Paul Theroux Journey

Decent Essays
In “Being A Stranger” Paul Theroux attributes travel and getting disconnected from the world as the reason for his success as a writer and even just as a person. He says, “It was as a solitary traveller that I began to discover who I was” and recommends everyone, not just writers, to travel the world and get disconnected because he believes it is beneficial to everybody. Paul Theroux’s theory holds true for Cheryl Strayed as her travelling and becoming disconnected proves to be very beneficial to her in many ways. Not only does it succeed in helping her finally come to terms with her mother’s death, she becomes physically and mentally stronger.

Coming to terms with her mother’s death was the initial reason Cheryl had planned her hike on the
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Cheryl starts her trip off naïve and unaware of the hardships her journey will provide. From the very first day she couldn’t believe what she’d got herself into. Despite this rough start to her journey she soon begins to see her life on the trail as normal. She also lacks a lot of confidence in her hiking abilities at the beginning. She got embarrassed when she would run into other hikers and they would mention the size of her bag or other information that is common knowledge to most hikers. However, later on she begins to become more confident in her abilities and even goes as far as to say she, “felt like a hard-ass motherfucking Amazonian queen”(202). Her newfound confidence is shown as she meets people who are not hikers and is eager to explain to them about the PCT and tell them about her journey, particularly when she meets the reporter for Hobo Times. She earnestly argues that she is not a hobo and calls herself an expert hiker and explains how far she travels and the hardships of the trail. Her newfound confidence shines through during this encounter, as she is no longer the insecure hiker from the start of her trip. Most importantly, Cheryl finds strength and direction throughout her trip. Before her journey her life is a mess, she has just divorced her husband and acquired a heroin addiction. Not only does the fact that she’s disconnected keep her from her bad habits, such as heroin, but it also gives her direction with her life. Her journey inspires her to write this novel, which she says she had been ashamed she had not written one before already, and she plans to have a yard sale so she can make enough money until she finds herself a job. Whereas, at the beginning of her trip she had no clue what she was going to do after. She thanks the trail at the end of her trip and although she doesn’t understand completely the true
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