Into The Wild: Wanderlust Shots From A Solo Trip Into The Alaskan Wilderness
If there was a take-home point from Christopher McCandless' captivating trip "Into the Wild," it has to be that escaping the rat race for a life in the wild can have fatal (and lonely) consequences.
But this didn't stop Paris-based filmmaker Eliott Schonfeld from embarking on an identical journey through the same merciless Alaskan wilderness.
Accompanied by the bears and wolves of the Great North, Schonfeld walked over 900 km (560 miles) across the tundra, through the Brooks mountains and all the way to the Arctic ocean.
Much like Alexander Supertramp, he also paddled 1,800 km (1,120 miles) down the Yukon River – in a canoe he'd purchased at the beginning of his mission to "escape modern society".
His aim was to survive solely on the natural resources around him – to find his own food, path, shelter, in an attempt to prove to himself that he could live outside his big city Parisian confounds.
But this didn't come without some life-threatening hitches.
Three weeks into his expedition, in a part of the world where it's so cold trees can't grow, Schonfeld had a run-in with one of the many grizzlies roaming the area.
"I was hiking into a huge valley when a huge grizzly charged at me from atop a small hill," he said, "he came at me, running fast, but stopped 30 feet away."
"Time stopped, I felt my heart bombing," Schonfeld explains.
"We watched each other for ten seconds, the most intense ten seconds of my life. Then he ran away, like a child, pleased to have scared me," he said.
"I was torn between fear and happiness, facing one the most dangerous and most beautiful animals I had ever met."
Schofield claims being in the wild helps him find silence and solitude. "It makes me appeased, pacified and more confident," he wrote in an email to Konbini.
"I like being with people too," he explains, "I can find happiness in both."
"What makes me happy is discovering the diversity of nature, being useful and being passionate in my actions, laughing a lot, sleeping outside next to a fire, listening to music and being in love."
"A part of this needs to be done alone, the other needs people."
Schonfeld's next trip will be a five-month journey across the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Bhutan. Be sure to follow his adventures on Facebook.
By Matthew Kirby, published on 28/04/2017