Sean blazes his own trail in life. He coached Ryan Sheckler the last time he won the X games, he's travelled just about every continent on earth and right now he's finishing up his first book entitled "Five Weeks In The Amazon". Read our interview with him below.
For those that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?
Sure! My name’s Sean Michael Hayes, or @Canadianhayes online, and I grew up in Tsawwassen, just outside Vancouver, BC. When I was younger I was a pretty good skateboarder and got to travel all over the country with my sponsors. I kind of transitioned into working within the industry down in California and during the last 7 or 8 years I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world. Now I am backpacking through Colombia though, working on the 3 books I have written. I’m putting the finishing touches on my drafts, and basically just trying to suck the inspiration out of everything I’m doing each day!
You also coach professional skateboarders don’t you?
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing the last few years, and it’s really a rewarding “Job.” I coached Ryan Sheckler the last time he won the X-Games, Aldrin Garcia when he set the world record for the highest ollie, and Ryan Decenzo (fellow Canadian) during his most recent contest wins last summer.
Why did you choose to start your backpacking trip in Columbia?
Well to be honest I have been to Europe, Asia, Africa, all over North America, and last year I went to Peru and fell in love with all things South America. However I gotta be honest, the real reason I chose Bogota is because it was the cheapest one way flight to South of the equator. Now that I’m here I’m glad I chose Colombia, it is a different country than what we think coming from where I do, it has a vibrant lifestyle and it’s definitely not as dangerous as I thought it was going to be (so far).
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Did it just hit you one day?
Well actually, yeah, it kinda did. I’ve always written a lot, especially whenever I travel, but in 2009 I finished my first real draft which is now “Beyond Ataraxia.” Since then I have made an anthology of all my favorite poems that I wrote over the last decade, traveling all over the world. This book is titled “Zenega.” My last book is named“Five Weeks in the Amazon” which is my story from last year when I went into the middle of the Jungle and lived with a Shaman.
Now that you are actually in Colombia what is it like? Are you able to focus on your writing, or is it just the beginning of a new adventure?
Well of course it’s the beginning of a new adventure! I mean I landed in Bogota with only 4 days reserved at a cheap hostel. So just finding places to stay and figuring out the city has been and adventure. I am really enjoying being here though, I am absorbing so much of what I see and do, to inspire and motivate me creatively. I mean it really has been a pretty wild trip even just these first few weeks. I have found hot dates on Tinder, places to stay on couchsurfing.org, been searched by cops, walked out of an all night dance party into the busy street at 10am, skated back and forth throughout the whole city, got ripped off by a supposed “Honesto Amigo”, made REAL Amigo’s, rode buses, taken taxi’s, and basically just taking as big a bite out of the city as I can!
Ok, so do you have any advice for someone that wants to do something they are really passionate about?
Yes. Just fucking do it!. Haha ! No, in all honesty I am just doing all I know how to do. I am putting a lot of effort into it, but every single person can do what they are passionate about if they want to. Don’t wait to be motivated before you act. Take action and and you will see how quickly you get motivated. Fear really is the biggest opponent in all our lives, more than we think. If we weren’t scared to take big chances who knows what we could do.