Adventure, Spotlight

Is Adventure Possible Without Risk?

Today’s mind puzzle comes courtesy of Beth Varro, who happens to be a talented photographer. This talented photographer is embroiled in a struggle to win a photo contest, and you can help her do so.

All it takes is clicking over to this picture of dandelions and hitting “dig it” in the top left. There is a free registration process you have to complete to have your vote counted. I think it’s worth it to help out an indie photographer.

Dandelions are kind of my thing, but she also has this picture of ducks. You can vote for both if you like. I’ll wait while you vote.

Have you done your civic duty? Okay, then you can keep reading :]

Guitar Adventure

Beth quizzed me after yesterday’s post. Like many commenters and myself, she believes that anything challenging can be an adventure—not only big dangerous quests.

Here’s the hypothetical she gave me.

Let’s say someone has never played guitar before, and they decide they’re going to learn. They start taking lessons and practicing and they’re not going to stop until they’re good enough to perform at a coffee shop. Is that an adventure? [emphasis added]

This got right to the heart of my uncertainty. Here’s why.

As Beth spoke I was right there with her, nodding along. Yes! I kept thinking. Yes this can be an adventure!

Until “perform at a coffee shop.”

I thought she would finish her sentence differently: “become a rock star,” or “get a record deal.” When I realized the hypothetical rocker’s goal is to perform at a coffee shop, I wondered: is that really an adventure?


At first it seems like a difference of scale. Performing for thousands is bigger—and more daunting—than performing for eight. Many bands get their start playing small venues, often without pay, but their aspirations run bigger: to start a project with dwarf aspirations doesn’t feel adventurous.

I’m going to pull Excalibur out of the stone… so I can polish it!

But I don’t think it’s a matter of scale, per se. Small things can be adventures, but only if an element of uncertainty is involved. An adventure is something so challenging it may actually be impossible.

An average adult can learn guitar well enough to play at a coffee shop. Maybe six months of lessons. You don’t have to be very good and coffee shops will give almost anyone a chance.

Even with stage fright you can probably strum through a cover or a folk song at open mic night.

Adventure is something you’re not sure you can do, full stop. It’s something you feel a passion about, but not the confidence of certainty. Does that sound right?

I think this also comes with an “out of the ordinary” side. Ordinary things are generally doable, maybe with some training. Adventures are things many people wouldn’t think to do, or believe can’t be done.

Adventure-as-a-practice seems to be a willful attempt to do the seemingly impossible, which is itself an extraordinary trait (but one you can cultivate).

What do you think?


41 thoughts on “Is Adventure Possible Without Risk?

  1. I strongly doubt it’s how it was intended, but overall this post reads as quite insensitive. Before anyone tells me that is not how it was intended, bear with me for a second and I will explain why I say that. Firstly: “Adventures are things many people wouldn’t think to do, or believe can’t be done.” Why should I, or anyone else, let other people be the judge of whether or not my experience is an adventure? By putting a requirement of cultural verification on tagging something an “adventure” one is effectively saying that adventure belongs to certain people only, who have certain interests, certain abilities, and certain aspirations.

    Secondly, on the subject of “performing at a coffee shop”. This reads a lot like you cannot fathom that you’d find something to be an adventure, so it isn’t. Because you have never felt limitations like crippling fear or struggled to do something certain other people do not struggle to do and cannot immediately see from looking at you that you might be struggling to do, you cannot accept that something that might not be an adventure to you might be an adventure to someone else. Now, I don’t know you, so I have no clue whether you’ve actually felt those things I’m describing or not, and I am not saying this is how you actually think – I just want to highlight how those words may be understood, and how limiting, and potentially discriminating, developing further along that line may be.

    a willful attempt to do the seemingly impossible This, I think, it about the closest to a perfect definition of adventure I’ve seen. It’s great. With the above, though, I want to add that I would absolutely not equate “impossible” with “physically impossible” or “statistically improbable”. Many people do what others might find impossible without any growth or struggle, whereas others go through great mental or phyiscal anguish to achieve something you might deem “ordinary”.

  2. I think you’re trying to determine what’s so challenging as to be nearly impossible.

    Easy example: Sleeping outside, on the ground, in the dead of winter. Very nearly impossible for me, *clearly* an adventure. This is even though you could point a way from here to there quite easily and do it without a second thought.

    Playing guitar in a coffee shop? You’re an outgoing person[1] who throws himself into things with very little concern for the consequences. No problem! – you think. Not an adventure.

