A Woman’s Solo Trek Across the Australian Outback

For many of us, there is an urge to become lost in order to find ourselves. To disconnect from society so profoundly that we can only hear our inner selves in rhythm with the planet pulsing around us. Last night I watched a film about a woman who did just that.

National Geographic

The film was Tracks, the story of Robyn Davidson, a woman who walked across 1700 miles of the Australian Outback.

Robyn Davidson, on being asked why she was taking on what was deemed an impossible journey, said she wanted to be alone. Her only company along the 1700 mile journey were four camels and a faithful dog, Diggity.

In order to fund her trip Robyn offered the story of her journey to National Geographic. They accepted on the condition that a photojournalist, Rick Smolan, photograph her at various points along her route. Initially irritated at what she viewed as an intrusion, Robyn accepted the terms and began her trek. Along her six month journey Rick met up with Robyn four times creating a lasting friendship and capturing with his photos the stunning landscape of the Australian Outback and the spirit of this resilient, strong woman.

National Geographic printed the photos and an article recounting Robyn’s experience of isolation, being attacked by herds of wild bull camels, almost dying of dehydration and being discovered by journalists. Robyn expanded this article into a memoir entitled, “Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback”. From this memoir the film Tracks was made.

Robyn Davidson

As one of those individuals who yearns for solitude and the connection to our Mother, Robyn’s story resounded deeply within me. Society has a way of loudly but subversively dictating how a life is meant to be lived. If one is quiet enough to listen to the whispers within, they can find their own path in life. And life sends guidance along the way to connect us to that pulse of the heart. The story of Robyn Davidson was one such guidance along the discovery of my path. It reminded me to live in a way that brings stillness to the yearning heart. And I am immensely grateful to her for sharing her story as it has helped me find my own.

Tracks film trailer with Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver.

Watch Tracks on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video.

Read more about Rick Smolan’s Trek with Tracks on NationalGeographic.com

On Amazon buy TRACKS, Robyn Davidson’s memoir about her journey

Photographs by Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions