About us

peta-about-us-1 peta-about-us-2 peta-about-us-3

ben-about-us-1 ben-about-us-2 ben-about-us-3

We are nomadic empty nesters on a Green Global Trek

Peta was born in South Africa and Ben was born in France. After twenty plus years living in the U.S., when our four sons finished high school and left home for college, we quit our jobs, sold most of our possessions and launched our Green Global Trek adventure.

Peta is a painter, yogini and animal activist.  Ben is a strategist, personal and corporate “trajectory consultant” and sculptor.  We are both committed environmentalists and increasingly focused on discovering solutions and advocating for climate adaptation.


First chapter of our Green Global Trek ~ Latin America

We relocated to Nicaragua in Central America to kickstart a large-scale, climate-mitigation focused, bamboo reforestation project and bamboo housing construction business. Our objective was to have positive social and environmental impact.  Between 2008 and 2013 we built up a team of Nicaraguan bamboo foresters and civil engineers, built the largest bamboo-processing factory in Central America, captured programs for eco-housing funded by international institutions for the benefit of victims of Hurricanes.

We built over 150 houses and created green construction jobs for 200 local construction workers. Our Empty Nester objective was to create the conditions for our four sons to have a Latin American experience. From a travel point of view, our bamboo business enabled us to travel to and discover Latin America, through the prism of bamboo forestry.  We traveled and worked with Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cuba.


Second chapter of our Green Global Trek ~ Asia 

After transferring bamboo construction assets to our local team in 2013, we bought one way tickets to Viet Nam.  Our objective was to explore Asia, work in the climate adaptation space through consultancy projects, and at the same time select a next potential home base.  We lived sequentially, nomadically, in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Sri Lanka, and India.

Currently living in Chicago, preparing to return to Asia to continue our GGT ~ Asia.


67 thoughts on “About us

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Interesting to “meet” you too.

      Seems we have a similar nomadic style of traveling. Granada, Nicaragua was our home for almost six years and Lagos, Portugal….oh, we came so close!! Such a beautiful place.

      A random post on Nicaragua, from our archives…(blog roulette)


      And a post from Faro/Lagos, Portugal:



    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Gilda,

      Welcome to Green Global Trek, I look forward to reading you too! Let me know which country “pulls you in”!


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      We are both passionate about travel and with travel comes adventure.

      Our form of adventure is not jumping off of cliffs or climbing high mountains, our form of adventure consists in immersing ourselves for several years in entirely new cultures and developing roots as deep and wide as we can in our new host community.


  1. the eternal traveller

    You’ve done some interesting things since selling up. We’re not quite at that stage because we’re not retired yet. But we are managing to fit in plenty of travel. Spain is on my must see list for the future.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      We are nowhere close to retirement 🙂

      in fact if you read our latest posts on Sri Lanka you will see that we are quite actively still working. Luckily though we have flexibility to do that in different countries allowing us to continue our nomadic lifestyle and travels.

      Sure, becoming nomadic once retired is attractive in and of itself, but for us ( not having the means to retire), the challenge is to choose a nomadic lifestyle AND have to synchronise wprk opportunities!


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Ooh how exciting! I am not much of a boat person, I do prefer solid ground, but nonetheless that sounds super exciting to me.

      So enjoying our journey!


  2. Stephanae V. McCoy

    Hello Peta and Ben, by the sounds of it you both are living a very exciting life. I enjoyed reading your About and look forward to reading more on your adventures throughout your site. Have a great day!! Steph

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Steph. Please do sign up as a follower to the blog, to receive automatic updates of new posts. Enjoyed reading you too.


  3. LaVagabonde

    What a treat to discover your blog. My husband and I live a nomadic life, too. Now in Eastern Europe, but we’ll be moseying along eventually to some of the same places you’ve ventured. I will be delving into your archives for sure. Cheers!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Labagabonde! Great, hope to inspire visits to some of the places we have enjoyed so much! Happy nomadic travels!


  4. Quinn Hollows

    The content on this blog is quite fascinating. The photographs are vibrant and allows the viewer to truly experience these wonderful places. The wording creates a sense that the two of you have truly lived and loved each destination. I am really impressed with this blog and hope to continue reading new postings about this nomadic lifestyle with Ben and Peta.

    Best of luck,

    Quinn Hollows from theperceptiveteen.WordPress.com

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Quinn for your positive comments. Welcome to our blog, glad to have you as a reader.


