Recently I have been reading a lot of books different than what I have in the past. In high school and my early college career, I generally gravitated toward novels who’s main theme was romance. I binged on authors like Nicholas Sparks and Sarah Dessen. They were easy to read and captivated the audience with tales of dramatic relationships. My friend likes to call these types of books as “brain candy”.
One day as I was browsing the never-ending options on Netflix, Into the Wild popped up on my “Recommended for You” section once again. So I watched it, and I was hooked. Immediately after watching the movie, I got the book on Amazon for very cheap, and was reading it by the following week.
This sparked my desire for adventure. Almost instantly I found myself reading books about traveling and making connections with people from all over the world. Including Into the Wild, I will be sharing a few books that I have recently read and my opinions on each.
- Into The Wild: The book is very different from the nonlinear storyline of its movie. As I was reading the book, I pictured the author talking with each individual represented in the book, as if conducting an interview, never seeing Christopher Mccandleuss point-of-view. This made it feel more real. It amazed me how much he affected so many people, gaining strong companions in the weirdest of places. My favorite part of this book is the letter he sent to one of his friends he met along his way to Alaska. In the letter, he addresses how urgent it is to get up and out of the spot you have been sitting in for years; to push your boundaries.
- A Walk Across America: This novel is about Peter Jenkins, told by Peter Jenkins as he WALKS from the northern east coast, to the Gulf of Mexico. Set in the 70’s, Peter Jenkins sets out with his forever friend Cooper (an Alaskan Malamute) in search of what makes America worthy of its great reputation. Around this time, there were a lot of political battles and wars occurring that made him question whether living in the United States is worth anything. As he travels south, he, like Christopher McCandless, gets to know so many different kinds of people he wouldn’t know even existed if he hadn’t had the courage and spirit to commit to his walk. This book is also filled with pictures Peter Jenkins took himself with a camera given to him by National Geographic. It isn’t a picture book, the photos personalize his adventure as the reader gets to experience everything through his eyes.
- The Lost Girls: Ok, so i still need “brain candy”. As another biography of adventure, this novel is written by three friends who took a whole year out of their lives to travel together across four continents. The main reason why I love this book so much is because these three women in their late twenties did what everybody is too scared to do. They didn’t want to settle down into expected “adult lives” so they didn’t. Throughout the whole book they push themselves to take risks and they are rewarded with great experiences. It reminds me to be fearless and if you want to do something, just do it. Along with the two other books I have talked about, the characters (real people) don’t obey societal rules because they don’t want to live conventional lives.
One of my favorite quotes goes like “The world is so big, why live it in one place”. I always think back to this and whenever I get nervous about traveling, and it gives me the nudge I need to take a step forward. These books can transport a person to different lands and cultures, but they need to be experienced for themselves.