We love adventure.
We relish the chance to accomplish something new, to see places unknown, to conquer an obstacle and to obtain that which is just beyond our reach.
I wonder if it wasn’t planted in our souls by the Creator. That sustained pulse ultimately leads a man on the adventure of wrestling with his Maker.
No doubt it begins as boys as we dare our neighborhood pals to climb just a little higher. It continues in high school and college — we outlast fatigue, we climb mountains, we explore women (and usually become hopelessly lost).
It’s easy to trade in adventure for safety and security. As we grow older, especially, we tend to believe the lie that there’s too much to lose. So today here’s a quick list of the five types of adventures you’ve no doubt experienced. Remember them. Relish them. And don’t ever stop looking for the next one.
Quest: It’s the basis of every Indiana Jones movie — a prize is waiting for the man willing to go get it. For me, it was driving all night in a van with my brothers to New York to see one last game played in the old Yankee Stadium.
Gear Needed: A well-packed duffel bag, Swiss Army Knife and plenty of cash. The goal is to attain something. Be prepared to overcome what lies in the way.
Motivation: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
Challenge: Eat The Old 96er. Climb that water tower. Survive a week in the woods with nothing but the clothes on your back. I double-dog dare you.
Gear Needed: A sturdy pair of boots and a big set of balls. Don’t be a chicken. Just do it.
Motivation: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a ride!'” - Hunter S. Thompson, journalist
Road trip: A classic. Transform 1,000 miles of forgettable interstate into something you’ll always remember. The best road trips feature the trip, not the destination. Hauling some used furniture down to Florida for your grandma is not fun. Doing it with the girl you love, hitting some obscure beaches along the way? Much better.
Gear Needed: Sunglasses and extra t-shirts. Clear eyes. Clean clothes. Can’t lose.
Motivation: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bonding: It’s not always where and what, some adventures are about who you’re with. The next time a business acquaintance invites you to go fly-fishing at his secret honey-hole — even though you don’t have your own a fly rod — say yes. And make a new friend.
Gear Needed: A smartphone with a good camera. And a credit card. When you’re building bridges, sometimes you need to pick up the tab.
Motivation: “No more greater joy can come from life than to live inside a moment of adventure.” - Frosty Wooldridge
Solo: I’ll never forget sleeping alone in a dirty Days Inn in Flagstaff, Arizona after a business trip to Phoenix. Why? Because the next morning I woke at 4 a.m. and went alone to watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. There are no words.
Gear Needed: A journal for documenting the deep thoughts you’ll conjure in the silence, and your singing voice when the silence has lasted long enough.
Motivation: “Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” - John Muir