Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found – Cheryl Strayed

Oh hey, just for something different, here is a book I stumbled across after it was made into a movie. I found a cheap copy at Kmart and thought why not add it to the pile? This was a few months ago and I finally got around to reading it. This book took me exactly two days to finish. I was that hooked. Wild is the personal experience of Cheryl, who after losing her mother and having her marriage disintegrate  decided to hike the PCT. Pacific Crest Trail that is, a walking trail that runs the length of the west coast of America. She sets off on her journey as prepared as she thinks she can be, yet without any training or experience in long distance hiking. What follows is an intense physical and mental journey that Cheryl unflinchingly shares with the reader.

 

The concept of doing a long distance hike is what drew me to the book initially. Hiking and camping has always interested me and I love being in the middle of the bush on my own for walks so I can completely understand where she was coming from when she made this decision. The silence and peace from spending days on your own would be magical coupled with the stunning scenery. Plus the feeling of accomplishment from the physicalness of the situation would be incredible. Carrying everything you need on your back is so satisfying. My only issue with the way she travelled would be burning the books, I just couldn’t do it. I’m way too attached to my books!

 

When it came to the story I was impressed with the honesty that she wrote with. Tales of her life were intense and not always flattering. Some of the things she had done in her downward spiral were not necessarily things to be proud of and I appreciated the honest and unflinching manner in which she discussed them, taking complete responsibility for her actions. A refreshing self-evaluation that would not have been easy to admit to in such a public forum. Even along the journey when she was looking for herself she wrote of her thoughts  in such an open manner I can only hope I’m as honest with myself. I loved her explanation of changing her name after her divorce. I thought it was extremely fitting for the story and her journey.

 

Cheryl’s journey came to an end all to quickly for me. The miles melted away astonishingly fast, faster than I’m sure they did for her. I could have kept reading quite easily, however, her story came to an end with many a new outlooks and experiences for Cheryl. This book was heartbreaking yet uplifting in it’s three hundred odd pages and I found a sense of happiness that Cheryl found her place in the world and forgave her mother by the conclusion of her journey. I would definitely recommend this one for those of you who enjoy brutal honestly and a great personal journey. I’m in awe of her strength both physically and mentally. I give Wild four sets of hiking boots, even though it only took two in the book.

 

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