Wild by Nature Book Review and Giveaway

The Green Girl was thrilled to receive her first ever advance reader's edition when she was offered a copy of Sarah Marquis' Wild by Nature: From Siberia to Australia, Three Years Alone in the Wilderness on Foot.

One woman
10,000 miles on foot
6 countries
8 pairs of hiking boots
3,000 cups of tea
1,000 days and nights

Wild by Nature follows Swiss National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis on the trail of her 10,000 mile 'eXplorAsia' solo hike across the remote Gobi desert from Siberia to Thailand. From Thailand, she travels by boat and completes her hike in Northern Australia.

Sarah Marquis Photo Credit: alchetron.com
The author is Swiss and it's my understanding that the book was translated from French to English. I believe some of the meaning may have been lost or skewed in translation.

I also acknowledge the fact that cultural heuristics mold and influence world attitudes and views.

I found her writing incongruous, disjointed, and detached. I felt she had a lack of respect for the native inhabitants of the lands she encroached on but an intense appreciation for Mother Nature. I was often left yearning for more details. But I was still blown away by the magnitude of her solo journey.

Sarah Marquis at her camp in Australia’s Kimberley Photo Credit: Sarah Marquis
Preparing for a 3 year hike is a significant undertaking and I would have appreciated more details regarding her training and preparation. I also wish she would have provided the gear list that comprised her 75 lb backpack and 120 lb cart.

I appreciated insights like tips on how to collect water in an arid region.

Sarah Marquis arrives at her final 'Little Tree' destination Photo Credit: Sarah Marquis
I also learned a lot from how she handled herself in the difficult and potentially volatile encounters. She even resorted to sleeping in sewage pipes - sometimes alongside animal carcasses - to avoid night visits from drunk Mongolian men.

Wild by Nature goes on sale today, February 9th.

If you would like your very own copy of Wild by Nature, The Running Green Girl is pairing up with St. Martin's Press for a giveaway.

You will have two options for logging into the Rafflecopter widget:
  1. Log in via Facebook - choose this option and a pop-up will ask for permission to access Facebook details. Rafflecopter needs to access email addresses via Facebook in order to contact winners.
  2. Use your email - leave a name and email address. Your email address is PRIVATE and I will not share or publish it anywhere.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway ends Friday, February 19th at 12:00 midnight Pacific Time. If you encounter any issues entering this giveaway via Rafflecopter, please let me know.

The only way to survive three years of walking was to embrace the moment of now. Sarah Marquis


Happy Chinese Lunar New Year 恭喜發財

The Green Girl wants to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous Chinese Lunar New Year of the Fire Monkey 猴.

According to Chinese astrology, our universe consists of five basic elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. It is said that everything in the universe, including humans, has a relationship with these five elements.

The Chinese believe every element is equally important and powerful. Metal will create Water, Water will create Wood, Wood will create Fire, Fire will create Earth, and Earth will then create Metal. Conversely, there is also a cycle of incompatibility and destruction: Metal will destroy Wood, Wood will destroy the Earth, Earth will destroy Water, Water will destroy Fire, and Fire will then destroy the Metal.

2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey so Fire is the dominant element. Fire shapes Metal and brings energy but it can also destroy metal and this may cause turbulence.

In addition to Fire, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold and Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Metal is also connected to the Wind and this means the status of events will change very quickly. Think carefully and cautiously before making financial, career, business, and personal relationship decisions.

One of the keys to success in a Monkey year is to expand your knowledge by taking classes, studying, joining professional groups/organizations, or traveling.

The Year of the Monkey is also a good time to re-think fitness programs, diet, and health plans.

Tao Te Ching verse for Monkey
Thirty spokes join together to make a wheel
but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a vessel
but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house
but in the empty space is where we live.
We work with being
but non-being is what we use.
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