Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Glories Of Our Journey

What would you think if your son, your brother, your boyfriend or your best friend said they were planning to take a tarp, a sleeping bag, a gym bag, the clothes on their back and $25.00, and wanted to be dropped in a randomly chosen city to prove they could go from homeless to not homeless in less than a year?

The first words out of my mouth would probably be, "What the hell are you talking about??” Except instead of "hell", I'd probably use what polite people like to call "the F-word".

Yet that's exactly what Adam Shepard did.

This was his premise:

"I am going to start – almost literally from scratch - with one 8' x 10' tarp, a sleeping bag, an empty gym bag, $25, and the clothes on my back. Via train, I will be dropped at a random place somewhere in the southeastern United States that is not in my home state of North Carolina. I have 365 days to become free of the realities of homelessness and become a “regular” member of society.

After one year, for my project to be considered successful, I have to possess an operable automobile, live in a furnished apartment (alone or with a roommate), have $2500 in cash, and, most importantly, I have to be in a position in which I can continue to improve my circumstances by either going to school or starting my own business."

He had some ground rules – he couldn't fall back on anything from his previous life (friends, family, education, credit history) - and essentially entered the new city as a guy with a high school diploma who just moved into the area.

And he wrote his first book about that experience:

His experiment, if you want to call it that, was in response to Barbara Ehrenreich 's Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, two books which spoke on the death of the American Dream. Adam Shepard wanted to prove there was still hope for the American Dream, and his story details his journey.

Self-published, his book got attention from The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, and NPR. Then he sold Scratch Beginnings to HarperCollins and made appearances on the Dave Ramsey Show and 20/20. He was likewise featured in the The New York Times, the New York Post, The Atlantic, and The Christian Science Monitor.  He appeared on over 140 radio stations.  And Scratch Beginnings has now been used on the curriculum or as a First Year Common Read at over 90 colleges and universities in the United States and translated across the world.

This guy is friggin' everywhere!!

Including my in-box

I know that sounds suggestive, and yes I know he's quite the handsome devil, but whadya think I am, some cheap hoochie who'll fold for a hot young author? OK, you know me too well. But seriously, it's better than that. There's adventure and free stuff involved. Read on.

Adam Shepard recently contacted me. He came across my blog and had an idea to work with me regarding the release of his second book, One Year Lived.

When he said, "It's the narrative of my one year trip around the world. I mustered cattle. I volunteered with children. I went scuba diving. I grew a mullet.
I fought bulls. I made love on a beach." I was hooked. Although I'm not so sure about that mullet part.

Adam hopes his story will inspire young people to get out in the world and start living their lives. And I completely agree with him. He talks a little about that
here .

He is the embodiment of my principal creed - ONE MUST TRAVEL.

This sentiment is mainly directed at Americans, because it doesn't seem as if people from other countries even think twice about doing it. I can't tell you how many people I've met - young people, old people, people on my trip to Italy, people on cruises, people in airports - who have traveled extensively.  They're never American.

My friend says we have a wealth of "socially uneducated trailer dwellers in this country".  I agree.  And that needs to change. For too long people have had the belief that America is the greatest place on earth.  They have no desire to see any other countries.  No penchant for discovering.  No wanderlust.  No craving for other cultures.  No longing to explore.  Adam really said it best, "In this increasingly global world, it is essential that more Americans (young Americans, especially) step foot out of this country."

You can certainly have pride in your country. It's admirable and sure, it's patriotic, but it's also critical to embrace the world. It's imperative to champion diversity. It's crucial to educate. The masses, and primarily our youth, need to know about what's happening in the rest of the world. If we want to have a country, a society, achieve greatness, then we need our citizens to move forward as a whole. Don't let any person, any corporation, any politician, or any thing stunt your growth. Grab onto someone and bring them along. Bring everyone along.

Adam Shepard, in One Year Lived is giving us an inside look at how he traveled to seventeen countries on four continents in one year and did it for under $20,000.00. We spend that on fuel in just four months. I may not have a desire to grow a mullet, but I'm certainly up for seeing the world. Now I just have to figure out how to convince Ed not buy fuel for four months...

Anyway, Adam has been gracious enough to allow me to GIVE AWAY copies of his new book, One Year Lived, for FREE. A FREE eBOOK, I say.

To You.

To my friends.

To your friends.

To anyone, actually.

Here's the easiest way ever to GET A FREE eBOOK:

This giveaway has ended, but please feel free to share Adam's story! 
Thank you to everyone who participated!


Here's the link for sharing: 

Do it one of the following ways:
Share the link to this post on your blog or website.
Post the link to this post on Facebook.
Tweet the link to this post to your followers on Twitter.
However you choose to get the word out, let me know it's done by either sending me the link to your blog or leaving a comment telling me where you shared it.  Once you do that, you'll have to give me your email address (either leave it in comments or email it to me at and I'll send you a link to the magical place you can download the eBook for free.

In the meantime, tell your friends. Say something about Adam. Say something about his new book. Share his story of travel. Share his website. Share his bullfighting video. Entice your friends by telling them how easy it is to achieve world travel. Or sex on the beach. Whatever it takes.

And remember…

"We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey."
~ John Hope Franklin


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: The Herb Whisperer
2011: The Switch Between Morning Glory And Country Strong
2010: Name That Tree
2009: Getting Plowed
2008: Eddie Friday In Squares
2007: The Color Of Elizabeth’s Eyes
2006: The Result Of A Little Flax In Your Diet
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!


Belledog said...

I posted link on my Facebook page.

Which nobody looks at, I am sure.

Blog ate my earlier comment.

Luisa said...

Great idea, Salena, I posted the link on my facebook page. As one who has travelled to the point of needing extra pages in her passport, I cannot agree more!

MAE said...

Fabulous post..I am inspired to go some place...actually excited to travel...

tx_proud1 said...

I posted on my facebook

Marlaina said...

Thankfully you corrected the post on my Facebook page. How could I forget the "free" part. DOH!

Marlaina said...

And on this page --

all things bradbury said...

i shared the link on my facebook page! know my email;)

Willow said...