My Bush Sabbatical, from Lawyer to Guardian of Nature: Priyanka Mehta

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]

Priyanka on course with EcoTraining (c) Samantha Davies

I am a lawyer by profession, qualified to practice law in India and New York, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, LLB in Law and a Masters in Law from Columbia Law School in New York. There was no doubt in my mind that corporate law was what I wanted to pursue. Having practiced in a leading law firm in India for 7 years and specialised as a Capital Markets Lawyer, I was beginning to burn out. There was a sudden and urgent desire to breathe fresh air, see the sunlight and connect with nature. I was beginning to feel claustrophobic in the corporate environment, within enclosures of perfectly white washed walls and air conditioning.

I decided to take a sabbatical during which I applied for the New York Bar examination which I passed. There after I have been pursuing opportunities to connect with nature and travelled extensively to the Himalayas and various wildlife and nature parks in India last year 2016. When I saw my first sighting of a tiger and leopard my desire to seek out more sighting grew. The more I sought out these mammals the more I became aware of other creatures around me like birds, insects, reptiles, small mammals and much more. I realised how inadequate my knowledge about the environment I lived in was and felt ignorant.

I wanted to spend some quality time learning and understanding more about nature and its biodiversity and this is when I came across EcoTraining. A friend who was passionately involved in wildlife would continuously share his experiences and stories of the bush, while I would listen in awe and admiration, yearning for an opportunity to experience his life.

I was appealed by EcoTraining’s 55-day FGASA Field Guide level 1 / NQF2 Course because of it’s wide range of subjects covered in the syllabus, which would give me the opportunity to understand and feel all aspects of the environment. Furthermore, the opportunity to live for 55-days in the African bush, without electricity or connectivity, was extremely attractive – this was exactly what I was looking for! Being able to connect with nature alongside other people who also value the environment and want to learn about nature made for the perfect setting without any restrictions.

Connecting with- and learning about nature with like-minded people (c) Samantha Davies

I am still currently on the course and will this experience change the course of my life’s direction going forward? I don’t know yet, but while I am here I would like to spend as much time learning, so that whatever course my life takes, I want to be able to make a contribution to our environment.


About the Author:
Picture of EcoTraining Connect

EcoTraining Connect

EcoTraining, which has been in operation since 1993, is the innovator and top provider of training for safari guides and wildlife experts in Africa.

Explore more

students in nature with clipboards

Leading the Way to Higher Education in Ecotourism

Are you an aspiring nature guide looking to develop your skills and expertise? Look no further than EcoTraining, Africa’s leading safari and wildlife training institution. EcoTraining has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first Guide Training School on the continent to receive accreditation from the Council for Higher Education (CHE) in South Africa.
Let us explain why this is such a significant achievement for EcoTraining and the Field Guiding Industry.

Read more
bee on lavendar plant

Why Bees are Important?

Daily we hear about animals whose population numbers are in decline, but did you know that the humble Bees numbers are also in decline and they too are at risk of extinction?

Read more
arrow-marked babbler

The Magic of the Morning Chorus

Imagine yourself early in the morning in the middle of the South African bush; the sun is just about to rise, and the wildlife begins to wake up. You close your eyes and listen. What can you hear?

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.