Explore like Christpher McCandless
We can spend so much time involved with one event or area in our lives that often we experience a burnout. The candle of regular life flutters in a foreign breeze as new doors are opened and the engines of travel hit ignition. So tightly wound are we that when we get that small space, that gap in the wall or chink in the armour, we put our foot flat on the pedal and arrow for the sweet salvation we spy in the opening. Easing up in bed, we stare at the everlasting shadow of Table Mountain. We wonder what more the country has to offer. Sifting through the morning post, a pamphlet for campvervan hire in Cape Town catches your eye.
In next to no time your mind is made up. The hire is quick and easy and you're on the road. You have debated riding it rough but you still want a degree of comfort on your ride. After all, this is an escape and not an exile. So along comes your laptop. You fully charged it the previous night so, stopping off for a break at a petrol station near the ocean you sit back, relax and decide to watch a movie. What more suitable film than 'Into the Wild'? A true tale of daring and expedition and an eager mind in a young body.
It tells the story of a young man, Christopher McCandless, who wishes to live for a time alone in the wild or at least a life of subsistence and little material attachment. It is an interesting exploration into the dynamics of the individual within artificially constructed societies. His car is damaged in a flood on his journeys across country. Abandoning it, he finds work in manual labour, attempts to hunt deer, paddles down rapids and befriends a small commune of people who live in the desert in trailers. Sitting beneath the big RV's, he is often depicted deeply involved in a book or in contemplation of his travels.
But he ultimately undertakes his dream of a journey through Alaska, which he refers to as his 'Alaskan Odyssey'. Indeed, it is a huge step away from looking up Cape Town car rentals but only in that it is an American story. We must be tasked with weaving our own narratives through our South Africa. There is no better place to start than the roaring cliffs of our coastlines or the wide flat farms further inland. It is a country that certainly lends itself to being explored by car, its hills as green and welcoming as those of any country.