Josh portrait
  • Expedition: May 10-15, 2015
  • Josh
  • New Leaf: A Sustainable Living Collaborative and Turlock High School
  • Yosemite National Park: Little Yosemite Valley

Last year I was able to attend WildLink, and it changed my outlook on a lot of things. This place is truly and utterly amazing. It brings people together. It brings you closer to nature and closer to yourself. WildLink helped me experience all of these things. Before WildLink, I had trouble connecting or getting close to others because I wasn't in tune with myself. I was always what everyone else wanted and never really became my own person. It taught me that why give such an effort to impress everyone if I can just bond with people who know the real me. I also wasn't too close to nature. I would be outside and walking if people told me to, but I never really connected or gained experience from it. Now, I understand just how beautiful and important nature was to an individual. It made me want to work outside, pursue my ideas and even just enjoy the outdoors. Finally, it brought me closer to my family and peers because I became what I wanted to be, myself. And I wouldn't want to trade that ever. I want to help others realize just how important is is to connect with nature and find one's self.

forest face

Josh and Amanda: People of the Forest.

Wilderness is different to everyone. A burden, a place or peace, a whole new world, etc. But I do have an idea of what it means to me. Wilderness is a place to find one's self and a time to get away from the world you live in. In the wild, you relate to a different you. A you that you weren't sure existed until you found your place out there. In my experience, it's positive and reassuring to find out there's more to you than even you thought possible. It's a bit strange, but when you find it you just know, and like I said before it's a way to get away from all your problems and stress you have in everyday life. In a way, it's like a place of zen. Now everyone has a role in wilderness. You just don't know it yet. What I believe my role is... Honestly, I'm not sure. I believe it's one's part to clean up after themselves and keep the parks beautiful, but as to my role, I guess I'm still looking. I'll find it though, just give me some time to look.

fire dance

A little fire-ring removal celebration.

On my trip I was able to see nature or the wilderness from 3 different points of view. I saw the life of the wilderness, rebirth after destruction, and the water that feeds nature. All of which were beautiful. The hike up showed me how beautiful and peaceful nature truly is. The second day showed me a burned down forest, but in that destruction was such history and wonder. Finally, as we hiked back, I saw it rain and feed the wilderness. That showed me how important the rainfall is to Yosemite. To sum it up, it taught me how important it is to keep nature alive.

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.