Ante Vuković – project creator and coordinator
My homeland is my great inspiration. Its magical beauty and beneficial effect on our health have encouraged me to initiate this project. For that very reason I assembled a team of very capable and ambitious young experts of different profiles, who are also deeply aware of an immense health potential of our homeland. Probably nowhere else in the world has Mother Nature been so generous to men. I am genuinely happy to be living here. I would like nothing more than for you, dear reader, to experience at least to a certain extent this outstanding and harmonious balance of beauty and health.
I was born in Split, 30 November 1974. I have been living in Krilo Jesenice, near Split, my whole life. Krilo Jesenice is a small coastal town with a rich maritime tradition. Nowadays it is one of the most famous destinations of nautical tourism in Croatia.
Although I come from a family of sailors (my great-grandfather and my grandfather were sailors), I decided to follow a different path and chose psychology as my profession. I graduated in psychology at Faculty of Arts in Rijeka. During the past ten years the focus of my interest has been health-psychology. One of the most important conceptions of health-psychology is that our health mostly depends on us. Our health is the result of the life style we choose. Therefore, I myself am for the biggest part responsible for my health. Have I, then, really taken responsibility for my health or do I always leave it to someone else? This is an important question each and every one of us should answer candidly. Hopefully, this voyage will encourage you do exactly that.
Due to certain family problems, my grandfather was forced to sell his boat, but he simply could not imagine his life without it so he bought a small fishing-boat and went fishing his whole life. He frequently took me with him. I have numerous beautiful memories of time spent around sea imprinted in me… so many thrilling fishing moments… Just like my grandfather then, today I cannot imagine my life without the sea either.
I did not only spend time going fishing though. My family has always owned olive-groves, orchards and gardens and there was always a lot to be done so they often took me with them to help with numerous farming duties. Although there was a lot to be done, that was the sweetest fatigue of all. Such work actually relaxes you and fills you with a special kind of energy. I still work in those groves, orchards and gardens. I am a permaculture designer and the principles of permaculture make that work significantly easier. I managed to plant a lot of new olive and fruit trees. Planting a new tree is always a special event for me, especially if it is an olive tree. In my olive-grove there are trees which are only a few years old, but also the ones which are over 500 years old! Being in a presence of such an old tree fills you with a special kind of emotion. I often sit in the shade the old olive trees make, I watch the sea at the foot of the hill and the island of Brač in the distance… and then questions start to emerge: What did the man who planted this tree 500 years ago look like? What did he think about while watching the sea and the island of Brač? Did he admire, like I do now, this same Sun which graciously shone on each leaf of grass, each olive tree leaf, this hill, the sea, and him as he was watching it all? How many people had sat under this olive tree before it was my turn? Had this olive tree been planted before Columbus discovered America? At the foot of the hill, just along the coast, there is a road built by Napoleon’s soldiers. I imagine one of the soldiers climbing up to this old olive tree to sneak a nap in its shade. The olive was about 300 years old then. Who knows who will come after me to enjoy this view from this shade?
The olive tree makes me feel so small, but also as a part of the big entirety at the same time.