Kira Salak's Journey: An Analysis

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Abraham Lincoln once said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” In the travel novel The Cruelest Journey, Kira Salak makes the difficult decision of kayaking 600 miles to Timbuktu. The internal battle she overcame while on her trip proved to be significant in what she learned from her experiences. This quest included several mental aspects that affected Salak’s train of thought throughout the duration of her journey. The mental journey of a hero is set off when they develop and pursue an aspiration in mind, they begin to discover the type of person they truly are, and they are determined to avoid an uninteresting and stagnant life. As demonstrated in the epic poem The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus was compelled to begin his journey once he formulated a personal goal. For instance, Homer tells of Odysseus’ mission, “He saw the townlands and learned the minds of many…show more content…
She admits, “If I were to explain why…I chose Mali and the Niger for this journey…I used to avoid stripping myself down in search of motivation, scared of what I might uncover, scared of anything that might suggest a taint of the pathological (Salak, 423).” This statement tells how Kira was always afraid to challenge herself and would always play it safe. Because of this, she decides to go on a journey that others may consider to be completely insane and crazy. Furthermore, after successfully completing her journey, Kira recalls, “…in my life back home every day had appeared the same as the one before. Nothing seemed to change; nothing took on new variety. It had felt like a stagnant life (Salak, 427).” She had finally experienced something completely unfamiliar yet memorable, just the opposite of her normal life. Keeping the thought of avoiding a quiet life prominent in her mind helped her persist and reach her ultimate
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