Driven by a desire to explore, adventure travellers have an appreciation and respect for experiences over material possessions. They are romantics that live modestly and will tolerate discomfort so they can explore new places and people and chase freedom in wilderness environments. Discomfort, annoyances, and setbacks, to a certain degree, these are all part of long-term travelling.
Adventure travellers will appreciated the fleeting pleasures of the first daylight, a warm dry breeze, the smell of sunbaked rocks after a summer rain, the cool breezes as daylight starts to wane, the pressures of salty ocean wind beating against the skin, the solace only found in complete silent solitude and surrounded by the extraordinary.
Adventure travellers are problem solvers and stewards of the environment. They value the freedom and ability to travel outside developed regions and away from the crowds. They understand that greater adventures often only begin where comfort ends. That being uncomfortable means challenging your preconceptions as well as your body. And they welcome it as it often leads to growth. They have an appreciation and respect for diversity, local culture, and a deep desire to connect with nature.
It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
» Sir Edmund Hillary
They are not on perfectly planned expensive holidays in exotic locations doing adventurous things. They are not doing extreme sports and adrenaline junkie stunts. Those are other things.
Adventure travellers are solid, honest, pragmatic, low-key, steadfast, consistent, independent, adaptable, resilient, passionate, persistent, tenacious. They believe in personal responsibility, integrity, bucking up, planning ahead, dreaming. They don’t take shortcuts. They tread lightly, have kind hearts, long term objectives, and persevere.
They expect much from their gear because they depend on it, and sometimes must push it to its limits to survive. They know their gear intimately, they maintain it, and when possible, they restore it. The vehicle-dependant adventurer traveller’s vehicle is their largest and perhaps most important piece of gear. But adventure is not about the gear. The gear helps them on their journey. But getting there is only part of the experience. A passion for the natural world is what drives many adventurers.
Adventure becomes hubris when it blinds you to the suffering of the human beings next to you.
The things that keep us comfortable, also bind us, and hold us back. The unknown of a long journey is confusing, bewildering, challenging, lonely, as we are reminded of what we left behind, and the long road that lies ahead. Leaving the calm, the familiar, our safe place, in pursuit of the unknown, is often harrowing, but at times breathtaking, and empowering as we grow from our discoveries.
When adventurers return home after long expeditions, if they do so, they are tempered with the certainty of greater knowledge found only beyond the wall. The adventure traveller feels more alive on long explorations, in far-away places, exploring the rest of the world, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. This is where the adventurer finds himself.
When we face the hardest of trials, we find out who we really are, and what we are made of. This is the key that keeps the adventurer moving forward, pushing personal boundaries, beyond the wall.
I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.