Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Friday, 20 February 2015

Illustration by Charley B / Artist Not Included
You know you have read a truly great book when you miss the character's like long lost friends. Now I have finished reading Wild : From Lost to Found, I admit it, I miss Cheryl Strayed.

Wild is Cheryl Strayed's first person account of her 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail at the age of 26, having had no prior hiking experience. 

Strayed sets out on the hike with a backpack she later nicknames "Monster" - for its ridiculous size and weight. I soon found out that she carried a lot more than excessive supplies on her shoulders. 
With each twist and turn, bubbling blister and narrowly avoided rattle snake, I learnt that this was both a physical and emotional journey of self discovery. 

Following the devastation of her Mother's death, Strayed turns her life upside down, 
using multiple one night stands and heroin abuse to cope with her bereavement. 
As a result, the marriage to her childhood sweetheart comes to an inevitable but painful end and Strayed realises that she needs to piece herself back together again. The Pacific Crest Trail beckoned. 

What was so addictive about this book was its raw and gritty potrail of self healing and eventual rehabilitation. Nothing is sugar coated. In our filtered and censored world, it is pure escapism to read about someone setting off into the wild - so inexperienced and openly admitting they've got a bit lost in life.

Wild is a truly inspiring and touching adventure, capable of pricking up your inner instincts and making you realise just what you are really capable of. 

There's a "hard-ass amazonian queen" waiting inside of us all, we just have to let her out now and again. Wild is a fantastic place to start. 

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