Have you ever wanted to travel overseas? How about travelling across four different continents in a year and encountering countless memorable experiences? Sounds fascinating, Right! It gives us immense pride to have with us Mr. Adam Shepard, the author of One Year Lived, who achieved precisely the same in a journey that ranged from countries as diverse as the beautiful Caribbean islands to fascinating Philippines. Let’s hear it straight from the author!
Q. Tell us something about yourself and your earlier books.
I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina, and I played college basketball at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. After my 36-hour professional basketball career in Germany, I went off to Charleston to live my first book, Scratch Beginnings, which is the tale of my effort to start with $25 and the clothes on my back in a random city to see if, in one year, I could have $2500, a car, and a furnished apartment without using my credit history, contacts, or education.
The book enjoyed some success for a few years, and then I hit 27 and thought about what else I would like to do with my life.
Q. What was the motivation behind taking the journey that you write about here in One Year Lived? How important were your management skills during this period?
It was interesting: I literally pulled out and dusted off my List o’ Good Times, the list of 142 things I would like to do with my life and thought, “Well, when am I ever going to do these things?” And I made the determination right then and there that I would take 2 years to save all of my money, and then I would set off into the world for a year.
My management skills were vital as I saved for this trip and then equally as important when I spent my money while I was actually on the trip. Saving the money for the trip required that I did not go out to eat as often as I would have liked; that I drove a car that wasn’t as sexy as other options; that I didn’t have all of the cool new gadgets and gizmos that everybody else had. Then, on the trip, I had to make sure that I wasn’t spending money frivolously (on alcohol and souvenirs, especially) rather that I was spending my money on worthwhile experiences that I knew would stay with me for the rest of my life.
Q. Any particular incident that left a huge impression on you during this journey?
Well, the moment that I met Ivana, who is now my wife, is number one.
Also, volunteering in Honduras with a children’s activities program was probably the highlight of the entire journey for me. To be able to see the happiness on these kids faces despite the indigence of their lives was touching for me and an important perspective for me to gain.
Third, of course, is fighting bulls in Nicaragua.
And fourth is growing a mullet in Thailand.
Q. In the course of your journey, you travelled across four major continents. Can we expect a book on travels in India from you in future?
I’m not going to answer with a definitive “yes” or “no” about a book, but I will say that India is on the top of my list of countries to visit. It seems to me that everyone I meet who has been to India has strong feelings about the places where I should go and the places where I should avoid, and I’m excited to see that beautiful country for myself.
Q. Any advice for aspiring authors and travel enthusiasts?
For authors: keep writing, and write every day. DO. NOT. MISS. A. DAY. This is how you get better and this is how you grow as a writer.
For travel enthusiasts: continue to step off the beaten path. This is where you live the greatest adventures.
For authors who are travel enthusiasts: Readers crave authenticity. Give them the good and the bad. I’m not writing classic literature here, but I think the value in my own writing is that my experiences aren’t always pretty. Sometimes I’m winning; sometimes I’m losing. And the reader deservers to hear about all of these experiences (rather than just the rosy ones).
Q. How would you rate IdeasMakeMarket.com as an initiative?
A 12 on the 1-10 scale. I love the idea of sharing one vision but still having many different ideas to exchange.[/sociallocker]