Nat Hab founder and president Ben Bressler likes to reflect periodically on his experiences in nature. His Good Nature Travel column – Ben’s Musings – is a fun and thoughtful look at the people, places and events that remind us why responsible travel in the world’s most amazing natural places is so important.
Ben was raised in New Jersey (he claims there are parts of Jersey that are absolutely beautiful, but he admits that he didn’t live in those parts) and received his higher education at Skidmore College in Saratoga, NY. Ben’s first short-lived job was teaching at a boarding school in New Hampshire where, he confesses, he was a dreadful teacher but he and the kids had a grand time playing soccer in the yard and listening to music in the dorm.
During his one-year teaching career Ben took a group of students on a ski and outdoor adventure to Colorado and knew immediately that he was going to pursue a career in travel and nature. In 1984, not given to working for others (his experience with the Headmaster of the prep school was a disaster, for him and for the Headmaster), Ben decided to pursue his dreams independently. Saving $600 driving a garbage truck at an amusement park, he invested that undersized savings in typing (on an antiquated standard typewriter) and photocopying a small brochure advertising ski and adventure trips. It wasn’t long before the International Fund for Animal Welfare (the world’s largest animal welfare organization) put out a feeler for a young and ambitious adventure travel company to help them develop a seal watching tourist industry to replace the seal hunt in eastern Canada.
As Ben was living on the floor of his brother’s apartment in New York City and stealing his brother’s change for subway fare to get to work, there was no company more ambitious than Natural Habitat Adventures, which, at the time, consisted of Ben alone. In the twenty-plus years since then, Ben has grown Natural Habitat Adventures to become a leader in worldwide nature travel and has journeyed to dozens of countries in search of spectacular nature experiences… and a good time, whenever possible. Aside from growing a meaningful company that provides “the world’s greatest nature expeditions,” Ben’s ambition within his professional life is to utilize adventure travel to build support for the fight against climate change. When he’s not working, Ben plays and coaches soccer, rides his mountain bike, skis, drinks beer and smokes Cuban cigars.
Read some of Ben’s recent posts: