Meet The Woman Who Lived As A Real-Life Castaway For Her ‘Vacation’

Usually, people go on vacation to relax. Rent a beach house, hole up in a cabin in the woods. Sure, things can get a little more extreme with a long road trip or a particularly harrowing trip to Disney World, but for the most part, people are looking to escape from the real world’s troubles and kick back for a bit. Well, one woman decided to trade in her real-life troubles for the struggle to survive. Reikko Hori, a 22-year-old Childhood Studies student from Japan, booked her vacation from Docastaway, and was left for 19 days on the Indonesian island of Amparo. By choice. Apparently a Robinson Crusoe experience is a rising trend in adventure vacations, with Docastaway having various options for length of time and levels of comfort.

However, the truly crazy part of this story is that Hori didn’t have any survival training before her excursion, and chose to be left on the island with only a magnifying glass for starting a fire and a spear for skewering fish for her meals. Apparently her shocking lack of preparedness was cause for concern at Docastaway, but not enough for them to, I don’t know, cancel her trip. Alvaro Cerezo of Docastaway, who organized her trip, paints a pretty grim picture of Hori’s island preparedness:

‘When she arrived at the airport on the first day I saw that she hadn’t prepared proper luggage and didn’t bring adequate clothing, only jeans. We needed to go to a local shop and buy trousers for her.

‘Then when I found out that her knowledge of survival was non-existent, I got more worried.

‘But what was distressing for me was the fact that Reikko had serious difficulties in detecting danger and in feeling pain.She walked barefoot on the sharp coral, just is if she was walking barefoot at home. She slept on the floor in the jungle without it even crossing her mind that an animal could walk over her in the middle of the night.’

Despite the team’s misgivings, Hori managed to learn how to spear fish, start fires, and harvest coconuts on the fly, managing to stick it out for the entire 19 days. On top of learning some wicked survival skills, Hori also learned a lot about relationships during this time of isolation.

‘It was full of painful loneliness and helplessness after the second day… Usually I prefer to be alone,’ she added. ‘However, after I spent 19 days alone on a desert island, I found a world without people was not the world where I really want to live.

‘I learned I get happiness from being around other people. Not only sufferings but also happiness from being related with other people. I want to live positively in society now and I realise how important things I have in my life are.’

So, if your usual travel plans just aren’t cutting it this year, maybe channel your inner Tom Hanks, grab your Wilson, and head out to sea.

(Via Daily Mail)