  5. healingpilgrim

    Thanks for inviting me into your blogopsphere, Peta; love the stories you share here on About and elsewhere! You and Ben are certainly on an amazing adventure. I hope to see you in Ubud sometime; I’d also love to discuss bamboo forestry (and more) when we meet. Until recently, I wrote a column (in a Bali paper) on bamboo 😉 Cheers!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      You are most welcome. Thanks for stopping by to read us.

      We will definitely be back in Ubud, it is inevitable as it is my favorite food place! But we might meet sooner in Viet Nam. We will be in Hoi An by end of September!

      Happy to talk bamboo… If you want some history, check out “CO2 Bambu” on facebook. That’s us.


  6. roughwighting

    I’m so glad I found you, or you found me! (Thanks for commenting on my Roughwighting post). You two are role models and adventurers in a world that needs role modeling adventurers more than ever. Can’t wait to continue to read about your journey.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks so much.

      If you are interested in “catching up”, you might want to check out past posts on our archive list, from Viet Nam and Sri Lanka. That is where we are headed next!


  7. twobrownfeet

    Thanks for inviting me to explore your travel adventures, Peta. What a fantastic journey the two of you have set on. It’s something, Basil and I hope to follow, someday. 🙂 There are lot many interesting places to explore and I think I will need sometime to read through. Here’s to many more new places of exploration and unforgettable adventures. Happy travels!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks for reading and lovely comments Cheryl! Enjoy the archives and hope to have you follow our adventures as we move forward. Hear, hear…”here’s to many new places of exploration and unforgettable experiences.” I like that!

  8. pmaghamfar

    You certainly have an inspiring story to share and I’m looking forward to following your journey. Thank you, Peta, for finding us. You definitely fit our definition of redefining retirement!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Patti.

      Actually we wish we could be in the category of retired, but alas the 2009 upheavels were not kind to us. Ben is still “slogging” away.

      What we have redefined however, is our approach… by aligning opportunities for income with our desire to travel extensively.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks so much Maria. Welcome to Green Global Trek, hope you sign up to receive new blog posts. We look forward to your comments on the photography, all of which is taken with an iPad.

      Peta & Ben

  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt

    Not only having fun but doing good in the world by making friends, building an industry, creating jobs, sustaining the environment, and educating the rest of us. Without hurting animals or exploiting anyone. I am deeply impressed.

  10. dida

    I loved your blog! I´m going to travel in Vietnam for a month in a few weeks and loved your descriptions.
    Also about Portugal (I´m Portuguese) – thank you for writing in such a respectful way about other cultures.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Dida, thank you for such a nice compliment.. It is compliment indeed to us as we DO strive to be as respectful as we can towards other cultures. So glad you enjoyed our posts on your beautiful country ~ Portugal ~ it is a country we will definitely be back to again. Ben says, that if you bring “Pasteis de Nata” to Viet Nam, he will meet you there! He was addicted to this delectable Portuguese specialty.

      If you have any questions on Viet Nam or need suggestions, feel free to email us at:


  11. alicia

    Such a blessing to meet you beautiful kind souls in my yoga classes in Sri Lanka, I only wish I did have more time to get to know you both better as you are such an inspiring, full of knowledge and wisdom couple.

    Two gentle hearts and souls, so in need in this crazy and lost world.

    Love to you both many blessing in your path beautiful souls.

    Namaste Alicia x

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Aww thanks Alicia, it was lovely to meet you too and hopefully our paths will cross again in the not too distant future. Thank you for the kind words.

      Peta & Ben

  12. Issa

    You both are inspiring… when my daughter left the nest i did the same but moved to Italy to live like a nomad …. met my hubby and we bought a camper and we are off at least 3 weekends a month… But Asia is still on my bucket list… thanks for sharing ur story

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Issa thank you! A nomadic life is a rich one indeed, whether in Italy or Sri Lnaka. It is the freedom to roam, without constraints of time and borders that binds us together.

      Hope you get to Asia soon, you might enjoy some of our archives with posts on Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Viet Nam, Myanmar… From Italy it is a hop and a skip to Dubai and from Dubai to Sri Lanka one barely has time to watch one movie.


  13. Donna

    I am totally captivated and inspired by your vision and commitment to create positive social and environmental impact in the host countries that you travel to around the world. I can’t wait to read more!

  14. David Witte

    My name is David Witte, and I am studying my masters of Architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle. I have stumbled upon your blog as I am planning a month long tour of bamboo architecture across Colombia and Ecuador, ending in Peru (in August 2017). After reading your blog posts, I would love to get in contact with some of your network!

    A brief background: I have been working in an informal settlement outside of Lima, Peru for the past two summers with Architects Without Borders (see blog below). I will now culminate my studies by designing a community center and kindergarten with the community (my thesis).