    Let’s say the guitar player lives with crippling pain in her hands. Or social anxiety. Or, frankly, not a lot of accessibility to coffee shops. Or no networking contacts to even know that coffee shops just let people go play guitars there[2].

    [1]Or you have created yourself as one. The end result is the same.
    [2] They do, really? See, *I* never knew that. For all I knew, playing guitar in a coffee shop was a really cool thing that only certain people, chosen with some eldritch formula, are allowed to do.

  3. Dawn says:

    I think it depends on the person. For an extrovert or maybe even an average person, said coffee shop may not be a big deal. For someone like me, who is shy, an introvert, and clinically diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, getting up to perform in a coffee shop would be a big deal. I can go days to weeks without leaving my house, months between interacting with people who aren’t immediately related to me, and I always avoid being in situations where I would be anywhere near the center of attention. So for someone like me, playing in a coffee shop would be a major event perhaps worthy of the title of adventure.

  4. Thank you Dawn. As more people answer I see how subjective “impossible” is. There are things we commonly feel are impossible, but also things that look impossible to certain individuals because of who we are. People have their own horizons, their own boundaries, and looking beyond them always brings the scent of adventure. Thank you.

  5. I love your definition of an adventure as something that might be impossible. But then you have to define impossible… As other people have said, impossible for me might not be impossible for you. I, for instance, am a socially awkward penguin in my offline life. Could never talk to someone the way I am talking to you right now through this box. Small talk with a classmate at school can leave me drenched in sweat. So when I have, on occasion, managed to interact with strangers with confidence, I’ve been overwhelmed with adrenaline and the feeling I have done something very big. Not big for most people maybe. Very mundane. But a big deal for me. A push against my own irrational limits. Something that seems impossible most of the time. So yes, playing a guitar at a coffee shop could be an adventure if that person never thought they’d even be able to play in front of their mom.

    Also, an adventure is not a monolithic thing. In screenwriting classes, writers learn about the conflict-action-reaction cycle that drives the plot of any movie of any genre. Every scene has this cycle. But also every sequence of scenes (maybe 1 or 5 scenes that represent a plot “turn”). And of course, the movie as a whole. Getting good enough to play in a coffee shop is a conflict-action cycle, with the reaction being … to feel satisfied and proud? Okay, than that story is over. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a story. Just a short story. But the reaction might be to use that confidence to get good enough to start a band and play more local venues. And so on and so on until you’re playing to a crowd of thousands. Every adventure – no matter how small – may just be the first act of a bigger adventure. But it doesn’t change the fact that the first act is an adventure in itself.

    • Well said.

      I’ve often been a hardliner about the word adventure. It’s a word that is supposed to conjure something in our imagination – it refers to something extraordinary, and that means something.

      I think that’s why it’s hard for me to start calling things like playing a a coffee house or talking to someone in person as “adventures.”

      What you say about it being part of a greater story is quite brilliant. It’s similar to what Beth said when we talked about this in person, actually. Sometimes these small personal adventures can feed into bigger adventures. Other times maybe they won’t. But I think I’m coming around.

      Thanks Chase, as always.

    • Arden says:

      I’ve also been a hardliner about adventure, but this is honestly incredibly convincing (as is “Up” in general, really). Scale is quite relative, since we’re all so deeply different from each other.

      But, I dunno. A friend of mine has a fascinating stance toward this. She loves adventures, but she feels her place is to be a storyteller, not a protagonist. We’re both very influenced by old-school RPGs, so she likens herself to an innkeeper, a savepoint, rather than a hero: and I think this is so exquisitely self-aware and beautiful. I think we tend to think that the only people with roles to play are the ones slaying dragons– the ones with the Big Destinies. That’s just. not. true.

      Part of me thinks that instead of calling every struggle we have an adventure, we should allow that what makes a meaningful story in someone’s life is not necessarily some exciting endeavor, but something different & just as poignant. Perhaps some mixture of this and the acknowledgment of personal differences in scale is called for– to keep the term sharp and to acknowledge its meaningfulness to many different kinds of people.

  6. You lost me completely when you wrote: “Even with stage fright you can probably strum through a cover or a folk song at open mic night.” Especially since for me it is in direct conflict with what you said next, namely “Adventure is something you’re not sure you can do, full stop.”

    For someone with very real stage fright, it does seem very impossible. How is one to determine what does and what doesn’t SEEM impossible to someone. I think this is virtually impossible. It depends on the person surely. Yes, I think the ‘imposable-factor’ is crucial, and that scale is isn’t necessarily. So … if this is what you believe too, than I think you cannot really support the first quote. It seems like you mix up the impossible and the seemingly impossible.

