About us

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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.

 

51 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)

      http://www.greenglobaltrek.com/2010/12/back-home-in-nicaragua.html

      And a post from Faro/Lagos, Portugal:

      http://www.greenglobaltrek.com/2015/02/the-algarve-coast-of-portugal-in-the-off-season.html

      Peta

    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”!

      Peta

    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.

      Peta

  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!

      Peta

    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!

      Peta

  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.

      Peta

  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!

      Peta

  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.

      Peta

  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.

      Cheers,
      P

  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!

      Peta

  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!
    Cheryl

    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!
      Peta

  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.

      Peta

    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:
      petakaplan@hotmail.com

      Peta

  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.

      Namaste
      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.

      P&B

  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!

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