Travellers get inspiration to leave everything they know behind to globe-trot across the planet. Some draw motivation from friends who have done it before, some just cannot get enough of the beautiful beaches they see in Lonely Planet guides and some just have incurable wanderlust.
My inspiration to go on this crazy trip is drawn from non-fiction books. The most recent one I read was Into the Wild that was based on the life of Chris ‘Alex’ McCandless. After university, Chris donated his $25,000 trust fund to charity, packed a minimal amount of his worldly possessions into a bag and told no one where he was going. Despite his college education and wealthy parents he chose to live from day to day on the basics so he could roam across the vastness of America and just live for the beauty of the land.
Not all are about travel per se but about ordinary people in extraordinary conditions. Such as Aron Ralston, the mountaineer who got trapped in a canyon and had to cut off his own arm to survive. Though this is not what the book is about at all. Avalanches, the tallest mountains in the Rockies and even a bear are all elements in his tales of purposely putting himself in harms way. It is about how he has no fear and will put himself into the wilderness and the dangers the Earth has to offer to feel the exhilaration of being alive.
The story I feel touches me the most is the true events of when a flight, carrying a Uruguayan rugby team, crashed into the Andes. Only sixteen of the passengers survived the crash and they remained there for seventy-two days in the unforgiving mountains until three brave souls walked across the snow with no supplies or gear and found help. There is no other story that demonstrates the determination and undying spirit of the human soul. The most touching version was written by survivor Nando Parrado on his account called Miracle in the Andes. When I was younger, I was obsessed with this tale and promised myself that I would never take my life for granted and would do the utmost with it.