    Drew, you disappoint me. ;) I haven’t been able to catch you on this type of flawed reasoning.

    • Haha well, no one is perfect :)

      Sometimes I also throw ideas out here on the blog when I already see some flaws in the idea, just to see what others think. A lot of the discussion here echoes what Beth and I talked about before I wrote it, but it’s really helpful seeing a larger group of people talk about it. You guys expand the issue for me and introduce solutions that I would maybe never think of.

      So, thanks for putting up with my flawed post… :P

      • You did see the smiley yes? I was somewhat relieved at your post. You have been a huge inspiration to me, but it can be nice to see you’re just a normal guy too.

        By the way, I do the same thing, Thinking aloud works. Plus this is a blog and not a published article. I love that you experiment and I love that you value our opinions this much.

  7. Let me tell you about my adventure, Drew. I’m disabled. As well as having an autistic spectrum disorder plus dyslexia and dyspraxia, I have a serious physical condition. In 2007 I had to quit my comfortable, fairly well-paid teaching job as a result of this condition. Fast forward about a year and I start feeling well enough to maybe consider doing some part time work again. What do I decide to do? Not to return to my comfy reasonably paid job. I decide to go back into academia, moving halfway across the country (my wife was extremely patient), first to do my Master’s and now my Ph.D. There are so many reasons why, about once a week, I have a complete meltdown and tell my wife I am giving it all up despite the three years of work I’ve put in so far because there is no way I can ever complete this. And then may not be any way I can complete this. Or there is, and I’m just listening to fear, which is what I also decide on a weekly basis – by a sheer act of will, every time. And then I get up and I go back into university and I recommence the long haul towards something that I believe might just change the world – if only in a very small way. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There are lots and lots of reasons to give it up. I continue to believe, through act of will alone, but there’re more reasons to continue. Ask me in another 2 to 3 years whether it was worth it. I believe I’ll think it was. But I’m not entirely sure. And that’s what makes it an adventure.

    I liked your answer on the podcast. It made it clear that, as long you’re pushing yourself to the edges of your boundaries – and that might mean the very very edges – then you are having an adventure. I think that will look different to everyone. I will never be able to walk more than a few hundred metres (although I’m still going on pilgrimage to Ireland next week – I’m just doing it with the help of a car), so my adventure is not going to look like your adventure. But I’m absolutely having one. :) Continued blessings to you on yours.

    • Sophia, I am awed. Thank you for writing this answer this way. This had a lot of impact on me…

      I didn’t like my answer on the podcast. Here’s why. It was trying to prescribe some specific things Ari could do that would be “adventures” and I barely know anything about his life. As you and so many others point out, what counts as adventure is terrifically subjective. I think I should have asked him more about his passions and boundaries, and helped him identify something himself.

      And I think that will be my approach from now on.

      Thank you for writing this, and many blessings on your amazing Adventure.

  8. I have been thinking about this off and on all day and discussing it with my friend.

    Using people I know, I think I could justifiably explain why the coffee shop example would be an adventure for some while others would require the rock star example and still others would find neither to be an adventure and need something else. I have also considered that perhaps your great adventure of walking across the continents may or may not be an adventure for someone like the indigenous people in Australia, whom National Geographic once told me, walk regularly back and forth across the continent, even making a yearly pilgrimage back and forth in order to harvest moths (I could be remembering wrong, but bear with me on the example). I have concluded for myself that no single adventure can apply to everyone, and everyone’s adventure must be necessity be different.

    I pose that perhaps a set of guidelines might be identified, or maybe even a flow chart. Something like, “Does this scare you at all – does it require bravery?” “Is there a chance of failure?” “Is this a new experience?” “Does this activity enrich you as a person?” and so on, and if all answer yes, then it is an adventure. But I am even unsure about that, because everyone’s definition of adventure is a little different. This is not like the word “apple,” where it is or it isn’t, complete with dichotomous key. An adventure is subjective; something that happens in our mind as a result of events. Maybe here you might add, “why does it matter if this is an adventure or not” and “why does it matter if other people recognize my adventure as a bonafide Adventure.”

