Mr Hochstenbach was born to a marketing manager and a schoolteacher in Leidschendam, a suburban town in the flatlands of Holland. Aside from caravanning trips to France with his parents, his childhood was without international travels, until he graduated with flying colours and joined McKinsey & Co, the leading global management consultancy company.
“I did the typical City boy routine,” he says. “I worked hard. I made a fair bit of cash, I threw some parties, and I spent it. I lived between New York, London and Amsterdam. But something wasn’t right. I was hungry for adventure — not some courageous act of physical endurance, but to apply the strategy and business I knew I was good at, and work in adverse circumstances in parts of the world that needed development.”
In January 2004 Mr Hochstenbach swapped offices on Jermyn Street for a modest home in a local Tanzanian neighbourhood. He and his girlfriend (now wife) lived on a combined budget of US$100 a month. “Mary and I used to argue about spending a dollar to swim in the pool at a local hotel,” he says. “Living in Africa made me realise the bed that made me happiest, then and now, was the simplest one, with little between me and the wildlife.”
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