Who are you, what do you do and what did you have for breakfast?
I’m Catherine Capon (Cat) and I’m an ecoadventurer, naturalist and writer.
My job involves promoting ecotourism and wildlife watching holidays as a way to make endangered animals worth more alive than dead. Here’s a short video to explain more:
This morning I had cinnamon quinoa for breakfast, which is unusually healthy for me, but I’ve just come back from an eco-adventure in the arctic where I consumed my body weight in food every day to stay warm!
What did you get up to last Tuesday at work?
Last Tuesday I was in Longyearbyen – the most northerly settlement in the world. I’d just returned from a wildlife watching boat tour with Basecamp Explorers and had seen a polar bear for the first time! You can see images from this trip on my Instagram page.
Who or what inspired you to do the job you do now?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t obsessed with wildlife. I was the kind of kid who came home from school with frogs in my pockets, muddy tights and bruised elbows. Being outside and climbing trees to see birds’ nest was my happy place and following this passion led me to study zoology and ecology at uni. Classroom learning was always frustrating for me as I just wanted to see, smell and feel all that I was being taught in the wild. So, when the opportunity came up to study bats in Honduras for 3 months, I jumped at the chance. Never had I felt more fulfilled than when I was trekking through that cloud forest in the middle of the night after taking DNA from bats and heading back to my hammock for a few hours of kip before my howler monkey alarm clock would sound.
It was that expedition that truly made me feel like an adventurer. My career after uni took me into sustainability communication and wildlife filmmaking but, at every opportunity, I’d take myself to explore the remote places of our vast planet to see wildlife and how the local people interact with it. It was these trips that inspired my campaign for this year. I believe that responsible ecotourism is the best tool we have to protect endangered species and wilderness areas.
Like so many, my absolute hero is Sir David Attenborough.
What is needed to succeed in your career?
Passion, positivity and persistence!
If you could go back and change one thing, what would it be?
As an eternal optimist, I try not to regret anything. I’ve made mistakes and come up against obstacles but, I believe if you’re faced with a challenge, try to see it as a new opportunity so it doesn’t block your path. Doing a job that truly fulfils your passions is far more important in the long run than doing what your parents, partner or bank manager wants you to do.
What is your proudest moment and/or biggest regret?
I’d say my proudest moment was when I took a huge risk. I moved back in with my parents and took a job with a significant pay cut. I felt I had nothing to lose and found a career path that truly excited me.
Also, the day that my website CatherineCapon.com launched, I felt that many years of hard work had finally come to something!
What is your favourite quote?
- Make a list of things that make you happy
- Make a list of things you do every day
- Compare the lists
- Adjust accordingly
Written by Catherine Capon – 2015