    Another thought I’d like to throw out there to chew on is that perhaps you might be defining adventure by the goal, and not by the notion of the adventure, and that there are different types of adventures with different end goals that will all by necessity be a little different. For example: Adventure to meet the gods. Adventure to test myself. Adventure to enrich my community. Adventure to find joy. Adventure to be a hero. Adventure to explore. Adventure to completely align my life with my values in a contrary society. Adventure to learn. Adventure to become fearless. Adventure to become confident. Adventure to see every inch of this crazy beautiful planet. Adventure to accomplish something no man has ever done before, just to see if it could be done. And so on and so on. Some of these may have overlapping adventures, and they may all have a common thread, but they can not all be the same adventure. For example, adventure to enrich the community may conflict with adventure to see every inch of the planet, but perhaps one will satisfy the adventure to test themselves if they do either one. Not every adventure has to be ventured with a goal of heroism. And sometimes the tiniest adventures, which may not be an adventure at all to the outside viewer, may have the most profound impacts, equal to or exceeding the grand scale adventures.

    So I think a more productive string of thought for me might be: this in mind, what are the commonalities between all of these types of adventures, among all of these people? But also I now find myself wondering: why does it matter? If something is meaningful to me, if I *feel* a sense of adventure whether it is an adventure or not, no phraseology will change that.

    • Thanks for this, AMG. I think a flow chart might actually be helpful.

      I try to strictly not identify or prescribe the goal of adventure. Everyone has different goals and adventure can be a powerful practice whether you are a mom, artist, doctor, mechanic, high school student – or several of those things or anything else.

      The trouble I’ve had is showing examples of how to make that work for all those different people.

      I think that’s why it’s important for me to define adventure. It’s hard for people to try something if they don’t know what it means. It’s great to say “I want to be more adventurous” but what does that mean? How can my unemployed barista friend add adventure to her life if she’s not sure what adventure is?

      These are the questions I wrest with. I think that people who intentionally pursue adventure get a lot out of it, and I think that helping them do that is a key part of my purpose to inspire. But I’m still learning how to communicate it.

  9. MercyFire says:

    I agree adventure sets one outside of one’s own defined comfort zone. I agree there is risk if there is to be reward. I would also offer that failure is risk in itself as it engenders feelings of unworthiness. ( Are you familiar with Amanda Palmer’s concept of the ‘Fraud Police’?)

    • I’m not but Google is helping me fix that right now!

      “failure is risk in itself as it engenders feelings of unworthiness”

      You just dropped a knowledge bomb on me.

  10. Rua Lupa says:

    “I think this also comes with an “out of the ordinary” side. Ordinary things are generally doable, maybe with some training. Adventures are things many people wouldn’t think to do, or believe can’t be done.”

    I think you’ve described exploring (“travel for discovery: to travel to a place to discover what it is like or what is there”) more so than adventuring (“exciting experience: an exciting or extraordinary event or series of events”).

    • Maybe, but I think exploring is just one sub-type of adventure (and there are many others). I want to speak more broadly about adventure, whether that means exploration or some other kind of challenge.

      • Rua Lupa says:

        Well then, I think the playing guitar infront of a crowd is one kind of adventure for those that find that sort of thing daunting.

  11. I have adventures EVERYDAY! Each week I make it a mission to create a “Postcard from Home” photographic/poetic/autobiographic essay to illustrate my walks around my neighborhood nature reserve. IF you visit my blog more often, you’d know about that. I try to post a “postcard” every Sunday, yet sometimes I procrastinate until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    I realize not everyone lives in a cool place like I do, BUT no matter where I am, I’ve got a camera on me, and I’m always capturing the little things all around me that I see. I crawl into things, bend over, climb onto rocks, hold onto trees, sit and lay down in the woods for hours and wait for “adventure” to find me — it always does. Even in the cities I can sit on a bench and watch people just like I watch wildlife, observing body language, recording snippets of dialogue, marveling at the beauty each individual has.

    I’m an artist — I draw people, photograph people, I “people up” my lonely hours in my sketchbooks (I’ve got dozens of them now) — that’s how I make adventure. From out of those adventures come STORIES and that is when the storyteller in me comes out — again, out of loneliness, and a desire to share all these hidden beauties everyone else is too busy to see that I’ve observed when they weren’t looking.

    There is A LOT!

    I know I’m writing A LOT here and you’re probably not going to reply to me because I’m too wordy (again) but I believe my “little adventures” add up to one just as great as your “Great Adventure” — the main difference is we’re just different people. I think everyone has their own Great Adventure in life and that is called a Destiny and only we can define it.

    I was struggling for months here comparing my adventure with yours, thinking that mine was so much smaller to your great one, that somehow I cannot compete and that anything I’m doing right now is just specks of dust you would leave behind your tracks, like I didn’t matter. I began to idolize you and that left me in a panic because I was not being fair to myself. I had to get back to my passions, stop trying to live up to the idealism of other people, and care more about what I love all over again!

