Today.Az » Weird / Interesting » Belgian man shuns civilization to live as a hunter-gatherer in Slovenia
03 August 2015 [12:03] - Today.Az
Angelo Valkenborg had it all – a good job, a marriage, and a nice home, but at one point in his life, he realised that none of that made him truly happy. So the 31-year-old Belgian left his old life behind and moved to a forest in Slovenia to live like a hunter-gatherer.
Angelo had always been fascinated by the great outdoors and started getting into survival techniques in the wild. But his work and family life didn’t exactly go hand in hand with his favorite pastime. It was after returning from a three week expedition in the wilderness of Northern Sweden that he learned his marriage had failed. His “intense passion for the outdoors” was apparently too much for his wife to handle. “Who can blame her?” he wrote on his blog. “I went fr’om a salesperson who cared a lot about going out and having a good time to a always dressed in outdoor gear geek.
For a while after that, Angelo found it difficult to go back into the wilderness – it reminded him of all the reasons for his failed marriage. He went through a period of depression, which intensified when things started going poorly at work, as well. After about a year, he finally went back into the woods and started bushcraft, just to experience being at peace with himself. And that’s when he knew what he wanted to do with his life.
“I was stuck in a system that I did not belong to,” Angelo explains. At some point, the bubble burst and he realised that there was more… Out there, somewhere. “I realised that this is an essential part of who I am and what I truly enjoy doing,” he says. “That led me to a point that I would stop my job, sell my house and all my belongings and give away a lot of my clothing.” The hardest thing for him was to let go of his old dog, who now lives with his ex.
Today, Angelo lives bushcraft instead of just occasionally practicing it. His life is all about going into the wild and becoming fully self-reliant. He moved to a forest in Slovenia where he managed to build his own hut and tools. He gathers berries, nettles and frogs for meals, but he gets his supply of meat from a local village because hunting without a license is considered poaching. Despite having studied survival skills for over four years, Angelo says that he still makes mistakes. “It is anything but simple,” he said. “But I am so happy.”
He plans to spend his thirties traveling around Canada, Siberia, and Alaska, where hunting is permitted and he can truly live the life of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Angelo isn’t completely cut off from society – he has a smartphone that he recharges using solar energy and also keeps a car at the edge of the forest, strictly for emergencies, but plans to get rid of it soon. Using his phone, he writes about his life in the wild on his blog, and also posts photos on his Instagram account, becomingwildman.
/By Oddity Central/