I Now Walk Into The Wild

I have found joy in a dream that was realized after reading “Into the Wild” by John Krakauer.

If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it, as it has changed my life.  Krakauer skillfully portrays the life of Christopher Johnson McCandless AKA Alexander Supertramp without bias, as there are two points of view of his life.  Was McCandless a hero or a fool? Either way, his life has been one of my biggest inspirations. After graduating with good grades from Emory University, McCandless gave away his entire college fund of $25,000 to charity, nixed communication with his family, abandoned his legal name, and began traveling across the states with his 1982 Datsun that was later destroyed in a flash flood.  He continued his journey, meeting new people, working a variety of jobs, and hitchhiking until he reached the Alaskan wilderness.  Although unprepared, McCandless survived here for over 100 days until he died of what is hypothesized to be a poisoning from moldy seeds that further contributed to his starvation.

While McCandless’s death is unfortunate, his ideas about life have created my infatuation with his tale.  He dared to find out what many people are too afraid to find out. Most willingly trap themselves into a bubble of security and monotony and as McCandless states, “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality, nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. 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 new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”

This is a fantastic quote and is the spark that made me want to travel to Bolivia this summer.

Months after graduating high school, I finally decided I needed a change, so I dropped an abusive relationship, quit my job, and attended the local community college to take a Spanish class.

I loved the class, fell in love with learning, even got an A, and decided I wanted more.  So, I took summer classes, and then joined full-time in the fall of 2015.  I fell in love with language during this time.  During the semester however, I got frustrated.  I knew exactly what I wanted to study and knew what I needed in order to continue in that field.  I did not need a sociology of religion and a conceptual math class to advance my skills, but I was required to take them, among other classes I saw no need for.

One October night, I was expressing my disappointment to my dad and said, “I just don’t understand why I can’t just do what I want.”  He simply said, “You can.”  And then asked, “What do you want to do?”  I said travel.  And he said… “Then do it.”

It was as simple as that.  A couple days later, I had booked a flight for Bolivia.

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