If you ask a young child what adventure means to them, some would undoubtedly reply it is all about camping out, climbing trees, building dens & making fires. If you ask an adult in their 20’s to 40’s the same question, they may suggest it is about undertaking some adrenalin-fuelled extreme activity like bungee-jumping, paragliding or parachuting, or maybe participating in an endurance event such as circumnavigating the globe or running across the desert. But if you ask someone over 60, or someone who has mobility troubles, what adventure means to them, their answer may be somewhat more demure – it might be going on a weekend away somewhere, perhaps a journey on a train, plane or automobile, or even just a visit to museum.
If you look at where the word comes from, you will see it originates from the Middle-English aventūre, which was used to relate to: 1) episodes of fate, fortune or chance, 2) an event, occurrence, or accident, 3) danger or jeopardy, & 4) an enterprise or knightly quest. (BTW ‘a’ which became ‘ad’ was a Latin prefix indicating ‘to’) What links all of these uses is the word ‘risk’. Adventure is all about moving away from that which is safe & predictable in order to have a punt with the unknown. It is about purposely about getting out of your comfort zone every now & then, to experience relative hardship, adversity & even fear.
For me personally, adventure is the reason why I joined the Cubs, the Scouts, the Army Cadet Force & subsequently, the Army. And it is the reason why, in my 50’s I am a keen to develop The Dawdlers Club. Although I have done some mad stuff in my past, I’ve never been an adventure extremist or an adrenaline junkie. No, adventure for me has always been about escapism – just getting away from whatever stress I am facing & just unwinding in nature’s playground.