I recently watched Into the Wild, a movie based on the 1996 non-fiction novel written by Jon Krakauer about a college graduate named Christopher McCandless who decided to put civilized and structured life behind him to hitchhike and travel West.
If you have read the book or seen the movie adaption, you know the story and maybe you had a similar reaction to the true story as I did.
I was slightly jealous. Chris essentially said peace to the hustle and stresses that come from life in the suburbs and cities. He finished college and chose to travel cross country with no goodbye to family and no fanfare over his excursion.
Looking at my life where I have started my career, my folks live nearby, friends, a girlfriend, and a daily routine that I have come to rely on, how could I possibly drop everything and move solo towards the vast parks and views out West. The allure of doing just that has hit me from time to time.
Then the Devil’s Advocate in me takes over. A bus ride to work, crammed by others doing the same thing with Starbucks in hand, to the walk between 50 story buildings, and through revolving doors passing coworkers chatting on their Bluetooth headsets at conversation volume. This is the routine I know and have grown comfort to. However, when I get the weekend opportunity to travel north, into a quieter simpler setup by a bonfire and sleeping bag, it feels more like a rare two day gift. The kind of quiet where its either a soft ring in your ear due to the absence of noise, or the constant rolling of the waves from the lake yards away. This quiet is what lets you think without hearing cars move by or hear the chaotic rhythm of others walking behind you on pavement.
Yes it would be an interesting chance to throw responsibility away, take off to simplify life and clear your day of scheduled meetings. However, this is wishful thinking for most and should be looked at in a different lens. Drifting to a place out in nature from time to time should be done to recollect what else is out there. It should be the reminder of what is important to you, who is important to you, and what place you play in this life.