Life on the Road

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Not everybody can live life on the road like Chris Mccandless. In the book Into The Wild, Chris endures many dangerous encounters like sandstorms to crossing freezing rivers. Not everybody has the motives nor skill to have such a lifestyle. Humans have become so accustomed to modern society and the american dream that living life on the road is far out of their vicinity. Life in the wild has become a thing of the past for almost all people. Technology and society has taken away the need to hunt and gather. However many people find the nomadic lifestyle better than the modern lifestyle.

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There are many disadvantages about living on the road that any modern person would find difficult to adapt to. For example, there is no such thing as fixed income, no health care and no guaranteed shelter. These three things alone are the necessities everybody functions off of in modern day life. Not having a fixed income alone would make everyday problems more severe; Chris stumbled across these issues and had to get four jobs throughout his journey in order to purchase the supplies needed for his survival. Most people do not have the ability or skills to find just any job in an unfamiliar environments. Lack of healthcare and access to healthcare facilities would also be an issue; not being able to take care of yourself when you are seriously injured or ill would become an obstacle and could put you at serious risk. Something that could play into this would be the uncertainty of shelter and the security that it provides in order to keep you out of harm’s way.

A journey like this requires mental and physical strength, not only are most people of today’s society physically incapable of carrying out this lifestyle; but are also mentally unfit to successfully carry out this journey. Everyone is different when it comes to the psychological aspect of isolation. This journey took a toll on Chris not only physically but mentally; some even felt that chris was becoming unhinged throughout his journey. Most would be incapable of being able to survive and staying sane, all while going on a rigorous adventure with the goal of self discovery. In the article “”The Dangers of Loneliness”” from Psychology today, it states being lonely can increase risk of suicide, higher stress levels, and antisocial behavior. After the public discovered Chris’s death many had come to the conclusion that he was mentally ill; Many were quick to judge and make assumptions about his mental state. “”McCandless had already gone over the edge and just happened to hit bottom in Alaska.””(71) If people felt that chris couldn’t handle the mental toll of isolation, then how could a weak minded person follow his path?

Although the list of disadvantages goes on there are many positive outlooks when it comes to living on the road. Not many people think that they could be mentally or physical capable of living on the road, however Chris influenced Ronald Franz to adopt his lifestyle. Considering his age, it’s safe to assume Franz never would have guessed he would be living life on the road. This change in Ronald’s life made him a lot healthier and happier, they made him broaden his horizons and venture out into the world; instead of sitting in one place for the rest of his life without meaning or purpose. Meeting new people and discovering new things are also a positive about life on the road; you get to experience new things and meet new people when traveling. Something about making new experiences and interactions with strangers helps you find not only your true self but your true intentions in life. Living on the road means no taxes, without permanent residence you don’t have to pay for insurance for your house or on your car; you have less responsibilities making it possible for you to do whatever you please whenever you please to do so.

Not everyone can live on the road like Chris McCandless and survive, He had an adventurous mind set and was more determined than most to live this way. In today’s society many people are accustomed to having everything they need at their fingertips, they don’t have to scrape together bits and pieces from the environment around them in order to survive. With that being said the average person would not be able to go out into the world with the clothes on their back and a backpack and last as long as Chris did. The road is a dangerous place, you’re not guarantee anything and people wouldn’t be able to handle that the way that chris did. Technology and society today have taken away the need to know how to survive without; resulting in my lack of confidence that life on the road is for everyone, because it’s not and a lot of people wouldn’t be able to last a week without the things in their every day to day life.


Marano, Hara. “”The Dangers of Loneliness.”” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 1 July 2003,

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Life On The Road. (2020, May 13). Retrieved December 3, 2022 , from

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