How to achieve a really big goal & other tips on pursuing a quest – Glimpse TV with Chris Guillebeau

KateNorthrupChrisGuillebeauWhen you feel called to say yes to an invitation, even if you’re not sure why, simply say yes.

Four years ago almost to the day my friend texted me that Chris Guillebeau was in my hometown, Portland, ME, on his book tour.

I happened to be in Portland that day with my mom. (I was living in NYC at the time, so this was unusual.) I also happened to be a block away from Longfellow Books, the venue for his book event. (On visits home I usually spent most of my time at my mom’s house. So this was also unusual.)

Third unusual thing about that day: we didn’t have any plans that evening.

I kind of recognized the name Chris Guillebeau from Twitter. I didn’t really know anything about this guy, but I saw that his book was called The Art of Non-Conformity. Sounded like something we’d be into.

So we said yes. And that was an evening that changed everything.

Chris Guillebeau is an adventurer. His dry sense of humor and quick wit balance beautifully with his profound humility. He’s inspiring, but not in a grandiose way.

He’s the kind of guy who makes you feel like you too can be an ordinary person who does extraordinary things.

Sitting at his book signing four years ago (9/14/2010 to be exact) I got an idea for a quest.

I was going to get rid of my apartment, most of my stuff, and my life as I knew it and hit the road on a trip called The Freedom Tour. I would teach workshops about financial freedom along the way, and I would see what types of adventures I would find.

(I invited Mike to join me for the first five days of the trip. Five days turned into 10 months, 41 states, 34,000 miles, and a wedding. It was a good quest.)

ChrisBookWhen Chris told me he was coming through Portland again to spread the word about his third book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding The Quest That Will Bring Purpose To Your Life, I immediately blocked the evening on my calendar.

This book weaves Chris’s own story of pursuing an audacious goal of visiting all 193 countries in the world by his 35th birthday with the stories of hundreds of other people on quests whom he connected with along the way.

I’ve recently become so aware that if we’re not pursuing something, life becomes lackluster. If you’ve ever felt like your life has an uncanny resemblance to Groundhog Day, you know what I’m talking about.

I wanted to share Chris and his new book with you because:

  1. I love Chris and he’s not only an awesome guy, he’s also an awesome writer.
  2. The way he tells stories is inherently inspiring and has catalyzed a great deal of action in my life and the lives of thousands (possibly millions) around the world.
  3. I believe in adventure and the way that having a pursuit of some kind brings happiness into our lives.
  4. I want that kind of happiness for you.

Chris and I sat down recently in the very bookstore where we met four years ago for our second Glimpse TV chat. (You can watch our first Glimpse TV episode from March of 2011 here.)

In this new episode we cover:

  • What to do when you’re doing something that no one else in your life seems to relate to.
  • Where happiness comes from.
  • How to turn a big goal that seems crazy, daunting, and unwieldy into something simple and doable.
  • Three specific stories of regular people who decided to do something decidedly un-regular.
  • Why finding a quest is so darn valuable to your life.

Click below to watch the episode. (This one has some extra goodness at the end where you get to see a side of Chris that doesn’t often come out in interviews.)


twitter_standingYou have to believe in your dream even if no one else does. ~Chris Guillebeau (Tweet it.)


Get yourself a copy of the book HERE.

Over to you:

What’s your quest? Are you on one now? Are you thinking about starting one? I’d LOVE to hear about it in the comments below!


  • Meredith

    Love this! I believe pursuit and change increase the length and breadth of our lives. Think about it: time is relatively determined by change (change in seasons or change in jobs), so the more change, the more time we have. Right now, I’m trying to release my job that doesn’t pay the bills OR fulfill me to be closer to my love on the East Coast. At this point in my life, love is conquering all and I feel like the opportunity for a better suited job will be given to me in divine timing. I have to break this up into smaller goals like praying about it and being grateful for the journey towards what I want.

    Thanks for sharing the interview! Love all your content and wisdom nuggets :)

    • Kate

      I love your perspective, Meredith, that the more change we experience the more time we have. And what a beautiful quest you are on! Love does indeed conquer all!

  • Loved hearing what both you and Chris have to say about following your Dreams and making them a reality. I’m on a similar path. Have recently transitioned to self-employment – working to help Baby Boomer women to live and work on their own terms. Have realized the goals and ideals of Boomers are often aligned with people of the Gen Y generation. Hoping to help the two age groups pursue joint projects in the future. There is so much potential for us to help change the world for the better. So happy to see two people who have already found their path. With gratitude. Jan

  • I love the both of you! I realized I’ve been on a quest for the last couple of years, and didn’t even realize it…it brought a tear to my eye.

    Thanks for all you do to encourage and empower others!

  • So fun…..all the way to the wonderful end.

  • Kate…in August of 2011 I gave away all I had, packed what I could and moved to Australia…and…I’m still here. In 1965 I pa med what I had, left my corporate job in Chicago and moved to Arizona where I stayed for 30 years and raised a family. Along the way I had many adventures and loved them all. Blessings to you. Elizabeth

  • I love this and just started the book. IN the first few chapters, it helped me realize what Im doing. Less than two months ago, I left a job and a life in NYC to find happiness in Santiago, Chile. Since arriving, I keep realizing each day I need more and am seeking more from life. Yesterday, it all clicked. I will bike for two months down the Carretera Austral, a dirt highway that goes through the Patagonia. Its brilliant and its crazy how even just the idea changes your life and your drive for living.

  • Mairead

    I absolutely loved the ending! So much fun and I always love to watch you laugh, it delights me to no end. I am on a quest (still working on the specifics) called The Peace and Love Project….which coincidentally I began at YOUR book tour in NYC!! I recently quit my job, spent 3 weeks traveling and on retreat and am returning home tomorrow to begin full time pursuit of it. Thanks for this inspiring episode of GlimpseTV, Mairead xo

  • I loved it, Thank you kate.

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