I can’t remember a time when nature wasn’t a source of inspiration for me. My ‘aha!’ moment came when I discovered just how valuable it is to others.
My father is an entomologist, so my childhood home was often full of containers of exotic insects. Our family embraced nature as an integral part of our life, and I have many wonderful memories of family time spent outdoors.
After studying zoology at Imperial College in London, I decided to spend some time working overseas in a developing country so I could put my life and future plans into better perspective. I moved to Malawi in East Africa, where I taught biology in a very remote secondary school for two years. It was a humbling experience that broke down my preconceptions of myself, helped me define what is really important in life and exposed me to the often brutal realities faced by so many of the world’s people. It also led to the reality check that shaped my career from that moment on.
This is an excerpt from an article first published by Conservation International. Read the original article here: My ‘aha!’ moment: A trip to an empty nature reserve.