Recently, I sat down with the man who did it. Yep, he set a goal, accomplished it, and now has the book to prove it. His name is Hap and without giving too much away, I had a chance to catch with him and ask him a few extra questions about his recent book. Direct from his blog, here is the brief outline of Hap-
Since I’m an “inspirational speaker”, you’re probably expecting me to have overcome a tough life of abuse and hardships. Or maybe to have battled ill health or physical disability or had started up a multimillion dollar business by age 12!
Sorry to disappoint, but I had a textbook loving childhood. I was just a normal kid who after graduating university wanted to make the most of his twenties and see the world. I had always been goal oriented and therefore committed to paper these desires. The written words looking back at me stated an innocent goal that would end up consuming my life, “to live and work in every continent of the world before my 30th birthday”.
9 years of highs and lows, laughter and tears later I was celebrating my 30th birthday a top of Africa’s highest mountain. I had achieved my goal, I had lived and worked in all the world’s continents, I had arrived at the end of the journey, the date was 11/11/11.
The book is appropriately titled, ‘Hap working the world’ and you can get it here
After reading it myself, I had a few follow up question and here is what Hap said. Great advice from an everyday guy, who had accomplished a serious goal in life.
*1-You mention you were thinking as you set the goal about, what you would say to everyone else, even though you forgot about it when you reached the top of the mountain. Did you have this vision of speaking and goal of being able to share your story before you started your trip?
30, I set it as a young 21 year old out to see the world, to have fun,
I never set the goal to write a book. In fact if you had told 21 year old
Hap that he was going to write a book he would have laughed at you. I never
enjoyed English through school, and spelling and punctuation gave/still
gives me a headache. But, when I started traveling I used to write bulk
emails (there were no blogs/twitter/facebook in 2003) about my
misadventures, and found that I loved sharing these experiences with
Then after 4 years of travel at the end of 2007 I was denied entry into the
States and sent back to New Zealand, there I had serious accident that
left me bed ridden. Those three months after the accident with the doctors
orders to do nothing, I bought a lap top and started up a blog I called Hap
Working the World. From that point on I started documenting my adventures,
once again doing it for the love of it, just writing and sharing my
Then in mid 2010 the commissioning editor of Australasia’s largest
independent publisher started following my blog, loved my unique style of
writing that incorporated humor and honesty. I was offered a publishing
contract, and then started writing. And now the book has been published!
So although I never set the goal to write a book, it definitely evolved
into that, and towards the end of the goal I found myself travelling
through a writers eyes, constantly thinking about how I would explain the
situations so that my reader could feel the emotions and settings that I
So it appears that if you had told 21 year old Hap that he was going to
write a book, that you were right.
*2-You described the feeling of empty looks from the people in the street during the hostage situation, is this the worst feeling in the world? How did this relate to being in a country with no money? If evaluating the worst case scenario was this it?
I was in a locked car in the middle of an African ghetto with three
gangsters, no escape. But I was also very calm and found myself to be very
analytical, and I could understand why the people on the street wouldn’t
help. I was just a foreigner passing through, they lived there, if they
interfered with these gangsters their lives would be made a living hell.
I only had myself to blame for getting me into that situation.
*3-Achieving all you have, how does it feel? All said and done…are there
direction in life learn from on this?
it to be over. When I set the goal I was 21 years old, and when I achieved
the goal I was a 30 year old. A lot changes in 8.5 years, you have
different values, 21 year old Hap wanted to party and have a good time, 30
year old Hap having worked 32 jobs in 7 continents was more interested in
settling down, spending more time with his family.
The 2 or 3 pieces of advice I would give.
1. Do what you want to do. If you do what other people want you to do or
what society expects you to do you, then you will not be fulfilled.
2. And just do it. Nothing is as difficult as you think.