Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail takes us on a trek from southern Nevada all the way up to the border of Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, is the parallel cousin to the better known Appalachian Trail- no small feat for anyone, nevermind a 20-something Minnesota girl going through a quarter life crisis. The eldest daughter of a family completely destroyed, in a bad romance with heroin and having ruined her marriage, Cheryl figures she has nothing to lose and everything to gain from this journey. She sets off with the REI gear the sales associates helped her choose crammed into Monster, her giant backpack. The book explores her life mistakes and coming to terms with her mother's death, to reveal a better version of the Cheryl she once was.
This was a quick read, and really interesting for me. I found myself comparing my experience in Thailand to Cheryl's experience on the PCT often. She felt alone and scared at first- no one around save for the coyotes and snakes. I felt alone and scared during the first week in Thailand when I was there completely by myself- not knowing a single soul in the entire country. She met wonderful people, and learned more about herself- much like I did- during her journey. Overall, an uplifting read, though dark at times. Snap it up by clicking the link above.