The title of this blog post happens to be the same as the title of the book by Jon Krakauer, which I just finished. A book about Christopher Johnson McCandless, who hiked alone into the Alaskan wilderness, where he starved to death.
The book is a story of ultimate vagabonding – living life of complete connection with nature, turning a dream of leaving all of what holds us where we are now – all civilised and social restrains – and going off to explore the nature by living off it. I must admit that I found it discomforting, possibly because I myself have dreamed of leaving it all behind and living somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Ultimate peace is the one without humans and all that they inevitably bring with them. All the social rules, all the relationships, responsibilities and duties to be fulfilled. Possibly characters from the book wanted to replace all this with duty to sustain one’s own life only by using what nature offers, however hard would that happen to be.
The difference between myself and those people is that they decided to take that step, paying the price of going into the wild. Luckily most of them paid with extreme hardships, which they now are lucky enough to call adventures. Few though paid with their lives, like Chris.
I still have that dream sometimes – dream of a house somewhere, hidden from all, far from all. But in my imagination, I have some comforts of the 21st century about me, such as internet or lap top (to write books). What I lack is the courage to leave all I have in exchange for that dream. That and the people and duties I have against them – all I want to leave behind is also all that keeps me from doing it. But I am also sure that no matter how old I am, there is never too late.