My Favourite Quotes from Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I’ve been quiet for a few months on this blog. This has been partly an intentional break and partly because I’ve struggled to find the right words to articulate the reasons behind my hiatus. However, if there are any words that can best describe the tumultuous swinging between wanderlust and a craving for home that I’ve been feeling, they can be found in quotes from Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Ironically, I read Strayed’s travel memoir in my hometown, rather than on the road. Yet, in six months of hibernation back on British soil, I found that I couldn’t concentrate on reading Wild when I was sitting still. Instead, I turned the pages on trains and buses.

It was as if I needed to be in transit for the journey to resonate.

It seems apt that now that I’ve left home once again for the next adventure (more on this to come), that the time is ripe to share some of my favourite passages and quotes from Wild on this blog.

If you haven’t already, you should read this book (and you’re very welcome to borrow my dog-eared copy), or you can buy it on Amazon here: Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found (affiliate link).

Wild is beautifully written and a painfully relatable story about journeys, both internal and physical; the classic quest for redemption; and the bravery in perseverance.

Here are just few of my favourite quotes from Wild:

“In the years before I pitched my boot over the edge of that mountain, I’d been pitching myself over the edge too. I’d ranged and roamed and railed – from Minnesota to New York to Oregon and all across the West – until at last I found myself, bootless, in the summer of 1995, not so much loose in the world as bound to it.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“It was a world I’d never been to and yet had known was there all along, one I’d staggered to in sorrow and confusion and fear and hope. A world I thought would both make me into the woman I knew I could become and turn me into the girl I’d once been.

“It was an idea, vague and outlandish, full of promise and mystery.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave.”

“I was not meant to be this way, to live this way, to fail so darkly.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

I had diverged, digressed, wandered, and become wild. I didn’t embrace the word as my new name because it defined negative aspects of my circumstances or life, but because even in my darkest days – those very days in which I was naming myself – I saw the power of the darkness. Saw that, in fact, I had strayed and that I was a stray and that from the wild places my straying had brought me, I knew things I couldn’t have known before.”

“As close as we’d been when we were together, we were closer in our unraveling, telling each other everything at last, words that seemed to us might never have been spoken between two human beings before, so deep we went, saying everything that was beautiful and ugly and true.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“Alone had always felt like an actual place to me, as if it weren’t a state of being, but rather a room where I could retreat to be who I really was.”

“Of all the things I’d done in my life, of all the versions of myself I’d lived out, there was one that had never changed: I was a writer. Someday, I intended to write a novel of my own.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

I will never go home, I thought with a finality that made me catch my breath.”

“I didn’t need to see Oregon, I could feel it, huge before me. I would walk its entire length if I made it all the way to the Bridge of the Gods. Who would I be if I did? Who would I be if I didn’t?

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“What if what made me do all those things everyone thought I shouldn’t have done was what also had got me here? What if I was never redeemed? What if I already was?

“Before I left, I hadn’t calculated how much money my journey would reasonably be expected to cost and saved up that amount plus enough to be my cushion against unexpected expenses. If I done that, I wouldn’t have been here, eight-some days out on the PCT, broke, but okay – getting to do what I wanted to do even thought a reasonable person would have said I couldn’t afford to do it.”

quotes from wild cheryl strayed redemption
My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“I read a line from a dozen or so of the poems, each of them so familiar they gave me a strange sort of comfort. I’d chanted those lines silently through the days while I hiked. Often, I didn’t know exactly what they meant, yet there was another way in which I knew their meaning entirely, as if it were all before me and yet out of my grasp, their meaning like a fish just beneath the surface of the water that I tried to catch with my bare hands – so close and present and belonging to me – until I reached for it and it flashed away.”

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My favourite quotes from Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was, to let it be.”

I hope you feel as inspired as I do after reading some of these quotes from Wild. If you’d like to read the whole book (and why haven’t you already?!), then you can pretty much find it in any book shop, or you can help me out by purchasing a copy through the Amazon affiliate link below.

Please pin or share your favourite quotes using the images above, and let me know your favourite quotes from Wild (in case I’ve missed any), and your recommendations of what books I should be reading next, in the comments below.


Note: This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a (really) small amount of commission if you make a purchase using this link, should you choose to. I’m only choosing to do this to try and grow this site, so I can eventually write full-time. Affiliate links in no way affect the genuine opinions I have stated above. 

60 thoughts on “My Favourite Quotes from Wild by Cheryl Strayed

    1. Hey Becky, thanks! I’m glad you liked it. I know – I’m not sure I can pick a favourite, it was difficult enough coming up with a shortlist! Thanks for reading.

    1. I know, right? I was literally folding down the corner of every page I liked a quote on… it ended up being practically the whole book! And you should read it!

  1. I loved this book too. I watched the film recently, but it was no where near as good as the book. Have recommended it to other people, and passed mine copy on to my lil Sis. Have missed your bloggs xx

    1. Haha! Mom, is that really you? I watched the film first, not realising it was also a book, but I agree and enjoyed the book more. I passed mine on to Hannah as well!

    1. Oh wow, goosebumps?! They are pretty special. I’m going to use them as travelspiration when I’m in need of it. Thanks for reading!

    1. You should! This is my number one recommendation at the moment. I feel like the story has so much to give, it’s so easy to relate to. Hope you get a chance to read it!

    1. You should, you should, you should! I was skeptical of the hype and expected another ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, but this was so different from what I expected. I hope you get a chance to read it!

  2. I love all the quotes you selected! So inspirational. I love the ” What will I be if I did? Who will I be if I didn’t?” Powerful!

  3. So I need to buy this book. I feel like she knows my soul and is telling my story in a much more articulate way than I could myself!! Great share!!

  4. I know what my next Amazon book purchase will be. I’m saving to use your link too! I love all these quotes and can see why you’re so inspired by them! I really enjoyed how you presented them on images as well. Thanks for sharing and I totally get you on books you can only read while traveling!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, that’s really sweet! And thanks for the compliment about the images as well. All Canva really and not my words, but I thought the images were apt. Thanks for reading!

  5. Love the quotes! I’ve never actually read Wild. Saw the book and enjoyed it, even more enjoyed going back and reading her blog!

  6. Inspiring, indeed! I thought I read this book but it must’ve been something different. I love these quotes. I can definitley relate them to real-life situations.

  7. Great quotes! I have not read the book yet, but I saw the movie and was very impressed by her story. What an intense life… It really moved me, so her book is on my wish list. Maybe it’s time to read it now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You should read it! I saw the film first too and enjoyed it, but the book was really special (or maybe I’m just a biased bookworm!).

  8. “It was an idea, vague and outlandish, full of promise and mystery.” This is my favorite! This book is so eye opening and truly makes you think about what’s important to you.

    1. Isn’t it just! Really puts everything into perspective, as does travelling and the journey she takes as well. Love that quote!

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