week.
The book has its own website which has many photos of his travels and is well worth a visit!