I watched Into The Wild for the firs time when I was seventeen and it completely changed the course of my life. Back then I was still carrying with me all the issues of a difficult childhood, I was angry and disgusted with the world. I was feeling resentment towards my parents and I thought they were the source of all my unhappiness. My only dream was to leave the small town where I was born and run away somewhere. Thinking that I could be happy once I was far from my problems was naive but was a necessary step that I had to take to start my personal journey.
It was the summer of 2010 when I decided I had to follow my own call for adventure to challenge my self and discover who I really was.
I had a girlfriend, in two years I would have finished high school then I would have gone to university and within five years, if I was lucky enough, I would have had the chance to land a nice job. Everything looked perfectly planned even though I knew deep down it wasn’t what I truly wanted. I had only one problem, I was scared.
I couldn’t find the courage to turn my dream reality until I watched Into The Wild, then I decided to apply for a one year exchange student in Brasil.
It scared the shit out of me to leave everything behind and go to the opposite side of the world to live with complete strangers for a whole year. I had to learn to live by different rules, learn a new culture and a new language from scratch, I didn’t know a word of Portuguese. Obviously I still had all my issues even if I was far away from home, no matter how far you run from your problems they will always haunt you as long as you don’t deal with them on a deep level.
Nonetheless it was my first step to become the person I am today, it was the best decision of my life. All of this thanks to the movie Into The Wild and the story of Cristopher Mccandless.
INTO THE WILD AND THE STORY OF CRISTOPHER MCCANDLESS
“Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.” – Alexander Supertramp May 1992
The movie directed by Sean Penn is based on the true story of Christopher Mccandless, aka Alexander Supertramp that, after graduating from university, in the summer of 1990 leaves everything behind without saying anything to his parents and his sister. He decides to measure himself starting his adventure to experience Nature fully and to live life by his own terms. He was inspired and influenced by Theureau and Jack London. his dream was to go to Alaska.
You will either get inspired by his story or think he is a fool. Everything depends on your belief, do you value more stability over adventure? I highly suggest you to put aside your belief while watching this movie and just reflect on the message.
Chris started his journey to find himself, to find out who he really was, it was his rite of passage, he couldn’t have done differently, he had to go to Alaska. He was a bright kid he could have gone to a good college get a PHD, his parents were going to pay for the expenses, but instead he chose to follow his own instinct.
How can you be happy if you are living a life that someone else chose for you? Going to college because it’s what your parents want you to do, working a job you hate because you earn more money doing so, marrying a woman you don’t love because you have to. If you chose to follow the easy path you might discover in the end you didn’t live after all.
“I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one.” Alexander Supertramp talking to Franz
A mature man has the courage to chose and live according to his values. Chris willingness to not follow the easy path influenced my life.
“to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” Alexander Supertramp quoting Primo Levi
Chris spent around two years travelling, he met many friends while hitchhiking and finally got to Alaska where he spent four months living Into The Wild. He was living in an old abandoned bus that hunters used as a shelter, he called it the “Magic Bus” .
You will never know who you are if you are not going to face at least once the world by yourself. Nowadays we are numbed down by all our super technological gadgets and by all our comfort, we forgot how pleasant and exciting it is to do something unexpected, like taking a year off to embark on a trip to India, with no one else but you.
The times where I personally felt most alive and present where the times where I was facing my fear of the unknown. On your death bed what do you think are you going to regret? Are you going to regret spending nine years watching television or taking a one year trip to India?
“The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.” Alexander Supertramp quoting Theureau
Developing your character is not always a pleasant task, new and difficult situations are key to measure yourself and discover your boundaries. A life of comfort will certainly kill your spirit.
If nothing seems to improve in your life, probably, is because you have lived 20 years in the same city, doing the same job, meeting the same people, talking about the same subjects, eating the same food, thinking the same thoughts and acting in the same way.
“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.” Alexander Supertramp
He had a terrible relationship with his parents due to continues fights between his mom and dad. His trip was a way to show them he was the one in charge of his life and to run away from the hypocrisy of his father who Chris discovered had another wife wile living with his mother. I believe Chris understood that he had to forgive his parents but he never had the opportunity to see them again.
It was hard for me to forgive my parents, it was hard to understand that they did the best they could and knew.
When you face your fears you change. I am sure Chris would have come back from Alaska and killed “the false being within”, and would have rejoiced society a different person.
“happiness is real only when shared”
Into The Wild is the story of Christopher Mccandless, the story of a young guy who had the courage to live his life fully.
“I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God Bless all.” the last message that Chris left us.
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To learn more check out:
Into The Wild ( Movie by Sean Penn, Link To Amazon.)
Into The Wild (Book by Jon Krakauer, Link To Amazon.)