My love of nature stems from childhood days.
Brought up in the countryside outside Rio de Janeiro, I was immersed in, and fascinated by, the natural world. For me, this meant the Atlantic Rainforest, the coastline and mountains, with all the wildlife and outdoors adventure that goes with it. As a young boy in the 1970s, I was also witnessing environmental problems near Rio and around Brazil. This included deforestation, degrading of ecosystems and pollution. Early on, I was already sensitive to the need for protection of the natural environment.
When I was 18, I took a gap year between school and university, heading off with a backpack to discover the natural wonders of Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia. In New South Wales, I joined Conservation Volunteers Australia to help with restoration projects in national parks and private lands.
A year later, in 1992, I started my university degree at Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment. It was here that I studied topics such as natural ecosystems, biogeography, conservation, climate and environmental interactions.
Straight out of university, my first work experience in nature conservation was as a research intern in the rainforests of Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve in Ecuador. Following this, I took up a job as an environmental research coordinator on marine biological expeditions to the islands and coral reefs of Tanzania and Mozambique. My love of the nature, adventure and cultures of Africa kept me there for a few more years. I jumped at the chance to move into the world of wildlife safaris and nature conservation, first in Zambia then Kenya. And, even when I was back in London in 1998, I couldn’t stay away from the natural world. I joined a tour operator specialising in tailor-made African wildlife safaris.
Following these adventures in Africa, my focus turned to the rural landscapes of SW Europe, with its mountains, villages and vineyards. In 2001, I led small-group nature tours to scenic areas of Portugal, Spain and France. In the next years, I worked as a sales and marketing director for wine brands in Portugal and Spain, helping these companies with environmental projects, from giving greater value to surrounding habitats to developing organic wines. In 2006, I did an MBA in Spain, pursuing my interests in social entrepreneurship, environment and sustainability. Later, I launched an online bookings platform for rural tourism in Portugal.
Returning to my childhood home in 2010, in recent years I’ve focused on ecotourism and environmental protection in Brazil. This journey in the South American great outdoors has been recorded through blogs, social media and magazines. I’ve also worked as a travel and nature writer for Google and Insight Guides. Since 2020, I’ve been running my own ecotourism and nature conservation project in the rainforests and mountains of Três Picos State Park, close to Rio de Janeiro. I’m also currently writing a book about my time in the Brazilian great outdoors.