Origins: Francis Tapon's mom is from Chile and his dad is from France. He was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He's been to nearly 80 countries, but we keeps coming back to this magical city because he loves earthquakes.
Education: He has a degree in Religion from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. So he is well prepared to start a church and make lots of money off of it.
Backpacking: He's walked across America 4 times: thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and in 2007, became the first to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail. He's walked across Spain twice (traversing the Pyrenees and El Camino Santiago). In 2009, he was nominated a one of the seven finalists to the California Outdoors Hall of Fame, which "features nominees who are world-renowned for their skills and who have helped inspire thousands of others to take part in the great outdoors." Although he "barely missed induction," he was quite honored to be nominated. Some think that they nominated him because he's evangelized about the glories of backpacking 10,000 miles, but we know the real reason: they're impressed that he backpacked for 45 days without a shower.
Author: He wrote Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America. His latest book, The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us, came out in 2012. It's a book about his 3.5-year adventure in 25 Eastern European countries.
Media: He's been featured on America's most-listened to radio station, been interviewed by Rick Steves, and is scheduled to speak at an upcoming TEDx Conference.
Future activity: He is about to spend 3 years traveling to all 54 African countries.