The Accidental Explorer

by Sherry Simpson

One day Sherry Simpson realizes that she has never scaled the mountains or trekked across wild tundra, despiting having lived in Alaska since the age of seven. However, what is wilderness in a place where black bears can wander into your backyard. Or consider the fact that natives who survive for thousands of years on these lands explorers tried and often failed to conquer?

This book is not such much about travelling, but rumination of it. The mapping and the map, the finding versus the found. It is a very honest and humble reminiscence that touches the heart of the reader.

“On that first difficult day, I realized I am not one of those people of whom it is said, after something terrible happens to them outdoors, ‘She died doing wht she loved.’ I did not want to die out here at all.”

I just read Into The Wild a few weeks ago so it was interesting to read of Simpson’s visit to the bus, the site where McCandless died. I also enjoyed her description of Inuksuit, as I’ve fallen in love with those human-shaped cairns when I visited Vancouver.

Another passage that made me paused for thoughts:
“One night in bed, I said (to her husband), You’re a speed bump in my life. It may have bee the cruelest thing I’ve ever said.”

I thought about it. Maybe a speed bump is not a bad thing. It makes you slow down when you are going too fast. It gives me time to notice the neighborhood. If you relax you can even enjoy that funny little wiggle as the car rolls over the bump. In some way I guess I am thankful to my husband, for being the speed bump in my life.

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Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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