BY: Matthew Holland, Bushwise student 2020
This year has been an absolute rollercoaster and it is only June. Nobody could have ever thought that a global pandemic, would have such an impact on our year here at Bushwise. We have all grown so much as individuals and for me, this could be the turning point in my life.
I was your typical city boy, who loved the bush and visited as often as I could with my family. My uncle was one of the most influential honorary rangers in the Kruger National Park. With this being said, my passion for the bush and nature stemmed from my mother. Her passion for what she loved drove me to become obsessed with the bush and I always wanted more. I finished University in 2018 with a degree in English and Psychology from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape. I taught at a private school for two years, teaching high school English. My classroom had a wildlife theme and the kids loved it. It wasn’t long before one of my students asked, why I don’t go and work in the bush. I thought about it for a while and I always wanted to follow a dream and become a guide. One phrase came into my head when this was said, it is, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it”. It was then that I made a decision to follow a dream and I was sold to Bushwise, straight after I spoke to Kim.
After you make a decision, there is always some self- doubt about whether or not you have made the right decision and this is, unfortunately, the reality of change. I was petrified that I was doing something to get away from the things I believed, were holding me back in the city. Teaching was a passion of mine, but a fire inside me burnt for following a dream in the bush and this was the defining factor in, me realising that I had made the right decision.
The day I arrived at Bushwise, there was a calmness over me, that told me I was in the right place and evidently the first person I met, was my roommate Benno. Later on I met my other roommate Andi. Upon meeting Trevor and Sharin, I know the people here were all going to be a big part of my life and today it is safe to say that Trevor and Sharin have become parent roles in my stay here at Bushwise and I would not trade them for the world.
The Growth I have made here at Bushwise stems from my trainers, Jack and Lindi and my fellow peers, who have now become my second family and we would forever have, each others backs. I have come to realise that the things that are important in life, is whether or not you are happy with what you are doing. As the course progressed I found out, that this is where I have wanted to be my whole life. Bushwise has been nothing short of amazing and it has been a foundation for my, hopefully very long guiding career.