Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Into The Wild - Caught it 7 Years Later

Monday, March 24, 2014

Into The Wild - Caught it 7 Years Later

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The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences

A quote from John Krakauer from the book "Into the Wild" 

I don't know how I missed the movie when it was released SEVEN years ago? The story took place in the early 90s, how did I miss that? Or the book "Into the Wild" in the mid-90s, how did I miss that?

Photos of Chris McCandless
It is almost impossible to believe that I missed a story about a lone traveler, who was just a few years older than me, and the movie about the traveler made by Sean Penn?!? These are all people, places and things I love. I must've been drunk. 

I finally caught the story about Chris McCandless 
Like most Sunday nights, I was home watching movies. I started with "Tiny Furniture" and felt like I needed something more. Two movies back-to-back is not common for me (not even on a Sunday), but I figured I would see what I could find in the world of Netflix. I stumbled upon the movie "Into the Wild" and the Netflix description caught my eye.  
A young man gives up everything - including his trust fund and a seemingly stable family - to lead a solitary life in the wild. 
This seemed like a good Sunday night movie option. I dream of giving up everything and leading a solitary life (I am pretty close as it stands), just not in the wild. I started the movie and learned it was directed by Sean Penn. As I got into the movie more I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, I grabbed my phone and started to research the story and the character.

Being about the same age, I felt connected to the young man in the movie. I specifically recall being that age and thinking I couldn't WAIT to graduate from college so I could be a "bum". My parents and family would ask what I wanted to do when I graduated and I would reply, "I'm going to be a bum."

Driving home from U2 in '92 
Me in 1992. Driving to / from a U2 Concert (350 miles - each direction).

I felt like college was something they wanted for me and I had fulfilled that obligation - now it was MY time to do what I wanted. I came home, I got a job and fell into a terrible depression. It all seemed so contrived and I didn't think I was cut out for this life as a sell-out. So, I saved all my money and I took off to Europe for 3 months. Alone. 

I remember meeting a guy in Budapest who was riding his bike to India. Or, so he hoped. He was an engineer who quit his job and had been living out of his van in California. One day he drove the van to NY, sold it, and got on a plane to London. He bought a bike and rode the bike through Europe, eventually made it to Budapest where I met him. His name was Fernando, or so he claimed. 

Fernando was staying in my hostile, I passed him in the stairwell after I checked in. He heard me ask the front desk lady where the American Express office was and then showed up there - coincidentally. I pretended like I believed our meeting was by chance and agreed to hang out with him. He was leaving town the next day but stuck around for a few extra days with me. And then I never saw him again.  

Other part's Alex Supertramp life felt familiar
The not-so-happy family life resonated with me too. I mean, my dad didn't have some other family in another state, but things were hardly perfect. I had grown up behind a facade, from a very young age I was forced to protect an image that was not real. Going away to college, I was thrilled to escape the compilation of strange circumstances that made up my childhood. The only problem with leaving was that I didn't know if I could get far enough away.

I also loved the band Supertramp. That's the final similarity.  

It was a good movie, I recommend you see it. And, while you're at it, you should read about my recent trip across the country where I went hiking by myself in Montana (hiking alone is not recommended, especially not for amateurs such as myself).  

Other Posts: 
Paragliding in South Africa - more recently, by me 

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