    I think the danger in trying to be “heroic” or “epic” in the manner in which one sets out to do something awesome can drain some of the joy and verve from a goal.

    Right now I am taking just a few moments out from working on a very important project for several woodland tribes — the pressure for me to perform as an artist is INTENSE and many people are putting their faith and hopes in me! I have to do this completely on my own, I’m alone in this empty quiet, had to turn off the phone, shut off the world. You would envy this quiet I have. It is the BEST. But the pressure, it almost cancels out my passion. I write this to say that I got it back last night after hours of prayer and meditation. I write this now on Lugh’s holy day to tell you that the only pressure to become great is the one we put on ourselves. We don’t have to accept it, we can say “no, I won’t do it because it’s hard” but then there are people like me, or maybe you, too, who do stuff nobody else will because we decide we can do it and won’t stop until we’ve done it. And who cares if anyone else thinks it’s not a “real” adventure or a fantastic enough deed for greatness, if it was a good struggle that built muscle in our character (as well as put meat on our bones) then so be it, we are great.

    I can say no more. My break is over. I’ve said too much. I’m just too hungry to talk to you. Happy Lughnasadh to You, dear friend! May the Gods Shine on You today, and everyday of your journey.

  12. For what it’s worth, I agree about not wanting to water down the word “adventure”. To me, having an adventure means going into the unknown and taking real physical risks. Working towards a personal goal and succeeding does not necessarily mean you have an adventure, though it’s great to be able to meet a challenge!

    • …It depends on how much of a risk, be it physical, financial, improbable, what-have-you, the personal goal is! It’s the journey you go through on your way to success that is the adventure, not the end result that makes the adventure an… adventure. But don’t get that confused with an ordeal, however, yet… even ordeals can lead to adventure, too. I believe in not taking away anyone’s right to have adventure, or to define their fantastic experience as adventure. I don’t think we should judge. Let people have their adventure as they see fit. Anyone who wants to criticize it is just belittling and invalidating someone else’s extraordinary life experiences.

      • I suppose it’s like beauty or porn – “adventure” is found in the eye of the beholder. And what you’re doing sounds really cool, with the project in the nature center… but when I think about adventure, I think about the experiences that make me feel like the love child of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft (though without the reckless destruction of ancient places and artefacts!). I think ruined cities and boat journeys and sunburn and blisters and scraping by in languages I barely speak. I think places you can’t get to in flip-flops. Hell, I mostly think “third world”, but then I’ve had mal-Afrique since I was 14 and living in Madagascar.

        But not everyone wants, needs, or can manage that sort of thing, and that’s fine. That’s normal. That’s *nice*. Life circumstances and endless visa or work problems have conspired to keep me from living in nice places, having solidity or predictability or a lot of the things the well-adjusted human psyche wants… but I start twisting into knots when I have them. I start panicking. If someone wanted to call the sort of itchy feet I have a mental illness, I wouldn’t argue with them. Probably wouldn’t hang around to listen long either, though, if I’m going to be honest.

        As far as “belittling”… no, your thing’s just different. I don’t think “adventure” is exactly the right word, but why should that matter to you? What you’re doing is cool. I’d love to do that kind of place immersion. I’d love to have the attention span and the time for it. And what I think of as some of my most exciting adventures – photographing a riot in Estonia, getting charged by wild horses in the Danube delta, going as a woman alone into Middle Eastern countries… well, making yourself a canditate for the Darwin awards isn’t usually considered admirable, is it? I mean, I loved those experiences, and felt extremely alive, but putting myself in those situations was objectively foolish.

        What you consider is cool for Drew to be doing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do anything similar, or be jealous of it. Just do something awesome enough yourself, and live with no regrets.

        • I should point out something here and that is my adventures as an adult are much more “tame” now than when I was a child. I still can’t compare any of mine to yours, Kira, yet then again, as for risk taking and life threatening, yes, I’ve been there.

          A middle ground definition, some kind of compromise…

          I’ve faced death and died and come back again and now spend little adventures as I see fit, making adventure where ever I can because I cannot have it elsewhere at this time, and to compensate for the longing for adventure I get after reading all of my friends’ adventures online everyday. Keeping adventure alive each day and/or night has to keep me going or I start to feel like I’ll just die! I think you can relate?

          Maybe not a compromise, but after reading the new post, I don’t even think it’s about just physical risk. More about that later. I’ll do my best to be brief.

