Sometimes in life, you find a movie that you could truly watch over and over without losing any interest. For me, the movie was Into The Wild. I've read the book, watched the movie and have played the soundtrack countless times...
Movies Like Into The Wild Are Like Reading My Own Diary
There aren't many movies like Into The Wild. This true story about Christopher McCandless touched me in ways I never thought possible, because I've felt like him most of my life.
It Started With The "Into The Wild" Book By Jon Krakauer
Connecting With The Chris McCandless Story
Until reading Jon Krakauer's book many years ago, I'd never heard of Christopher Johnson McCandless. Loving any story about people who were attracted to nature like a magnet and feeling like they didn't fit in society, I devoured the book and wanted more.
I wasn't unpopular as a child per se, just never subscribed to one group of peers. As other kids played ball at recess, I sat in the parking lot at my small Chicago school and memorized song lyrics and drew pictures of mountains (looking back, not sure why I was so accepted by the other young children and invited to their parties - perhaps I was just unusual enough to be a mystery to be solved).
My parents were divorced when I was three and I loved them both very much, though they were complete opposites. My mom was a Chicago girl all the way, and loved the excitement of the big city. My dad always drove a 4x4 and took me "into the wild" whenever he could. We would take Jeep trails on cliffs in Colorado, camp in bear country and even take short trips to the forests in Michigan on weekends. I knew it was in my blood, because even when I was young I couldn't bear to take down camp and return to the city.
As I grew older, the itch intensified and I noted something about myself. When I would head out into the wilderness on a trip, I felt so at peace and healthy. It was more than just being on vacation and the euphoria that usually surrounds a getaway. I would cry when Amtrak pulled into Union Station in Chicago, after spending time in the Rockies. When I would be in crowds, with noise, sidewalks and buses, I was completely miserable. I didn't want to be that way, but over the years I couldn't deny it was who I am, right or wrong.
I believed for my sanity I had to follow my calling, to have nature and beauty out my back door every day. In 2001, I left Illinois and moved outside of Glacier National Park, Montana. Here I could find the solitude I needed. Like Chris McCandless, though by 2001 I was a mother and could never take on the journey he did, I knew that I had to disconnect from modern society in my own way, saying goodbye to the honking, shoving and noise, to feel alive.
I can say that after more than a decade of residing in this environment a large portion of the year (we rv full time now, so we move about) I've learned so much. One of the big differences is that people who live simpler lives, often in nature, just seem happier. Whether you go to a post office, McDonald's or Walgreens, the people who work in these places are so warm and friendly. People stop their cars to let people cross the street. The pace is slower and people take time to help one another.
Like Chris McCandless, even if they don't take their feelings to such an extreme, overall it appears most of them want as little to do with the materialism, the rush, the chaos and the noise of modern society (if you haven't heard the soundtrack song "Society" sung by Eddie Vedder, do so!) as is possible this day and age. To be here it feels like you have left earth and are on another planet.
Into The Wild Trailer
Just A Few Minutes Of This Movie Trailer And You'll Be Hooked
Into The Wild Wikipedia
Wiki Into The Wild - Info Plus See Real Chris McCandless Photo
For a detailed bio about Chris McCandless, take a minute to review his story HERE.
Have You Ever Fantasized About Leaving Society And Heading Into The Wild?
You Would Leave Your Possessions And Just Walk Away Like Chris McCandless Did
Critics Of Christopher Johnson McCandless
Did The Chris McCandless Bus Ending Mean He Failed?
If you've read "Into The Wild" or have seen the movie, you know a few things about Chris. He touched many people's lives on his journey, he learned a lot about himself on his journey and he also passed away on the bus he lived in while in the wilds of Alaska.
Critics in modern times are first to point out his preparation mistakes, foolish miscalculations and other failings. But I do believe that Chris truly did nothing with concern of how others would perceive or judge him. This was his path, his journey to take - it belonged to no one else. How many people in today's society truly feel they are living or following some type of spiritual or personal path? Are forty years of feeling dissatisfied, stressed or depressed worth more than a few years of really being alive? No one is qualified to make that judgment.
Life, in my opinion, is truly a personal journey and those that I've met who seem happiest, in my 43 years of life, aren't surrounded by "things" - there is an inner peace and fulfillment that radiates from them. You feel calm in their presence while inspired at the same time, as if they flipped a switch inside of you. Those are the people I've sought to surround myself with since I was young.
There is so much beauty to absorb in this world, yet most people must condense it into a one week vacation each year. I've always described modern society as "noise." It isn't to judge others, because self-fulfillment is a private matter and one day we will reflect on our lives privately and know if we've experienced true fulfillment. But the noise and distractions always made me feel like I'm not following my destiny. Chris McCandless had to eventually separate himself from the distractions to feel connected to the earth once more. No matter the outcome, how can there be failure in that?
People Try To Reach "The Bus" And End Up Needing Rescue
Many hikers, moved by the McCandless story, try to reach the infamous bus from Into The Wild.
Here is a recent news story about a few who made the trek - initially crossing the Teklanika River without effort, only to find it had risen and was impassible on the return. As you will read, they aren't the first hikers to have this happen.