Hometown happiness and the year ahead

17 Jan

Hey folks,

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.


15 Responses to “Hometown happiness and the year ahead”

  1. sis January 17, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    You know what they say like father like son….you have the spoons to look forward to!!

    • Paul Matthews January 17, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      Lol. He already is a spoon… Couple that with the jumpiness of his mother, and, well, what a guy aye?

      • Hap January 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

        yeah, not much hope, granted!

    • Debra Gibbs January 18, 2012 at 5:07 am #

      Hi Hap,Debra Gibbs here. I have been following your adventures..wow amazing and so pleased to see you reach your goal on 11/11/11. Looking forward to your book! Garry and I are living in Samoa for 3 years and I am doing voluntary work with local community,which I find very rewarding.Kirk (24) is working on a super yacht & is based in Palma Mallorca at present,so he is seeing the world also and loving it. Scott (21) is working in Melbourne,still singing & playing guitar. I am sure that your motivational speaking will inspire youth to take up the challenge to travel. Say hi to your mum and Dad,wh.o are no doubt pleased to finally to see you home! All the best for your documentary

      • Hap January 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

        G’day Debra (and Gary),
        Cheers for the comment!
        Wow, great to hear you guys are over in Samoa, glad to see the adventure doesnt’ stop. No doubt the boys are having a great time, i only remember them as little rub rats! yeah good to be home, and I think Mum was espcecially happy I got it home after a few of those blog posts.
        cheers for the support and enjoy Samoa.

      • Geoff January 19, 2012 at 1:50 am #

        Hi Deborah
        Nice to see your comment. Is great to have Hap home but of course he needs retraining, rehabilitation and reorientation. His presence has resulted into disorientation for his father…hence my mis-Haps with spoon and yoghurt!
        Take care.

      • Hap January 19, 2012 at 7:11 am #

        I’m really going to worry when you start trying to eat your breakfast with the car keys!

      • Hap January 19, 2012 at 7:12 am #

        Geoffrey, the beer fridge is getting low.

    • Hap January 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      yeah the spoon was only the start, yoghurt in the microwave instead of the fridge etc etc!

    • Pauline January 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Always good to hear from you Hap and happy to hear you are doing well,,,with love Pauline

      • Hap January 19, 2012 at 7:10 am #

        Hi Pauline, means a LOT to get your comments, thank you for that I really appreciate it. I hope you are doing well and life treating you good.
        Take care.

  2. Geoff January 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    ” the beer fridge is getting low……..

    Rehabilitation…FAILED…Opens freezer door instead of fridge door ( plenty of beer!)
    Reorientation…..FAILED…needs constant supervsion even when asleep!
    Retraining…FAIL …but track record improving..showing potential to be a horse!

    Overall Assessment
    To date has set low personal standards and has consistently failed to achieve them.


  3. Sean Griffin January 31, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Hap! Hey buddy! So random man, i was just doing some research on hitch hiking Mexico and up pops i photo of you with dread locks. I was like, o shit, i know this guy….its hap! Hope you been doing well man. I’m back in the states unfortuneatly and also having a tough time getting back in the swing of things. really really miss africa. Awsome to share those times with you though man! cheers

    • Hap January 31, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Sean Bro!

      Glad you stumbled across the blog mate, seems like we have a bit of a history with the old stumbling across each other. will be great to stay in contact. Glad you made it back to the US. Dam, those Africa times seem along time ago eh!
      Best of luck Bud with the settling in process, hope the surf is cranking for ya State Side, or if not, I’m sure it will be pumping down Mexico ways. Just as thought, the orphanage I worked at down in southern mexico is full on into surfing, the kids rip it, if you want to go down those ways and help out, teach the kids some of ya tricks etc, then me know I’ll pass onto ya their email address.

      Take care bro.

      • Sean Griffin April 25, 2012 at 12:19 am #

        Awsome Hap! yea we sure do seem to run into each other lots. haha. well, im pretty sure im doing the mexico thing soon so i will definitly keep you posted, and i will be in southern mex for sure. deep mex. cheers and congrats again on makin it to kilamanjaro by your bday

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