For half a century, it’s been a rocky road of contrasting lifestyles for Glen Heggstad. Growing up in San Francisco and influenced by Jack Keroauc’s novel On The Road led to hitchhiking across the US at the age of sixteen. Toggling between living in the streets and foster homes, a rebellious Glen followed the sentiments of his high school teachers who warned of winding up behind bars—he did: handlebars. And then into life of an outlaw biker.
By age twenty-seven he had retired from the Hells Angels motorcycle club, but three decades later, he was almost framed by a government prosecutor trying to score political points by covering up government involvement in a 1981 homicide.
In 1979, Heggstad committed to full time martial arts training, eventually earning Black Belt teaching credentials in: Chinese Kung Fu, Shotokan Karate, Japanese Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. During thirty-three years of devoted practice, he’s earned numerous titles in International championships while training troubled youths to believe in themselves via similar paths in martial spiritual development. But because of his Norwegian heritage, a lust for travel runs deep in his Viking blood.
Looping the planet four times over the last three decades, Heggstad has sought unique adventures wandering through fifty-seven developing countries via chicken buses, riverboats, by foot and even by elephants. From twice trekking the Himalayas to the jungles of South America where he was taken prisoner in the Colombian civil war, Heggstad’s crowning achievement became a multi-year solo motorcycle odyssey around the earth as chronicled in his second book One More Day Everywhere. From the wilds of Siberia and the Mongolian Gobi Desert to zigzagging the Middle East through the West Bank, Israel, Pakistan and India, to the length of Africa, Heggstad rode into one challenging experience after another.
Glen has encountered generous hospitality on nearly every level imaginable from Gobi Desert Nomads, to the cannibals of Indonesia and Middle Eastern Bedouin tribes, to later surviving for weeks on cows blood mixed with honey on the Ethiopian savannah. Being equally at home with city folk, simple villagers and primitive tribesmen enhanced his empathy for those still struggling. This compelled him to donate 100% of his book royalties to international aid organizations committed to building schools in the developing world.
Recognized by the international media, along with a variety of newspaper articles, he’s been featured on CBS News 48 Hours, MSNBC, Outside magazine, CNN, Investigations Discovery, National Public Radio, Montel Williams and Biography Channel. Subsequent to authoring two popular travel books, he’s also been a guest with the Colombian Defense Minister on Larry King Live and become the subject of a National Geographic Channel docu-drama.
Now channeling energies into motivational speaking about achievement and goal orientation, he uses lessons gleaned from the martial arts competition arena and adventure travel to encourage others to better their lives and enhance their careers. While based in the US, he actively trains and teaches Street Grappling in Palm Desert, California.