What am I going to do with my life?

This is it. From Brussels, Belgium, to the middle of nowhere in a remote wild Canadian place enjoying fresh air and breathtaking landscapes. I am progressively learning about wildlife, guiding and Western horse riding and taking part in the development and implementation of a huge Stewardship Plan for resource and wildlife management of the area. This is for sure one of the best and most radical experiences of my life so far. However this is the result of a slow inner process.

Like many people, I like nature and wildlife; I am concerned about climate change, unsustainable resource use and the need to implement a more sustainable lifestyle to preserve the natural world.  But how does someone really implement these ideological concepts? I did not for a long time.

I have travelled in wonderful places, always searching for low-tourist high-nature holidays. I did science-related studies with a lot of courses focused on resources loss and alternative ways of farming and producing. I’ve watched countless nature and wildlife documentaries. However, I never did anything useful that would actually change something. As my bioengineering studies were coming to an end I realised that I followed a settled path, that I was going to graduate, find a good job, move in my own place in the city not too far from my family and begin a secure comfortable life. I would probably easily fall into a daily routine of traffic-work-traffic-eating-sleep. Pretty standard path to follow. And then I met some people who showed me that something else was possible, that nothing is impossible to accomplish and that you have to follow your gut instinct to be truly alive and make opportunities happen. It is ‘ok’ to fall as long as you keep trying and that you stand up for what you want. It is great to have ideas and goals in life but it is even greater to achieve something concrete about it. I do not want to live my life on autopilot only to wake up in thirty years realizing that I put blinders and took the wrong direction. It is never too late, but the sooner the better. After a few months, those ideas about experiencing wilderness and taking part in a conservation/protection program had make their way into my head and into my heart. I jumped on the opportunity.

Now that I have discovered this place I know it was the right decision. After years of theory about ways to change the world, about projects and ideas that could allow us to spare more resources, to be more sustainable, to protect the environment… I am finally here discovering a completely different approach and taking part in a real movement with real people who stand up for their convictions and make things happen in whatever way possible. No empty dreams, no idealism, no misleading emotions about saving the world. No, just logic and balance between ecological, social and economic values. That was not what I had in mind at first. Back home I thought I would probably rescue wild animals and rehabilitate them in their natural habitat. That would have been great but it is a one-time help at only the local scale. Here it is broader and more long-term. I am taking part in a huge Stewardship plan developing a network of stewards of the land that have known the area for decades and will direct changes that occur, issues that need to be addressed and new challenges that will arise. Here, things happen and evolve.

Being part of this movement I will not be able to put my blinders back and live superficially again. I want to lead my life, not follow. This is exactly what I want to do with my future.