(My friends mostly call me Pepe (PP) in stead of Peter Paul 🙂
When I was young, I loved animals and played in nature whenever I got the chance. Swimming in clear blue lakes and watching the shiny fish made me super happy. But when thousands of dying fish surfaced in the river of my hometown, due to chemical spills, it broke my heart.
That’s why I decided to study behavioral psychology, years later. Because I believe:
“If humans are the problem, they are also the solution”,
For many years, I worked as consultant. But there was something wrong.
The projects were interesting, but often lacked impact. Why? Because behavior change failed.
So I embarked on a journey to search for effective methods. Luckily I found a guide: BJ Fogg who runs the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University. He trained me.
I also teamed up with a wise mentor, Frits Hesselink. I accompanied him on missions in Asia, Africa and America. He shared his wisdom and positive change methods. Together we delivered courses and trainings for professionals who work on nature conservation.
But one day, looking in the mirror, I realized my own behavior wasn’t so picture perfect. My life style wasn’t healthy and I lost my connection with nature. I had become a chubby urban animal.
Time to kick myself in the butt! As a mad professor, I applied the powerful behavior change techniques on myself.
I transformed. Step by step. I inserted bits of exercise in excisting daily routines. And started healthy eating habits. I learned to feel at home wild camping and trekking in the mountains.
I regained my bond with nature. I lost lots of weight and became fit again.
In 2021, I had an epiphany when I was in the hospital for four days. Nothing serious, but suddenly I realized how the years fly by. I was overwhelmed by the need to zoom out. To see my life from a different perspective. To learn what’s really important to me. To feel where I want to focus on the ‘second half’ of my life.
When I got the advice to go on a long wilderness journey, it struck a chord. Trekking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada seems a perfect fit. And it resonates with my vivid and fond memory of my time in California.