The hardest part of living in the wilderness for half a year is coming back. No surprise there, right? Doesn’t everyone say that? Under their tone you can feel their readiness to be back. Back in the world of rapid convenience and frantic industrialization. For me, when I say it, it comes with a heavy dose of soberness. The hardest part of living in the wilderness for half a year is coming back to the frantic pace of the modern world.
Gone are the sounds of rainfall in the forest. Gone are the heavy winds of the high desert. Gone are the friendships you forge with people from far and wide whom you never have met otherwise. Back are the shallow fears of needing more and more money. Back are the conniving backstabbing every which way you turn. The contrasts between the two worlds couldn’t be more stark. They couldn’t be more depressing.
In the wilderness, you find yourself. Not in a peaceful way. It’s not forged by peace. It’s forged by the pit in your stomach formed by a healthy dose of fear and backed by readiness. You find what you are made of, truly, and you grow stronger from it. You find your roots in the Earth. Your place in the world isn’t determined by your social standing among snobbery and jealousy. Your place is forged by your very ability to survive the harshest of conditions, reliant solely on your own shoulders. Snobbery wouldn’t get you very far, and for too many, prove to be their very downfall in the wild. “The Real World,” isn’t the frantic chase for more, more, more, only to consume and throw away resources. The real world is co-living with the wild. The real-world is living in cooperation with wild predators and their prey. Seeing the day ahead for something else other than the endless chase to use up as much as possible, is living. Being more than a consumer, that is living.
For me, the wilderness is real life. The wild is the real world. Without it, we don’t have air or water. What could be more important than that? Certainly not using up material for a quick bump in stock just to be thrown away a day later. Give a shit about nature, and it’ll give a shit about you.