I’m going to paraphrase Thoreau here… rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.
Why do we travel? Why do we go to new places, immerse ourselves into adventures and talk to new people? Why do we feel the need to get out of our comfort zones, explore new realities and break-down our preconceived ideas? I’m obviously not talking about taking vacations. I am referring to travel: those kinds of trips when it’s not about the destination, as much as it is about the journey in itself.
The movie Into The Wild (based on the book by the same title) explores the answers to the questions above. Beautifully directed by Sean Penn and featuring a compelling Emile Hirsch, this isn’t just a movie, it’s also a poem about life. Based on his real story, it’s a tribute to Christopher McCandless’ adventurous spirit and his curiosity for discovery beyond his comfortable world. And discovery of what, one might wonder? Of new places, landscapes, people? Yes, but most of all, discovery of the truth that can be found all around us.
The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.
I might not feel identified with Christopher (aka Alexandre Supertramp) all along his quest for truth during his journey. But there is something that I can definitely relate to and it is his preference for experiences rather than for material things. Maybe because he had always lived in a family of abundance, it was easier for him to feel a certain disdain for things. He knew all those things were tying him down up to a certain extent and, to experience life to its fullest, he’d have to let go and live a more raw existence – at least for a while.
He took things even further, letting go of the people that knew him too. I understand that it is that detachment from the daily routine that enables you to look at the bigger picture in life. When you are too caught up in your problems and your own little world, even small issues can seem like a big thing. When you quit it all, your horizons are bound to expand like never before. If you travel while maintaining a regular job “back home” I don’t think you’d be able to look at things the same way you would when you let go of everything, at least materially. But letting go of people, that does seem more extreme – crucial for Christopher though.
When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.
If you like to travel, near or far, question your own existence and position in the world, dig until you find a deeper meaning to the things you do and see all around, Into The Wild is going to speak to you.
Let the images take you on a trip, let the quotes inspire you and let your body flow to the moving soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. Enjoy it, because they don’t make movies like this one everyday. And above all, no matter how much you need to let go to find the truth, keep in mind the ultimate message that the movie delivers at the end:
Happiness [is] only real when shared.
All quotes by Christopher McCandless.