Book Review – One Year Lived by Adam Shepard

One Year Lived
Adam Shepard
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Scratch Beginnings Press (April 11, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979692644
ISBN-13: 978-0979692642

People have always journeyed as a means to a greater self awareness, as well as a greater understanding of the world and how their lives fit in the overall larger picture. This has been true of the Aborigines in Australia who do a Walkabout, which is a rite of passage that takes an adolescent on a journey into the wilderness for six months. American Indians have had similar rites of passage, as have many other native people of different countries.

In Western civilization, the practice is not even considered, as adolescents go through a more practical rite that includes education, higher education, then jobs and responsibilities.

Adam Shepard decided some time ago that he should take a year of his life and have some of the mind-broadening experiences that might make him a better man. He didn’t do it because he was dissatisfied with his life. He just thought why wait until some unknown time way in the future after the job and the family to do some of the things he’d always thought about. While he did not go out into the wilderness, he did travel and introduce himself to new people and new cultures and new languages. He also tasted many forms of adventure from fighting bulls to installing wells to mustering cattle and hugging a Koala. Oh, and don’t forget bungee jumping.

The book is written in a light, easy-to-read style that has an edge of humor that often made me smile. In the beginning it was a bit repetitive on explaining where he was going and why, but I did get caught up in his first experience in Antigua, Guatemala, where he’d gone to improve his Spanish and traveled on the ‘chicken bus.’ That was enough to carry me through the rest of the book.

In addition to just enjoying the romp, there are lessons to be learned by reading the book. The biggest perhaps, is how important it is not to put things off. We can’t all take a year off to experience adventures like Adam did, but we can do those little things that bring us joy. Make the time to connect with family and friends. Make the time to enjoy a favorite hobby for an afternoon. Don’t be so locked into responsibilities that we never sprinkle a little fun into our days.

Adam will be my guest this coming Wednesday. He will be sharing a bit about his time in the arena with a bull, and I do hope you can come back and help him feel welcome.

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