What is “adventure”? The dictionary definition of ‘adventure’ as a noun is “an exciting or very unusual experience” and/or “participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises”. My favorite definition was one found in a science fiction novel. It was an alien’s perspective on what humans referred to as ‘adventure’. The alien thought what human called adventure was really just “pain and suffering away from home.” Some of my past adventures certainly fell under this category.
When I think of “Adventure” I think of an endeavor which has one or more of the following elements: mystery, discovery, travel, exploration, journey, endurance, hardship, and danger. Exciting and unusual may or may not play a role in this. For instance, a ride at an amusement park may be exciting experience, but is it really an adventure? To many the answer is ‘no’. The answer for some people however, may be ‘yes’.
And that’s the thing about ‘adventure’, what constitutes adventure is different for each person. And if adventure is really in the eye of the adventurer, than there is no definitive answer to what is, or is not, an adventure. Discussions of what a ‘real’ adventure is are best done among friends, around a campfire, while enjoying one’s beverage of choice. There is a well-known phrase among thru-hikers: Hike your own hike. What this boils down to is “there is no right way to do a thru-hike”. Each person’s hike is their own hike to define and experience as they choose.
This means each one of us is free to choose our own adventures. Big or small, short or long, easy or hard. It also means the only impediment to adventure is ourselves. Most people I know say they want more adventure in their lives, but they don’t know how to go about it so they revert to watching reality TV (it isn’t anything like reality), sports (other people doing what you would like to be able to do), or any of a number of other activities designed to pass the time between waking up and going to sleep. The odds are however, you know someone who does adventurous things on the weekend, or even during the week. How do they do it? What’s their secret? The ‘secret’ is how they view the world and how they prioritize their time.
As mentioned in my last post, part of the reason for this blog is to help people have their own adventures, and if adventure is indeed in the eye of the adventurer, than we are free to go on our adventures, adventures which can fit into the constraints of our existing lives. The only thing needed is a change of perspective and a willingness to get up, get moving, and extend the boundaries of our comfort zone just a little bit.