Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finding Adventure Out Your Back Door

    There really are two sides to adventure now-a-days. One is finding adventure through climbing a mountain, buying a new pair of snowshoes for Alaska, or even flying to Patagonia on an expedition. The other flavor of adventure you might run across, the one I prefer, is found in taking a bike ride while listening to your favorite band in the setting sun, or hanging with your best friends playing "kick the flaming ball".
    "What's the difference?" you ask. Well let me tell you, one type of adventure is surrounded by corporate America, consumerism. You might not notice, but even putting on those running shoes, loading up the Camelbak, and taking your cardio run is filled with corporate webs. You might find your self equating adventure to several misleading terms such as:

  1. Expedition
  2. Travel
  3. Gear
  4. Rock Climbing
  5. Backpacking
The list truly goes on. Even Wikipedia has it wrong, listing skydiving and mountain climbing among "adventures".

Adventure - Wikipedia
"An adventure is an activity that is perceived to involve risk, danger or exciting experiences."

   WRONG! Adventure doesn't have to be risky, life-threatening, or even very remarkable. Adventure is a note on everyone's heartstrings, and only the individual can tell when the note is true. Adventure is a mindset, an ideal, it's something entirely irreplaceable.

    While all of these are adventures, they are always temporary and never satisfy the life of a true adventurer. Let me tell you about a pair of true adventurers: Calvin and Hobbes. These two silly comic book characters are true heroes of the adventure world but most of us are too caught up in the corporate industries that suck us in to believing adventure is about gear, and technology to see what's right in front of us. (I stand fully accused)
    Calvin and Hobbes show us (if you've ever looked through the comic) that adventure means only a few things. Having an imagination, a free spirit, a good buddy, and a little free time before supper. Just because we're all grown up now does not mean that all the adventure has evaporated from our backyards, or the small woodlot we used to frequent. Adventure is not at the top of Kilimanjaro, no let's leave that for the ambitious ones with too much money and a drive most of us will never understand.
    Let's grab a stick-rifle, put an old rusty pot on our heads, and run around the old junkyard playing war with our buddies. Because, in the end, it's about the times we had with the people we love and letting your spirit free to find adventure in every nook and cranny will leave you wanting for nothing. Suddenly the gear on the cover of Mountain Gear's new catalog won't really matter all that much. But that stick in the woodlot sure feels good shooting fake bullets, doesn't it.
   If we can't even find the adventure in our every day lives, what makes us think trips, gear, and expeditions will help? They will only serve to fill the gaps but it's a false sense of fulfillment if we can't keep it with us every day. So, take step out your back door and find that adventure.

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