Generally on investment sites you read a lot about ways to try and make money, but one of the things that gets pushed to the wayside is the point of it all. Once you have all that money what are you supposed to do with it. I know a lot of people are doing it for retirement, but some people are also getting spending money. One of the things I would love to do with my money if and when I have it is to travel.
I was recently contacted by an author of an upcoming book to read a review copy of his book One Year Lived and write something about it. I love to read and reading about someone traveling the world sounds interesting. What is more interested was that the author Adam Shepard traveled abroad for 1 year on around $20,000. That is amazing, but I will say that it would not be for everybody. He was setting out to see the world on a tight budget and at least one of the goals seems to be showing that it can be done.
I personally have a different style of travel as I am not really looking for cultural immersion. I prefer cultural interaction and observation. I am sure some of you have watched the new Doctor Who series. The Doctor may have a magic box that allows him to speak the local language but he is very much himself in all situations. He is a temporal tourist and acts the part with his quirkiness intact. As fictional as that might be it describes how I like to experience the world. Basically, I do not borrow the shoes of others. Not that there is anything wrong with living among the people and like the people in a place you visit, because it can be a great an enriching experience. Instead of staying in the lavish comforts of a nice hotel you stay in accommodations closer to what the locals experience or traveling in rickety and crowded buses. It sounds interesting, but its not my style. I think it is because I do not feel a part of the culture that surrounds me on the day to day basis so I feel no need to immerse myself in another culture, since all culture seems foreign to me.
The same could be said about this style of book. It is not something I would normally read. Memoirs, biographies, and these kind of diary-style books are ones I rarely get to. I really liked One Year Lived. Despite not getting around to these kinds of books, I always enjoy them when I read them. Adam writes in a very informal style and you should be reading this for his voice. It is very casual and it is as its should be. If the writing was formal I think I would enjoy it far less. I am actually avoiding trying to give too much away so I just want to review the book and then talk about what the book represents rather than what it says. My rendition of his words would be a poor substitute. He experienced them, I didn’t. That makes all the difference, because even the best fiction writer in the world cannot guess at a first-hand experience. A fiction writer might be able to craft a more beautiful picture, but that is just made up.
You get sucked into the story of Adam’s travels, which is probably the best compliment the book could get from me. I am not sure what other people look for when they read. When I read fiction or books like these I like to to get into the story. So even though this is a recounting of his travels, I see it as any other story. Even if it lacks the heavy drama or fantastic plot of a fictional novel it is still a series of events that unfold through time. Even though you might not be turning the pages into the deep dark night you will want to pick the book up and read what happens next. Fiction books give me sleepless nights, but that is all about what happens next. This book is more about trying to give a feeling of what is happening now, at least from the perspective of the book. It is a fun quick read and I think anybody who enjoys the style of book will really enjoy this.
The personal tone was the best part of this book. It is the author that is writing, and he witnessed the events. You get that sense and it gives the book a nice charm. I know I have not gone over what happens in the book, but that is not the point as I mentioned. Pick it up and experience it for yourself.
We really do not live enough. There is so much we all want to do, and the opening of the book is one of my favorite parts. It discusses the sadness that is a bucket list. It is great to have, but who wants to wait till they are dying to accomplish the things on their list. Obviously, you do not need to wait to get started, but many do. American working habits are completely ridiculous. Most people do not take vacation that they are due and the vast majority of people tend to overwork. This is on a voluntary basis, and they might not even be particularly competent.
Some of it probably stems from the U.S. labor laws, but I am sure most of it is just cultural. It is a bit of a sad fact that if you take a 3 week vacation, and the company gets along fine without you, then they will. Once you get back you are on the short-list to be laid off. Why should they pay you if they can get along without you? So either you cannot take a vacation, or you cannot have a job. Then the companies tether you by expecting you to be available during your vacation. I frankly never would be except for maybe 20 minutes in the night time if I cannot sleep. I am of the type that just does not care. Once I leave work I am gone, and if they have a problem with that then they should hire someone that I know will be less capable than me.
It is tough to do what Adam did. Taking a year off is hard, but the excuses should be something you see as worthwhile. He did it on a very small budget. It costs more than $20,000 to stay home between all the expenses that slowly kill us at every turn. What is harder is putting your life on hold for a year, or so the saying goes. I feel like that would be a common excuse, and I think I have heard it before from some people. You are not going into cryonic sleep for a year. You are out living. Your life is going on. Now if you have responsibilities at home then fine. If you have different priorities then fine.
If you are the type that needs to establish their career fine. However, if work 12 hours/7 days is not on your bucket list, then why subject yourself to that. I work some pretty long hours, but that is because I am trying to get my writing done. It is something I knew I would have to do, and it gets really hard sometimes. However, this is something I really want to do, and I just hope I can get to a good place where I am not under so much pressure on a daily basis. At least it is on my terms. Given the opportunity (come on book deal, hah) I would not chain myself to my desk and continue working. I would go do something for a while, before getting back to it. Perhaps, I would relax at a cafe and write something else on my computer. Right now I am stuck here writing, but if life were a bit more relaxed I would have more flexibility.
If you have things you want to do just do them. It is like anything else in life. The advice I get for writing is shut up and write. For losing weight, shut up and do it. For doing the things you want to do, shut up and do it. If #1 on your bucket list is to spend years talking about your bucket list to other people who barely care, then go ahead and do that. More likely it is something that you would absolutely love doing. Your excuses might range from very real, like I cannot leave my 3 year old child alone, to pointless, my minimum wage career is the most important thing in my world.
Living life before life is over is one of the things I would like to do. I do not want to save all the interesting bits for when I am old and stop giving a damn. Pick up a copy of One Year Lived and read the story of someone who decided to “shut up and do it.” Visit Adam’s website here www.OneYearLived.com
Note: Until the end of April 24, 2013, if you share this article and mention the book on other sites then Adam has allowed me to give you a copy of the book at no charge. Share this article somewhere, and send me an email at [email protected] telling me where or sending me a link. I will reply with information about where you can find the book for free. This is for a limited time only.
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