A New and Different Sun
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
So who was Christopher Johnson McCandless?
Many of you may be familiar with the story of Chris McCandless popularized by Jon Krakauer. In January 1993, he published McCandless’s story in that month’s issue of Outside magazine. He then wrote and published the book, Into the Wild in 1996 describing McCandless’s travels. Into the Wild is one of our TOP 10 Best Adventure Books.
Here is the basic story of Chris McCandless:
Christopher Johnson McCandless was born on February 12, 1968 and died sometime in August 1992. He was an American adventurer who adopted the alias Alexander Supertramp. He challenged himself to travel with the least amount of possessions as possible and with as little money as possible. He had no map and no real fixed agenda, just the will to travel and to experience.
He hiked and traveled through various states and ultimately ventured into the Alaskan wilderness in April 1992. With little food and equipment he hoped to live simply for a time in the solitude and beauty of wild Alaska.
Almost four months later, McCandless’s remains were found, weighing only 67 pounds. It is likely he died of starvation near Lake Wentitika in Denali National Park and Preserve.
His story in many ways is a tragedy but also in many ways a triumph. How many of us will leave a legacy of living the life we choose and a story that will echo throughout time?
His words in the quote above should haunt but at the same time inspire all of us. I encourage you to reread them and ponder where you are in your life. May each of you have a endlessly changing horizon and each day have a new and different sun.
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