This book doesn’t really little ol’ me to promote it, since it’s already a huge hit in the book and film world, but I wanted to share none-the-less. If you’ve missed the boat…or the hike in this case, Wild is about a woman left reeling after the untimely death of her beloved mother. She ends up divorced, pregnant, hooked on drugs, and generally in a horrible downward spiral to an early grave herself. On a whim, she decides she is going to set out on a solitary hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from Southern California to Washington. She has no hiking experience, only a simple trail guide she picked up, a backpack nicknamed Monster, and a will to change the path of her life on the dusty West Coast trail.
Wild was one of my first reads of 2016, and something I desperately wanted to dive into for a long time prior. The book started off a tad slow for me, and I was intensely disappointed with many of Cheryl’s life choices. However, I enjoyed reading about her adventure, her will to be unafraid despite the endless dangers, the description of the trail and the emotions she felt along the way. There is something about her human struggles that light a fire in me. The descriptions of being so exhausted and hungry at the end of her day’s journey, while knowing she would have to get up and do it again tomorrow. The pain of carrying her pack, the bruises and breakdown, then rebuilding her body endured was thrilling for me to experience through reading. I admire her strength for finishing what she set out to do. So many people quit things when they are hard or scary, but she prevailed–that is truly inspiring. I so deeply wish she would’ve found God on her journey, though many will disagree with me. In my opinion, He was so very present on her hike, I wish she would’ve seen Him too.
I have a deep appreciation for books of this genre. I love to read about struggles and perseverance, nature and the outdoors, road trips, and real characters. The human experience is compelling and never ceases to interest me.
“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 women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
After reading, I was inspired to learn more about the hiking trails available in the United States. My husband and I have added the dream to hike the Appalachian Trail, in the future, to our bucket list. We have watched several YouTube documentaries and vlogs on the subject, which boast a wealth of knowledge, if you find yourself interested in the subject as well.
Wild made me experience wanderlust like never before. My masochistic heart wanted to get on a trail immediately and push through days of suffering, just for the adventure and spontaneity of it. When I feel that spark of adventure brewing in my soul, I enjoy reading books like this one, or watching Reese Witherspoon’s rendition of Cheryl Strayd in Wild the movie.
If anyone has book recommendations similar to this title, I would be grateful to hear them!
Enjoy your adventures!