What is ‘Adventure’?

‘An adventure is defined as an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome. The term is often used to refer to activities with some potential for physical danger, such as skydiving, mountain climbing and or participating in extreme sports. The term also broadly refers to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, a love affair, or other major life undertakings.’
(‘Adventure’, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

When I think adventure, I think khaki. I think Indiana Jones. I think old double prop sea planes.

But when I try to define it, I think of adventure as what happens to you when you pursue a course of action that puts you at risk, especially when it is outside the normal routine of your everyday life. I don’t just mean physical risk. I mean the risk of embarrassment, the risk of getting dirty, the risk of being laughed at, the risk of being stranded, the risk of creating an awkward situation, the risk of failure, the risk of rejection.

Last year, I made it one of my goals to go on a personal adventure once a month. Go mountain bike trails I haven’t biked before, or walk around part of the city I’m not familiar with, or rescue my wife from an evil voodoo priest who is about to pull her still-beating heart out of her chest.

I haven’t made that a goal this year, but having worked that philosophy into my life a little, I was more quick to say yes, or click yes, to the opportunity to go see an old friend who I really don’t know all that well, in a city I’ve never been to, in a country who may not send a plane for me if the entire civilization breaks down around me, by a train I’m not familiar with, for an amount of money that seems ridiculously prohibitive, without my wife who keeps me from doing things like forgetting my immigration form on the train or arriving at the customs line three minutes before they close it.

And – if you are good at guessing endings then you already know – it was epic.

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What is ‘Adventure’?

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