        • One more thing to add: Back in the early 80’s I was one of those little girls who often ran away from home with a backpack full of food, a fedora hat on her head, and used a willow branch for a bull whip to play ‘Indiana Jones’ and explore storm drains, tunnels, and abandoned buildings in my neighborhood. Looking back, I could have been hurt, killed, or bitten by many of the snakes I handled and brought home. My favorites were Copperheads — quite docile vipers that like to sun themselves in the Ozark mountain heat, but if provoked can pack a deadly bite — and I spent many happy times playing with them, wishing I could keep them as pets…

          So, yes, I, too, was an Indiana Jones girl! But my life wasn’t always “nice” as you say. Heck, it is quiet and solitary nowadays, but never a quaint and condescending “nice” that someone in the wild would envy… maybe.

          After re-reading this over again, I worry that my definition of “close-to-home adventure” and “adventure-as-I-make-it-because-no-one’s-around-who-wants-to-come-out-and-play-with-me-anymore” kind of adventure is not somehow the equivalent of how patronizing southern grandmas say “Oh, bless your heart, she thinks she’s an adventurer…!” I have the utmost respect for the big, cinematic, broadcast in HD and IMAX professional adventurers doing extraordinary things gig, but is that even too far? Is that what real adventure is supposed to be? For entertainment value? To show other humans how great humans can be? To push things to their limit?

          I’m dizzy from that.

    • I feel like there has to be some middle ground – some way of making adventure open and very subjective, yet still retaining some core essence of what it generally means. Hence the new post.

  13. Pingback: You can’t hardline adventure (but does it have to hurt?) « Rogue Priest

  14. Beth says:

    This is one of the best discussions I’ve seen on this or any other blog. And not just because I’m tagged in it. :)

    When Drew and I were talking about this the other night, this is exactly why I was so intrigued. As someone who sympathizes with the un-hardline comments above, I was intrigued that he was asking a question that could potentially open up his definition. So, in my usual style, I started asking questions to try to help him clarify what adventure meant for *him.* At the end of our conversation, my summary would have been, “For Drew, ‘adventure’ involves physical work, doing something that is outside of society’s expected norms, and doing it with some eye toward personal growth.’ ” (Drew, correct me if you would like to edit that!)

    As someone who has spent a lot of focused time in the last 5 years overcoming exactly the kinds of social and generalized anxiety that lots of you mentioned above, it’s not a fluke that I chose a “tame” coffee shop example when I started trying to get him to clarify. I suspected that might not meet his definition, but I wanted to make a point about how the spirit is the same and help him explore *why* a coffee shop gig wouldn’t count as adventure.

    At the end of our conversation I said something like, “You know, climbing over a fence into a closed off field probably doesn’t feel like adventure to you…but it does feel like adventure to ME. Because it’s outside of MY expected norm.” That idea seemed to resonate with him. I’m glad that so many of you have found ways to expound on that idea – there is something about whether it is a risk FOR YOU, not just something that *anyone* would find risky. Drew gets his “adventure rush” from physical activity that is outside the social norm. I don’t have to go that far. But I would argue that the spirit behind the two is essentially the same. And the beauty of embracing that idea is that it removes the divide. We don’t have to feel like our adventures are “less” than Drew’s. That allows us to be inspired by him instead of feeling like what we are doing doesn’t count. It’s a beautiful thing, the spirit of adventure, whatever form it might take.

  15. Maybe we should talk about the difference between a “challenge” and an “adventure”. I have a feeling they’re being used interchangeably and maybe that’s part of the confusion.

  16. Arden says:

    I have a bit of a selfish investment in this. Recently I was lamenting to a friend of mine about the current lack of adventure in my life. I wasn’t asking for solutions; I’m working toward them already; I was only venting. His response was a defensive “But there is always an adventure to be had!” — a response I’ve heard many times before. And I couldn’t help but think, as someone for whom adventure does mean the traditional “grand vistas and struggles and sublimity” sort of stuff, that I didn’t really have a way of expressing what it was I wanted anymore.

    Maybe “quest” is a better word for us hardliners. Quest is also used very loosely, but I tend to think there’s a hint of something sacrosanct about it, a sense of deep purpose that adventure doesn’t necessarily have. I suppose I’d have to think about it more, though.

    • I suspect that if you set out on a quest and began talking about the value of having a quest, you’d find people using it just as variously as we use “adventure.” I think all exciting words are like that…

  17. Pingback: There is a Spirit its name is Adventure « Rogue Priest

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