Randall Howlett, 42, Brisbane (Australia)

Flame-haired Randall is the founder of Condor Trekkers, a non-profit trekking company operating out of Sucre, Bolivia.  A topographer by training, he has not lived in Australia for many years, but instead, fuelled by a conviction that a better economic world can be achieved, he’s lived and worked in Guatemala, Germany and Bolivia as well as travelled extensively.  I interviewed him in the hub of Condor Trekkers in Sucre.

Condor Trekkers Office, Calle Loa, Sucre
Randall agape at the gorgeous snaps depicting the treks Condor Trekkers offers.

Keep reading for his interview…

How has being Australian left its mark on you?

It’s affected my language skills, I’d say.  Apart from sport, I’m not patriotic at all.  I find Australia’s policies on our Indigenous people, the environment and attitude towards immigration absolutely appalling.  I don’t consider that I think like the average Australian.

What would your 13-year-old self think about you if they met you?

Maybe they’d think the hair was a bit odd?!  I’m a completely different person now, essentially.  I’m not proud of who I was at 13, I was a bit of a shithead really.  So, I guess he’d be impressed with my moral stance, with my ethics…

If you could meet your 13-year-old self, what would you say to him?

Be open-minded, don’t be judgemental.  I was racist and homophobic, as encouraged by the private boys’ school I went to.  I look back and am so opposed to that behaviour now.  I hope life in a boys’ school is better these days.  I’d tell him to treat people the way he wants to be treated.  To put himself in their shoes and feel how they would.

How do you make decisions?

Very spontaneously.  I often need somebody to tell me I’m wrong, so that I can do things better!

Do you think you’re on the right path?

I’m super happy, I couldn’t be happier.  I was a topographer, and I learned a lot doing that, but I never want to do it again.  I helped to destroy lovely little parks to put up shitty little houses filled with domestic violence.  So, I decided to travel, I got out of engineering and into tourism.  I volunteered on a project similar to Condor Trekkers in Guatemala and here I am now.  You just get on a roll and it all makes sense in the end.

How do you feel when you think about your future?

Super stoked, I have thousands of plans.  Of course, with time and money I’d have more.  Basically, I want to change the entire economic structure of the world.

What fascinates you about Australia?

There’s a lot of opportunity there and a very relaxed lifestyle.  Aboriginal culture fascinates me.  If Australia could have a more workable multiculturalism, it would be great, but I think that the things that I loved are going; like mateship.  In the past, if you saw someone pushing their car up a hill, you’d stop and help.  Now, people live in fear more.

About humanity?

People are amazing.  I just love meeting people from around the world and seeing that they’re all good.  It’s just a shame that the 1% who aren’t are unfortunately in control.  99% of people are amazing, I constantly meet incredible people, especially the volunteers here.  Their hearts are in the right place, they want to change the world for the better.

About yourself?

My feet.  I have beautiful arches.  You should see my footprint, it’s perfect.

What scares you about Australia?

The complete lack of ethics in government and business.  Racism, the government’s complete lack of disregard for the environment.  Homphobia.  Zenophobia.  Basically, the government.  Most people I know care about the environment and want gay marriage.  But the polls say not to care, so they don’t.  They’re not actually serving Australia’s interests, there aren’t any ethics.  If you could introduce ethical systems of government and business, that would make some real difference in the world.

About humanity?

That those who have power shouldn’t have it.  Power should be bestowed on the people who want it least…maybe they’d use it better then.

About yourself?

My temper, I tend to use it a bit.  I kind of rant and swear.  I’m working on it though.

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