What Is Adventure?

It’s been almost a month since we launched Expedition Underground, and now—more than ever—I ask myself the question, ‘what is adventure?’   I thought I knew, but I’m not so sure anymore.

There’s the standard definition: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks. Yes, that certainly covers travel and exploration and getting far away from the everyday routine—and yes, many of the stories here fall unquestionably under this umbrella.  But the problem I have found is that most people assume they have nothing to say and no story to tell that is interesting enough.  ‘Bollocks,’ I say, (to quote a non-existent English friend).

It must be all the sensationalism on television that has people thinking their lives are boring.  Sure, commuting to work, eating dinner, sleeping: these things are not particularly story-worthy events.  But every day, things happen that are worth telling.

Today, I was walking along a forest trail with a group of kids during my job as a primitive survival skills instructor.  We passed beneath a highway overpass and stopped to look for crawdads in a creek.  I told them that we might see some homeless people, too, under the bridge, and one of the kids turned and stared at me.  He looked me up-and-down and said with a completely straight face, “you look like a homeless person.”  I won’t deny there was some truth in it, but nonetheless I was amusingly taken aback.  We went on our way, like any other day at work.  But then again, I don’t get called homeless everyday.

The point is, anything out of the ordinary is a look into the unknown.  It may not be dangerous, or epic, or anything beyond unusual, but the unknown piece still fits into that commonplace definition of adventure—and that is enough for me.

We created Expedition Underground for people to share those encounters where things go awry, the unexpected happens, and they’re forced to laugh, or cry, or scream out, ‘mother fucker.’  And in that way, we can help each other find adventure.  Or, at the very least, show the places where it can be found.

My voice is one of millions, and to be frank, I don’t want to see my name all over this place.  That bores me.  I want to see as many people sharing and telling their stories as there are pieces of gum under a park bench.

So seriously, contribute your story.  Five-hundred words is nothing (consider how quickly you just read this).  Photos are even easier to send.  We have done everything to make it simple and easy.

This place is meant to be a community.  Let’s build it together, one story at a time.