Into the Wild is a must-read for all those that want to live a more nomadic lifestyle. It follows Chris McCandless as he hitchhikes his way around the nation, working odd jobs and staying in even odder circumstances, as he makes his way to his ultimate goal of Alaska. “I’m riding the rails now. What fun, I wish I had jumped trains earlier,” Chris McCandless said in a Mar. 5, 1992 letter to Jan Burress (p. 53). Krakauer does an exquisite job at capturing the sense of adventure McCandless felt while exploring his subject as a person. He also illuminates the topic of survival by using McCandless’ journal to provide a first-hand look at what it was like to be a nomad in Seattle. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
- Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. Anchor Books, 1997.
If you’re in the middle of a sightseeing session in downtown Seattle and find that nature begins to call, don’t fret about being caught without indoor plumbing. Seattle Center has several large, well-maintained restrooms: one near the entrance of the Northwest Rooms, near the southeast corner of KeyArena, and up the stairs from the Armory’s north entrance and food court’s mezzanine level. Having a large public restroom to use makes life on the road a lot more comfortable for people like Chris McCandless.
Getting around any major city is hard and often impractical without a viable transportation option. Luckily, Seattle (and the rest of the Puget Sound region) has a bevy of options. Aside from the over 200 bus lines connecting King County (home to Seattle) to the region, there are streetcars, trains, light rail, water taxis and ferries connecting the region. An ORCA (one regional card for all) card is a must-get for anyone trying to get around the region, as it works like cash across the board on most Puget Sound transportation options. This an excellent help for people like McCandless that need efficient ways to get around and a load as light and minimal as possible.
Seattle is known for a variety of things, but first and foremost is the seemingly constant drizzle that looms over the city for weeks at a time. Instead of forcibly huddling inside, this author suggests taking advantage of the Japanese technique Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) as a “simple way to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and improve overall health.” The Emerald City is home to numerous urban forests like the Beacon Food Forest with plenty of walking trails. This is a great way to pass time for people like Chris McChandless, who liked to roam around and explore by walking.
The perfect thing to combat a cold Seattle rain is the warm “long-simmered goodness” of soup. A good soup can be made with simple, everyday vegetables that you can find lying around any fridge or pick up easily at any supermarket. Once you saute the vegetables in a post, use stock or let the vegetables become caramelized. Then add water along with spices and seasoning. Boil it for a bit, and then let it simmer. This is good for people like Chris McCandless because it’s so adaptable for anything that you have in the fridge.