January 28, 2016
Name: Rick de Gaay Fortman
While I’m from the Netherlands, I was born in the Bahamas and then grew up in different parts of the world, ranging from Central America, to Africa and to Europe. I spent most of my younger years in the outdoors, exploring the deserts, forests, rivers and oceans, depending on where I was living at the time. My earliest memories are from the Sudan, where my parents would take us on adventures into the Sahara, well before GPS and mobile phones were commonplace. Later, in Ghana, I developed a love for the oceans, again thanks to my parents who would take me and my siblings to the beach every weekend. At the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales, I spent two years with like-minded, adventurous and idealistic classmates, and together we spent much time in nature, albeit surfing, hiking or swimming in the ocean. While this sense of adventure was mostly dormant during my years studying aerospace engineering in Delft, I started to pick it up again after completing my degree. Hiking in Patagonia, 4×4 desert trips in Qatar, sailing in the Persian Gulf and the Cyclades, hiking up to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and then an epic cycling journey from Cape Town to Nairobi in 2010 rekindled that adventurous spirit within me. In 2014 I rediscovered my love for photography while doing a month-long wildlife photography course followed by a month-long wildlife photography journey, all in South Africa. The longing for adventure and the outdoors has been a consistent theme throughout my life, eventually resulting in my resignation from McKinsey and embarking on a new adventure: The Dark Star Safari.