It’s not everyday that you find someone who is willing to pack up their entire life, past and all, and embark on a new adventure— through the desert, forest, and tundra— in an attempt to find herself. Cheryl Strayed, author of the auto-biographical account Wild, tells of her hike up the Pacific Crest Trail and proves that sometimes it takes a tragedy to change your life around. At the age of 22, after losing her mother, Cheryl felt that her world was falling apart. She decided that instead of dealing with the pain in a more traditional way, she would take a trip along one of the longest hiking trails in the United States (it spans from Arizona to Washington).
Throughout the entire journey Cheryl not only comes face-to-face with the cruelties that nature throws her way (varying temperatures, wildlife of all kinds, and countless injuries and bruises), but she also reflects on the current issues in her life ultimately realizing the further she goes, the more minuscule some of her problems back home have become.
When I first picked up this book in the bookstore to read, I have to admit that it was completely at random. I wasn’t even sure I would like it, but decided to give it a chance. What I love most is that it feels completely authentic. Cheryl pulls you in and her story made me think about my own life and all of the problems that I face. Books like Cheryl’s have the ability to push any reader to think introspectively. Her story is more than just a inspirational read that you go through once and are done with. It will cause you to stop every few chapters and apply some of the reflections she makes to your own life.
The main reason I was ever compelled to buy the book is because her story is so drastically different than my own but at the same time there were certain aspects of Cheryl I felt I could relate to myself. While her methods of finding her self aren’t exactly practical and I’m not sure I could even begin to think about doing what she did, her journey to self-contentment worked for her.
All of the adventure of the book and Cheryl’s story aside, there’s something for everyone to take away from the book. Have you read Wild by Cheryl Strayed? If so, what did you think? If you haven’t, do you think you’ll give this read a try? I’d say it’s a go-to book for anyone needing inspiration or motivation in their daily life.