Tuesday 6 January 2015


I was lucky enough to attend a private screening of the new Reese Witherspoon film 'Wild' last night.  It's the true story of a young lady called Cheryl Strayed who, following her divorce and the death of her mother, was at rock bottom and  so decided to solo trek 1,100 miles along the the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA.  I really shouldn't have worn mascara as I cried for much of the movie because so much resonated with me.

Similar to Cheryl's life, sixteen years ago my marriage broke up and my Dad died and these events in my life led me to go backpacking around the world.  At the beginning of the film Cheryl says "What the f**ck have I done".  I said exactly the same words to myself as I left my mum behind in Heathrow and walked through passport control.  

There's another scene in the movie where Cheryl is being helped to lighten her heavy backpack and leave things behind that she really doesn't need.  I too left a trail of things behind in my first few weeks in Australia when I realised I really didnt need a wire mesh inside my backpack to stop people pinching things, or an extra flask, or several pairs of shoes (just my walking boots and sandals was all I needed).   Another scene shows her thinking about her mother and the soundtrack is "The Air That I Breathe" by The Hollies - one of my Dad's favourite songs.  I cried again.

I absolutely loved backpacking and it was just the tonic for me at the time.  It was my therapy.  Each time I met other backpackers we swapped stories as to where we had come from and why we were there.  No one judged me, I could absolutely be myself.  My confidence grew again and some of the dark clouds above my head disappeared.  I'm a fairly shy person but I as I figured I wouldn't get another chance to backpack around the world, I said 'yes' to every opportunity. I jumped out of a plane (twice), I did my PADI Rescue Diver certification in the waters under Sydney Harbour Bridge (don't rely on me to rescue you though), and I camped in the Bush. Like Cheryl in the film, I accepted a lift from a complete stranger in Fiji, and was duly offered lunch at their family restaurant. In Bali I stepped away from the tourist trail and found myself in the middle of a cremation ceremony on the beach where I was warmly invited to join in and partake in chicken noodle soup.  

If only I could go backpacking again, but I can't.  So instead what I will take from the movie is the quote "What if yes was the right answer instead of no".  Don't worry, I'm still #takingcare, but yes might mean accepting an offer of support or yes to a girly night out now and stop being a hermit. I've already said yes to coffee with a school mum today and came home with a smile.  In fact I nearly said no to the film tickets because I was offered them at such short notice and the screening was on a school night.  I'm so glad I said yes.  And I'm so glad that another adopter @iris7summer came with me because it's given us a lot of food for thought.

Straight after the film we heard from the CEO of The Wildnerness Foundation who take people on treks into the wilderness, ranging from one day to two weeks, from teenagers to CEOs, people wanting to experience the tranquility the wilderness offers and calm their minds to vulnerable people needing support and self development.  Jo, the CEO, talked in particuar about working with vulnerable children and how being in nature gave them a huge boost.  I've seen first hand with Missy how much she loves walks and being outside, even if she does protest before we go, and @iris7summer had also, last weekend, enjoyed a wonderful walk with her children which had a massively positive effect on her daughter.  I briefly explained to Jo that something along the lines of what she does might hugely benefit us and several adoptive families that we know and was there anything she offered and knew about.  Turns out there is and we are going to see what we can arrange. I'll keep you posted.

And if you ask me if I'd see the film again, then it's a yes.


  1. ovely! I read this book and and really enjoyed it too. I moved across the country from all family and friends and my mom died when I was 20. YEARS of diggin and learning who I was happened. I think thats why i liked this book, could relate to it in some ways too...especially the letting go and taking chances.

    I too have blogged about saying yes; challenging ourselves and evoking growth. We sometimes get stuck in our ways but we are still have ourselves to be while we are being moms.

    Jonathan also loves the outdoors and we see great benefits to this (also blogged about it!) Im curious to see what comes of this possible new contact you've made, ill be keeping an eye out!

    Thanks for the lovely post:)

    1. Thank you for your comment (and sorry for late reply). Nearly two months later and I'm still thinking about that film - it had a massive impact on me. I can't wait til it comes out on DVD next month. Also in two weeks we are meeting Jo, so I'll update you then. xx


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