As with so many of these stories, it began (for me) in Africa. My siblings and I are the children of a hunter who travelled the length and breadth of Eastern and Central Africa, making our childhood an immersion in the continent’s wildest places. I can hardly believe a kid ever had a more idyllic time! But talk around the campfire ranged widely and by the time I was in my teens, it was not just Africa that fuelled my imagination.
In the early 1990s, fresh out of university in Australia, I travelled to Laos and started a Southeast Asia story. Laos was important. The haunting forest trees, beetles, snakes and butterflies and the shear wildness of our existence there combined for an intoxicating experience, instilling in me a passion for Asia’s wild places and an unsettling sense of foreboding about what the future may hold. I might have stayed had the travel bug not urged me onward to Burma, where I met the girl I’d one day be lucky enough to marry and stayed for a few years, building a tour company that gradually spread across the region. In 2001 the wheel turned again and I became, again, a full time guide, safari operator and tour leader in Africa and Asia.
Today, Nee Nee and I live in the leafy countryside of rural Thailand, while our daughter, Amara, goes to school just around the corner. We also maintain a cottage in Nairobi. This perfect arrangement makes it possible for me to guide both African safaris and Southeast Asia tours depending upon the season. With off-shoots now and again to places like the Andaman and Galapagos Islands!