Alone, tending a fire for twenty-four hours with nothing but a bottle of water. Living off of foraged plants on a three-day survival outing. Returning to a supportive community and the guidance of his mentors and elders. These were the rites of passage that in many ways shaped Luka’s adolescence that took place during weekend and summer nature connection programs in New York and Vermont with Wild Earth and the Vermont Wilderness School.
“Deep nature experiences taught me humility, like not having much to eat for several days because I was testing my skills, trying to find food, and I wasn’t that successful. I’m thankful for the awareness that everything comes from the earth…for me, that connection cannot be replaced”
“There were deep nature experiences that taught me humility, like not having much to eat for several days because I was testing my skills, trying to find food, and I wasn’t that successful. It didn’t just affect how I felt about food and being grateful, but it also affected this really deep connection between the earth itself and my survival. I’m thankful for the awareness and recognition that no matter how much technology and convenience that gets between me and the resources that keep me alive, at the end of the day, everything still comes from the earth…for me, that connection cannot be replaced.”
Tuned into his natural senses, Luka became fascinated with the complexity and mystery of the many intricacies of our natural ecosystems, the “stories behind the patterns that we see”. He considered applying his appreciation for elaborate systems towards a robotics engineering degree, but it was in a high school ecology class that he found his direction.