Well it’s a sunny Nelson Tuesday, I’m sitting outside at a café. I’m meant to be writing my book, but I was feeling a blog post instead.
So what’s been up?
Last week I was reading the local paper and read an article about a school leaver named Niall whose off to Darwin to volunteer for 6 months. It just so happened he was one of the students sitting in the school hall a couple of years ago when I gave one of my speeches. It was from this speech and following my blog that he says he gained the inspiration of his own goal “to help less fortunate children in at least one country in every continent (excluding Antarctica for obvious reasons)”. Darwin is the first step in his goal.
I got in contact with Niall and met up at the start of the week and tried to impart some working the world knowledge, like this little gem: don’t hop into a stranger’s car in the middle of a notoriously dangerous African city!
It was good to meet up with him and relive how it was for me when I was about to set off on my little adventure. I reckon that inspiration goes both ways eh.
It was also good as I’m giving a presentation at the end of the month about “boy’s achievement”, so I’ve been busy reading a bunch about those crazy little creatures that are adolescent boys and trying to remember back to those times.
So hows life for this big boy? Well, my New Year’s resolution “to get FAT” is going well with 2 kgs added to my post Africa malnourished cycling skeleton.
Apart from that, initially it was a bit of a bumpy ride back into reality to be truthful. I suppose after any big goal, there is always going to be a come down, and add to that all that happened last year with some pretty major changes, I found it hard.
But now I’m really appreciating being back in my hometown while I get my book written. I’m loving spending time with mates and some quality family time with my awesome parents. Dad always offers plenty of entertainment, like this little story. Dad goes to his car and has forgotten his car keys so goes upstairs to get them out of the cutlery draw, gets back to his car and goes to open it but he’s holding a dessert spoon!
I feel rather lucky that I get to call this beautiful country home and the people that live here my countrymen. It’s feeling right being home, I never thought it would after so much travel, but it does which is relieving especially with last year when everything was so up in the air. These days I’m all about getting as much nature time as possible. There are plenty of hikes planned and I’ve just bought a mountain bike and a car – yes an actual asset that can’t be put in a back pack or checked in at the airport!
I’m excited about the year ahead that I’m dedicating to speaking and seeing New Zealand. I’m back home in Nelson writing the book and preparing my presentation. Then in March it’s down to Wanaka to work on the Bikes for Africa documentary with Sich. Come April I’ll probably be in Auckland as I get the book all finished up and off to the editor.
Then for the rest of the year I’ll be focusing on my speaking. I’ll pop the mountain bike on the back of the car, pack the tent and stove, some hiking gear and head off on a NZ speaking road trip. I can’t explain how much I want to explore my home now that I’ve explored the world. Between some corporate speaking gigs the aim will be to inspire the kiwi 16-25 year olds and help them answer that question of “What am I going to do?”
Then I’ll look to put some roots down at the end of the year, which will probably be in Queenstown or more realistically, Auckland. And by roots that will probably just mean , renting a room to store my gear ready for the launch of the book in November and a manic crazy year of speaking and inspiring. Then after that, we’ll see what happens with these little seeds of ideas floating around in my head, but I don’t think I’ve quite got the adventure out of the system yet…………..;)
So that’s that folks. I hope the New Year treating you all well.
Nuthin But Love Hap
PS Here’s an article (Hap happy to end world quest) from today’s Nelson Mail on my goal. The print article was way better as had some cool photos included, but you get the idea. Good job Russ.