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A Map for Saturday (2007)A Map for Saturday (2007)

I watched this movie for a particular reason. In the last decade, my wife and I have done eight long-distance back-packing trips, from the 500-mile Camino Santiago (2012) to the 105-mile Tour du Mont Blanc (2019). Without fail, at the end of these hikes, no matter how dirty and tired you are, everyone says the exact same thing: "I wish I could keep hiking; I don't want to go home." Well, that's the unequivocal conclusion of the dozen people that this documentary follows after they finish an entire year as "long term budget travelers." The itinerary begins in Australia and ends a year later in Brazil, with all sorts of places in between. There are bedbugs and buses, scams and loneliness, and the deeply ambiguous complexities of re-entering whatever constitutes "real life back home." One of the best insights of these vagabonds is the bargain that rich westerners seem to make, that in the "competing commodities" of time and money, we live like money is more important than a larger life. For a book version of this film see Matthew Kepnes, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler's Journey Home (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019), 226pp. Kepnes quit his first job after college, started traveling the world, and didn't stop for ten years and ninety countries. I watched this movie on Amazon Streaming.

Dan Clendenin:

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