No, this isn’t a post about drunk co-eds lifting their shirts. No judgement though, if that’s your thing…
This is about women who have bucked the status quo and chose to break free from ‘cultural captivity’… from the human zoo. They threw ‘societal shoulds’ aside to live their ‘inner musts’. They found their version of freedom. And while, these may not be paths that most people want to take, they can certainly still inspire everyone to takes risks to find their own version of freedom, whatever that may be.
”Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.”
Grandma Gatewood – She was the first solo woman to thru hike the Appalachian Trail in one season, and she did it at the ripe young age of 67. She didn’t even have camping gear or hiking boots. In the book, she mentions that her adult children, like most Americans, got themselves stuck in the ‘Great American Immobile Dream’, and that she was finally free. Not just free from consumerism, or taking care of small children… but also free from a long time abusive relationship. She ended up hiking the entire length of the AT 3 times!
Peace Pilgrim – She sold all her possessions and gave away all of her money and just walked around the U.S. with what she could fit in her pockets. She only ate food and slept in homes when strangers offered this to her for free. She walked over 25,000 miles fighting for peace. She was also the first woman to thru hike the Appalachian Trail in one season, although she wasn’t solo: see GG above.
Laura Dekker – The documentary “MaidenTrip”, is about 14-year old Laura Dekker who wanted to be the youngest person to sail around the world… alone. The Dutch government tried to stop her, but she won the case and set sail. She does all her own filming on the voyage. She mentions in the film how the idea of working and accumulating things and be location dependent sounds so boring…. wow, to figure that out so young is incredible!
Miriam Lancewood – She and her husband live in the wilderness in New Zealand, with no car, no cell phones, no computer, no mirrors… they live by weather patterns, rather than by the clock. And while they do occasionally get some food supplies from conventional agricultural farming products, over the years, this former vegetarian has learned how to mostly hunt and forage for her food. Many times, they will live in areas that are a 4 day walk to a paved road. Oh, and she looks like a Victoria Secret model.
Rita Goldman Gelman – This female nomad found herself divorcing near the age of 50 and had never really travelled much, so she decided to set out for truly an adventure of a lifetime. However, she didn’t just tick off a bucket list of countries with a backpack while staying in hostels… instead, she walked down dusty roads in remote villages in far off exotic places trying to stay with locals who weren’t expecting her, trying to experience their culture, without insulting them with touristy habits. She even got accepted for a volunteer research position at the Charles Darwin Institute in Galapagos. Still nomadic at 70+ years of age, she owns very few possessions, and doesn’t have a “home” of her own, although she has connections all over the world and always has a place to stay.
What about you? Do you have any good stories on people (guys or girls) who have gone so outside of the status quo? Would you live like any of these people? If not, what is your idea of freedom and living on your terms?