Jane Wilson-Howarth Travel Doctor and Author Blog
My passion for wildlife began early. I used to smuggle roadkill into the house despite my mother’s preference for flowers. A fascination with nature started with pond-dipping; while other girls were experimenting with makeup and exploring the impact on the boys of rolling up the wastbands of their skirts to show more leg, I was nerdily nose-down in our garden pond, learning about reproductive behaviour in minuscule cyclops and water-fleas. This interest grew and blossomed through hamster breeding and continued to evolve as I bagged a zoology degree from Plymouth. This was a perfect place for me to study because I learned to SCUBA dive there and also indulged in all possible water sports, including cave diving. I then organised an overland trip to Nepal. That first expedition provided my first astonishing glimpses of sub-tropical wildlife which made me enthusiastic about sharing the wonders of the natural world with others. Some authors have always known they would write, but that desire has rather crept up on me.
Travel gave me a particular loathing of leeches and parasites, as well as an indignation about inequality of access to health care. Ultimately this pushed me towards becoming medically qualified. My blundering language forays have made me privy to a wealth of fascinating cultural material some of which appears in my writing particularly on Nepal. Currently I am working on some new fiction; I have drafted a novel for adults and, so far, two eco-adventures for 8 to 12-year-olds. These days I live in East Anglia and work as a general practitioner for about 30-hours a week, which is "half-time". I am also medical director of the Cambridge-based Travel Clinics: www.travelclinic.ltd.ukTravel and Travel Medical Blog