This Week’s Travel Inspiration: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Each week I’ll be recommending a movie, t.v. show, book, or song, to help you feel inspired to travel!

This week’s travel inspiration: The novel, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed.  This book chronicles the journey of more than 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail as 26 year-old Cheryl aims to strengthen and heal herself.  She’s lost her mother and her husband but she aims to find herself traveling from the Mojave Desert in California to Washington State, all by herself and without any experience or training.  By the end of her journey, I felt empowered and strengthened, like I had personally done the journey myself.

To help inspire you to take your own life-changing journey, I wanted to include five of my favorite quotes.  These quotes exemplify what it’s like to travel solo as a female, experience the wild outdoors, and above all else learning to believe in yourself.

On solo travel:

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed.  Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one woman are told.  I decided I was safe.  I was strong.  I was brave.  Nothing could vanquish me.”

“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there.”

On the wild:

“It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B.  It had to do with how it felt to be in the wild.  With what it was like to walk for miles with no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets.  The experience was powerful and fundamental.  It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way.”

“There’s a sunrise and sunset every day.  You can choose to be there for it.  You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

On believing in yourself:

“I made it the mantra of those days; when I paused before yet another series of switchbacks or skidded down knee-jarring slopes, when patches of flesh peeled off my feet along with my socks, when I lay alone and lonely in my tent at night I asked, often out loud: Who is tougher than me? The answer was always the same, and even when I knew absolutely there was no way on this earth that it was true, I said it anyway: No one.”

Have you read Wild?  What did you think? Did it inspire you to take a backpacking trip by yourself? 

Have you seen the movie? (Even though we always know the book is better than the movie) Let me know, in the comments below!



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