This memoir definitely fed the wanderlust feeling that has really started pulling at me for the past couple months. I want so bad to just drop everything and go on a solo adventure for a an extended vacation, then return back with a broader perspective. It’s also been a dream of mine for quite some time to go on an extended hiking journey like this, except it’s been the Appalachian trail from Georgia to Maine. I also would love to backpack around Europe. The thought of living out of a backpack for an extended period of time whilst experiencing life around you as you travel through different states, countries, cities, etc., has always appealed to me. I’ve always been the type of person to immerse myself in new experiences in different places despite being introverted; I never let being an introvert interfere with throwing myself in new experiences that at first made me anxious, but once I was actually experiencing it, my anxiety would roll away.
The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking that I should totally take the whole summer to hike the Appalachian, like I’ve always wanted. I can totally do it, especially since I’m in shape from all the running I do. I need to stop pushing back traveling adventures that I’ve thought of in the past and start really considering the preparations to explore new places.
Cheryl Strayed did an excellent job of explaining all of the trials and tribulations that she went through on her grueling, yet rewarding, journey of the PCT. I felt like I was with her as she trekked, trudging along despite any of the hardships that were thrown at her. She persevered and didn’t let anything hold her back, even when her feet were swollen, blistered, and beaten she kept up a steady trek. Never once stopping and allowing the PCT to defeat her. It also helped her overcome some of the issues she had been struggling with in her real life. She hadn’t truly gotten the closure of her mom passing away of cancer, or even of her divorce despite her behaviors and infidelities being the reason for the separation in the first place. By the time she reached the end of her journey, having trekked over 1100 miles, she had finally resolved everything negative she had experienced that had left her empty. By the end, Strayed was no longer empty, but instead she was fuller than she had been since before her mom had passed. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys memoirs, or anyone who is looking to escape somewhere for the summer despite being stuck indoors.