Amanda Eller, Woman Who Survived After Getting Lost In Hawaii Jungle, Realizes She Was ‘Irresponsible’

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Amanda Eller, a 35-year-old yoga instructor, decided to head off into a Hawaiian jungle by herself on May 8 for what she expected to be a simple day’s trip. She was used to hiking in the wilderness and didn’t expect anything to go awry. On this particular occasion, she was determined to try her best to really connect with nature, hopefully by avoiding any outside distraction. As a result, she decided to leave her cellphone and any other modern conveniences behind. This was a decision that she would quickly regret after losing her bearings and getting terribly lost in the jungle with no way to alert help, according to USA Today. While she has previously stood up for herself after criticism regarding her choice to leave her phone behind, Eller is now admitting that she should have been more careful.

Eller very nearly could have died during the weeks she spent in the jungle prior to her rescue. During this time, she survived mostly off of berries and guava after running out of her own water and snacks. It was actually days before she was officially declared lost that she realized she was in grave trouble and didn’t know how to get out of the jungle and back to her vehicle. If she had opted to keep her phone with her prior to embarking on the journey, she would have been able to use the useful GPS feature to get a sense of where she was and find her way back to safety. At the very least, she would have been able to alert the authorities that she’d gotten turned around and could use help finding her way back to her car.

Eller now realizes that many people put their own lives at risk in hopes of rescuing her when she got lost. She recently issued a video message apologizing for being “irresponsible” and explaining what she now wishes she would have done differently prior to ever heading down the trail that day. One of her biggest regrets is not simply taking her phone along.

Sitting on a couch with bandages wrapped around her injured legs, Eller looks battered but still healthier than the day she was first rescued.

“I want to apologize for putting anybody in harm’s way, for any kind of rescue efforts that people feel were unnecessary. That day, I never intended to go on any kind of spiritual journey, spiritual experience. It was simply just a hike through the woods.”