How Much Ground (or Air) Did You Cover in a Year?

In 2012, I flew over 120,000 miles.  That’s over 5 times around the world.  Half the distance to the moon.  Twenty-four round trips from here to San Francisco.  I can’t even remember all the states I saw in that year.  Well, aside from Oklahoma.  I was really excited about Oklahoma.

But I was impressed when I saw Adam Shepard’s book One Year Lived.  I was given an advance copy of the book, and read about how he traveled for 12 months non-stop, tackling 17 countries, and all for $20k.  Granted, it isn’t the free travel we are used to, but he lived a year traveling on less than my rent.

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he wrote a previous book, Scratch Beginnings, where he went to North Carolina with $25 in his pocket, attempting to succeed without disclosing his college education or using any contacts.  I actually read that book previously and enjoyed it, which is why I agreed to read this book.

The book isn’t a how-to-do-this-all-for-$20k sort of a book, but more of a “how my trip went” narrative.  It’s written in an engaging way, and frequent travelers would get a laugh at some of his mistakes.  Note:  Always do your research!

Ontario, Can is very different from Ontario, CA.  You don’t want to bring your snowshoes and end up needing sunglasses!  He makes a worse error but makes do with it.

I appreciate whenever he admitted he acted like a, well, an ignorant tourist (my words) in another country, but I admit I cringed each time, and a couple more times where I don’t think he considered himself one.

But I wore blue jeans in a Russian cathedral.  I reached across a large table to pass butter to an important person in the Czech Republic.  I insisted on speaking Spanish in Mexico (never let me do this again).  So, we all make mistakes.

But the thing that really touched me about his book is how many random memories made it in.  His pronunciation of frijoles. Eating termites.  And a tomato toe remedy.  It really is the little things.

And that’s why I remember Oklahoma so clearly.  We stopped at the Original Pie Shop and I bit into a delicious deep-fried slice of coconut cream pie.  Who knew that exit 51 off I-35 would be so delicious?

So I want to know, what is the little thing that really stands out in your mind from your travels over the last year?  If you leave a comment, I’ll send you a free e-copy of his book through 5pm ET this Wednesday (4/24/2013).

And if you missed the free book give away, my overall assessment is sometimes I want to shake him for being a little too arrogant, and a little too unaware of his surroundings, but overall, it was an easy, entertaining and engaging read.  (e alliteration unintentional πŸ˜‰ )

Please note that when you click through to amazon from my site, I receive a small commission.  This review is without compensation other than receiving a copy of the book ahead of time.  That did not influence my decision to write about it (other than learning it existed πŸ˜› ) and I have been sent other books I have not reviewed.

*note: my original post showed extremely poor knowledge of geometry πŸ˜€


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. For me it was seeing the Great Pyramid of Giza. We got to go (and take our kids to) the last remaining wonder of the ancient world.

  2. An afternoon glass of wine in Iceland in February, waiting for an instant rainstorm to blow over and turn the skies blue again.

  3. Umm…. earth circumference = 25,000 miles. So, not 30 times around the world, but almost 5. Not too bad!

  4. Umm… 25,000 miles around the earth, so almost 5 times. Not too bad!

  5. Seeing “United Silver” pop up in my account for the first time. It’s a little thing, but it was a victory for me. πŸ™‚

    • Hey! What do you think that toasting picture of me and Keri is toasting? I think it’s a “little thing” that’s also a big deal πŸ˜€

  6. Coming down the stairway in Houston and seeing the lit up hangar during SMD4….

    • πŸ˜€ That was AWESOME. My mom the other day: Have you ever been to the United Terminal in Houston? Me: I’ve drank wine on the tarmac and sat on an engine. Her: Please don’t get arrested.

  7. Ok, anyone remember when airlines used to serve mini cans of soda? For some reason, I miss those things…

  8. Well, this year I went to my first two continents outside North America and tick off five countries but my top memory is the city of Petra. Words don’t do justice.

  9. Sleeping under the stars on a frozen lake in -5F temps after dog sledding through the Boundary Waters in Minnesota – a bit more primitive than we planned (they said there would be tents!) but an amazing experience none the less!

  10. It’s amazing how much we remember eating a nice meal and relaxing over a glass of wine while we were traveling in Greece. Makes me wonder why we rarely do it when we’re home!

  11. When I think of little things from travel that I truly love, it’s a cliche, but it’s got to be this: drinking the coconut water straight out of the coconut with a straw!

  12. I finally got to visit Hoover Dam in 2012 – what an amazing site! We were in Las Vegas for work and I couldn’t wait to get away and see the dam. It was better than anything on the strip.

    • Wow! I went out to Las Vegas with my mom two years ago and she insisted on the Hoover Dam, and I was so grateful! It was amazing.

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