To really enjoy traveling around the world means being able to afford the trip in the first place, having enough funds while on the journey, and not coming home to a mountain of debt.
To most people the idea of having to save up $20,000 before jetting off abroad would be daunting enough, but then making that $20,000 last for a whole twelve months in far-flung places would fill many with some trepidation.
After all, flights and accommodation can work out very expensive, and not all costs can of course be planned beforehand, however good a money-manager you are.
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One Year Lived FREE!
So, when I read about American Adam Shepard – who had managed his finances without going into debt – saving up $20,000 so he could travel the world, I had to take a closer look. It just seemed too good to be true. What, transport, accommodation, food, drink, leisure time and incidentals all for what seemed a relatively small amount of money?
In his first book, Scratch Beginnings, released in 2010, Shepard looked at poverty in America, and did it from a very personal perspective. Now, he’s gone one step, or should I say many thousands of miles, further, in his quest to push back the boundaries that we so often place upon ourselves.
Let’s face it, some Americans never travel out of their state, never mind their country, and getting out all the way over to the Antipodes is beyond the dream of the average American or European.
Shepard had lived a frugal lifestyle over a two-year period in order for him to save up enough to travel for this one year. Seventeen countries on four continents later he has returned to recount his travels, telling of his adventures in his new book One Year Lived.
His time spent away from his home in the U.S. brought him into contact with people from a range of social and ethnic backgrounds. His life was enriched by helping out to support organizations which give relief to those less fortunate.
Shepard writes “First, as I began my research, and as I started working my way around the world, it surprised me to learn how far an American dollar will go abroad. I departed on this trip in the heart of a recession, arguably the greatest financial crisis since the Crash of ’29, and I still had a year’s worth of rewarding experiences.”
In one of his chapters he comments, “I spent less on my year abroad than I would have spent if I stayed home.” That’s a pretty good reason to do what he did I reckon, though when I read his book only then did I realize just how much good money management came into play. As he further points out, “the trick is to figure out which countries fit your travel budget.”
Two Years of Frugality
I was especially interested to see how Shepard had saved up his $20,000 in the two years leading up to his trip.
“I sacrificed four fundamental things in the two years that I hustled to save for my journey: food, lodging, car, and clothes.” he explains. Things that maybe he would have renewed such as his car, which was seventeen years old, he held on to. He ate out at restaurants less often than he might otherwise have done, preferring instead to go out to friends for meals, or to cook for himself at home. He saved whatever he could, and spent only when he had to. He cut costs by sharing an apartment with others, not something everyone would have been prepared to do. Young people so often want everything NOW, but Shepard was willing to wait for, as he put it, “delayed gratification.” These are lessons we can all put into practice, whether we are saving up to do or buy something, or for a deposit on a home, or just to keep our heads above water to pay our bills.
I particularly like the part where he talks about getting from Costa Rica to New Zealand, and, despite the normal cost of the flight being around $1,600, he managed to do it for a little over $800 by combining two segments. A little further to go, a little longer in the air, but a huge saving made it all worthwhile.
From my reading of One Year Lived it’s obvious that the writer had a clear and immovable goal in mind, to stay out of debt and to live a quite frugal lifestyle so he could save up for his year long trip. It took discipline to keep to his strict budget, but he managed it.
I’m also certain that this book nicely conveys the idea that, “Hey! Adam had a great time, and you can too!”
Get The Book
Adam has kindly agreed to my readers having the opportunity to obtain the eBook version of One Year Lived completely FREE!
Simply click on One Year Lived by Adam Shepard to download the eBook (PDF).
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