    Through studying bamboo architecture in Colombia and Ecuador, I hope to document design details and cultural adaptations of modest bamboo housing as a means to share with the community I have formed a close bond with. The seismic resistance is an important property for the area, and I want to demonstrate that it is not only a poor mans wood, but a beautiful material!

    I look forward to hearing back 🙂 I am open to a phone call as well if that is easier than email.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your interest in bamboo. It certainly sounds as though you are doing some interesting work and having good bamboo experiences. Ecuador is the absolute starting point for low cost housing in bamboo and where we got our initial education. They are by far the most advanced and prolific builders of low cost bamboo housing. (In Quito).

      Today we are no longer involved with the bamboo business we started in Nicaragua. However, if you would like we can certainly connect you with a bamboo forester in Nicaragua and a bamboo builder/engineer there as well who has built over 200 homes with our business.

      We should point out that we have often commented on the failure of Western Architects to take a wholistic approach to bamboo. What does that mean? It is a rare country that has a bamboo supply chain so organized that one can just go to the corner store and buy fully treated bamboo culms ready for construction. Therefore it is incumbent on the architect to not just “draw pretty things” but to really take a comprehensive look at the availability of the bamboo source, its proximity to the final build stage, such that bamboo housing construction can be economically viable. The reason I say that is that the biggest by far topic associated with bamboo construction starts with the issue of how to get enough bamboo for low cost housing, over time, ie. Sustainably. And this question, necessarily gets you to the starting point, which is “Where are there seeds?”.

      Bamboo flowers every hundred years or so and it just happens that there is a wave of flowering today in Nicaragua, and therefore there is an extremely rare opportunity to collect Guadua bamboo seeds (the best construction grade bamboo around). I therefore urge you to consider expanding your study of bamboo structures to include the bamboo value chain without which frankly, it is all just academic and has little chance of becoming a real contribution to the advancement of low cost housing in bamboo.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Peggy thank you for your concern and for thinking of us. We are fine, our location is not a flood zone, although our region more inland (Galle) was one of the hardest hit. It has been heartbreaking to read about the tragic deaths and emotional strife occurring so close to home. Flooding is one of the greatest challenges of our times due to climate change and sadly, this problem will keep re happening.


  15. Untraveled Routes

    Peta and Ben,

    It’s such a pleasure to connect to you guys, read your stories and relish your amazing captures illustrating your Global Trek! You guys are such an inspiration to fellow travelers. And love those assorted pictures, particularly the profile pic of you and Ben together. I can see through the photo how much you guys are fond of each other.
    Cheers, Charu

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Charu and welcome to Green Global Trek. When you live a lifestyle which centers around travel as we do, we spend the majority of time together, so aside from being compatible, being really fond of each other is the key ingredient to making it all work. But am glad to hear that it shows…! Thanks for the lovely compliments too.

      Peta (& Ben)

  16. Paula

    Wow! Blown away! I am so happy you visited my blog and I now have found your adventures. If more people lived a life of seeing out their dreams for the betterment of the world we would all have a better space. Thanks for inspiring and sharing.

  17. Kate

    Sent here by Pam Wight! I love reading about your adventures and the freedom you embrace in such a positive, proactive, and insightful way. I often think about what I’d do once my kids graduate college and start their own lives. While I’m a homebody, I also have a spirit for adventures to see parts of the world that I’ve only read about in books. Your stories certainly are tempting…!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi Kate, Welcome to our Green Global Trek and thank you for the lovely compliments. We started planning a different type of lifestyle when our kids were younger and then patiently, or impatiently waited for all four boys to finish high school before starting our adventures. (If you sign up as a follower, then new stories will automatically be sent to your email.) Thanks for reading us and commenting.

      Peta & Ben

  18. Mikayla

    Wow, this has truly inspired me. I am 22 years old about to graduate college and am lost in what I want to do once I graduate because all I want to do is help the environment and really give back rather than to work for a large corporation. I have been struggling a lot figuring out how to do this however, seeing the difference you guys have made, even later in your careers, is inspiring and reminds me that I don’t have to have it all figured out right now. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Mikayla, we are really pleased to hear that we have inspired you. It is normal at 22 years old to be struggling with specifics as to how to combine professional trajectory and personal interest. Here is Ben’s email: bsb.crisa@gmail.com ~ if you would like to send an email and Ben can do his best to help you strategize how to move forward with regards to helping the environment. A very worthwhile endeavor.

      Welcome to Green Global Trek and thank you for your comments and feedback.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *