“I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I want excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life.” (Tolstoy, 15). At first glance, Chris McCandless seemed like a normal young man with a bright future ahead of him. However, he was more focused on getting away from society as he had grown to know it. Chris McCandless wanted to embark on a journey to Alaska to pursue his profound sense of adventure, to live a simplistic lifestyle and to become self-sufficient.
McCandless’ adventure began upon graduation from college. He drove to Arizona where a flash flood ruined his car so he hitchhiked to get from town to town (Krakauer, 26). He was brave, smart and he had a plan on how to get away from the life he detested so much. He wanted to reinvent himself away from his own privileged background. Chris McCandless was influenced by a numerous of writers, such as Jack London, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy and many others. During their weekends and vacations, the McCandless’ would camp “out of the back of (their) truck” and they would drive to places like Virginia Beach, the Carolina shore, Colorado to visit Walt’s kids from his first marriage, the Great Lakes, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is where Chris may have “inherited a wanderlust” for adventurous trips like these (Krakauer, 108). Chris‘ ultimate adventure was to go into Alaska and live off the land.
Moreover, Chris McCandless’ wanted to live as simple as possible. McCandless, even at a young age, never liked being told what to do (Krakauer, 111). He wanted to live freely and not feel trapped by his own fears and inhibitions. When McCandless decided to go to Alaska, he drove out west till he experienced a flash flood in Arizona and saw this as “an opportunity to shed unnecessary baggage” (Krakauer, 29). As he tramped around west of the United States, Chris McCandless changed his name to Alexander Supertramp so he could leave his former life behind. In a card to his friend, Wayne Westerberg, McCandless expresses that his days were “more exciting when (he) was penniless” and had to go search for food (Krakauer, 33). Chris wanted to look out for himself in order to make it in life and he believed that the tramping life was too wonderful to give up.