Growing up I was very fortunate to have a mother who was a travel agent. Both my parents shared an intense love for travel and learning new things. They encouraged me to read and spend a great deal of time outside. I played sports (soccer, tennis, baseball), went hiking regularly, ran around the neighborhood with other kids, and didn't watch much TV. Below are some examples of what I was doing at various ages:

Age 6-10: Regular trips to Kauai and the California Sierra Nevada mountains. A couple of visits to Mexico.

Age 11: Australia and Fiji

Age 12: Venezuela, Carribean, Mexico

Age 13: Carribean

Age 14: Galapagos and Ecuador; begin working in aquarium store and start tropical fish book

Age 15: Carribean; Europe, Finish up book on tropical freshwater fish

Age 16: South Africa, Botswana (safari), Zimbabwe, Zambia, Complete book on tropical freshwater fish

Age 17: Peru (Workshop for teachers and professors) and Costa Rica, Sell book on tropical freshwater fish. begin applying to college.

By Rhett Butler
Date published: June 24, 2004 | Last updated: Dec 5, 2015

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