A little late on posting, but I have kept up my book club-esque reading of a a book per week!
2.5 weeks ago, I finished Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. This is a book that I have been meaning to read for a while, not only because I bought it over 2 years ago, but because it is something I have heard a lot about in the travel community. I initially found out about this book because of the quote:
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a different sun.”
At first glance, it seems a bit unrealistic. But, it’s a yearn for wanting more than what is in front of you. McCandless seeks a life that I believe most of us are understandably too fearful of to go out and seek. Speaking for myself, adventure is something I seek, but to what extreme?
McCandless dropped everything, and I mean everything. He emptied his bank account and donated it to charity, he left his most prized possession- his car, and only packed a backpack of what he needed for survival. He set out across the United States, with his goal to venture through Alaska.
From the people he met along the way and the people he left behind, McCandless knew exactly what he was doing throughout his journey, and I think we can all learn from his lifestyle:
“My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do if reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.”
“Oh how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the worldlessness of long, grinding labour, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!”
While I don’t agree with all of McCandless’ decisions, I do agree with his need for seeing what is out there- and what goes beyond the typical American dream- if that still exists. There is nothing wrong with going to school, getting a job, getting married and having kids; but that lifestyle surely is not for everyone and shouldn’t be yearned for just because everyone else is doing it. Live in the moment. Don’t live waiting on the approval of others or do something merely because it is popular.
Sure, everything looks better and more appealing from a different perspective. Seek what is beyond your own backyard, but continue to appreciate the grass on your own side.
Right now, my version of being into the wild is Toronto. Finishing school, starting work, building relationships with the people around me, and working to improve my mental health. Your wild doesn’t have to explore the wilderness of Alaska, live abroad, or work remotely; your wild can take you out of your comfort zone, even if that means staying home.
Next up, The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.