My husband and I stumbled onto Out of the Wild Venezuela one night when we were looking for something to watch. One episode into it and we were hooked.
Nine people from various occupations and parts of the country were dropped off in the wilderness in Venezuela. They'd been given three days of survival training prior to drop off and they had three days of rations to begin a journey they didn't know the length of. Their task was to find civilization. If they didn't feel they could go on or if they became seriously ill or injured, they could hit the button on their GPS device and a helicopter would take them away. They had a map and a cache of supplies, but everything else they had to make or find as they lived off the land.
It was an incredible show to watch. Only a few days into their journey, they began starving. The things they had to eat to survive were disgusting in comparison to what I have readily in my pantry and fridge. But they were grateful for it.
As we continued through the episodes, we saw conflicts among the group but also strong friendships, we saw the group battle thick jungle and constant rainstorms, we saw people leave, we saw strength tested to the utmost, we saw people so fatigued from starvation they struggled to make themselves coherent for their on-camera interviews*, we saw people reach down deep inside thhemselves and continue on.
There were at least two people who wowed me with their attitude. It didn't matter if they hadn't had anything to eat for a few days but maggots or tiny fish - they stayed positive. One guy, who was among the small group who made it all the way to civilization, talked about how you don't know what's ahead but there will be moments of happiness. You just have to look for them.
Their determination to see the journey through, to stay positive in the midst of pure survival was such a powerful lesson to me in my life of relative ease. And even in the hard things, there are always those moments of happiness, if we look for them.
Have you seen this show? Is that something you'd want to do - go on a survival journey? (I probably would have pushed the button when I arrived at the first place to sleep and found it invested with tarantulas and scorpions). What helps you see those moments of happiness, even when the road ahead isn't easy or clear?
*The camera crew members were required to stay 100 yards from the volunteers. I can't imagine how heart-breaking that must have been for them to watch these people deteriorate, knowing they couldn't provide the volunteers with anything.