Whenever I want to talk about a movie, I’m extra cautious regarding what and how much I say because I can think of a couple of really good movies that were spoiled before I had a chance to see them. So read on knowing that I’m not that kind of a person. I just finished watching the movie Wild after a long wait. I knew it was about a woman’s long hike, interlaced with personal revelations, and it was an obvious must-see for me. I’m glad to say I was not disappointed. While the motives and themes are quite different from the cult favourite, Into the Wild, this movie definitely earns a place among movies every traveller should see. Furthermore, it has literature excerpts and a colourful soundtrack that will resonate with special moments on the road for viewers.
The story is simple: a woman sets off to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in the U.S. and encounters hardships within and without. As she progresses, she resolves issues troubling her from her past. What makes it special is that it’s based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed who wrote the acclaimed memoir Wild: Lost and Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Reese Witherspoone does a convincing job of portraying the emotional turmoil of a lone traveller and woman in pain, though I think the best judge of that is Sheryl herself.
Familiar Hiking Experiences
For people like myself who’ve experienced travelling alone in unfamiliar territory, many of the scenes bring back memories. The agitated state of sleeping alone in a tent and jumping at the slightest sound at night; getting frustrated over something trivial after the fatigue has taken its toll; thoughts rushing around palpably in your head when nature is the only other source of sound; and at the very core, how a hike that seems at most tiring on the outside can be a transformative experience on the inside.
I’ve travelled thousands of kilometres in Iran. While the majority of it was neither hiking, nor alone, I’ve had my fair share of those too. I remember how reluctant I felt to set off alone and the inner conflict I faced not to give up and take an easier (metaphorical) path. How did I persevere? By allowing my fear to guide me. Fear is a great spiritual compass. If it told me travelling alone was what I was afraid of most, then that was probably what I should be doing! When you start coming up with all kinds of flimsy excuses not to do something, even though the odds are rationally in your favour, you can be sure that your next big personal development challenge lies there.
When you make a habit of facing your fears, they start to shrink. Hitchhiking was a terrifying idea before I tried it, but now it’s an exciting hobby. Frankly, writing a post titled “movie review” freaked the perfectionist in me straight out, but I wanted it out and voila! Next time, it’ll be even easier. The key is not to hesitate and keep moving forward.
Have you been on a hike that was meaningful to you? Share the challenges you faced and the fears that stopped you in your tracks. I’m always to learn a thing or two about prevailing. Oh, and don’t forget to watch the movie.