Luke Hlavin was born in northern Virginia, outside the nation’s capital. He grew up in a loving community, playing lacrosse and spending time traveling the country with family and friends. He attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville, spent one semester studying abroad in Austria, and eventually graduated with a bachelor of arts in philosophy and theology.
Upon graduation, Luke began to work with university students in Washington, DC. After two years, he quit this job and decided to embrace the more adventurous side of life. He moved to Spain, took an intensive course in Spanish, and walked 545 miles of the Camino de Santiago. Feeling the call to direct his restless spirit to the service of others, he later moved to Bolivia, to work with and teach underprivileged children from immigrant families. The following year, he moved to Philadelphia to live in a community of voluntary poverty and serve the homeless at a local shelter.
But the mountains continued to call. Growing up in the land of the Shenandoah, Luke had discovered incredible peace, rejuvenation, and self-discovery in the outdoors. Not only was it a place of great beauty; Luke found nature to be the catalyst of significant growth in his own personal journey. Falling in love with backpacking, he began to travel the country visiting national parks and exploring the backcountry alone and with friends. At Elements, he has found a unique position, where his desire to serve others and his love of the outdoors could meet.
Luke loves the company of good friends, the beauty of art and music, and the adventure of travel. But more than anything, he loves the profound silence of the wilderness, where one’s soul can be at rest. In the words of John Muir: “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”