Does adventure have to be extreme?
Today I started reading a book called 'Wild Nights' by Phoebe Smith, adventurer and outdoor writer. It's all about some extreme camping challenges she set for herself. As she set out on her wild camping trips it made me think about the idea of what adventure actually is, and what does 'extreme' mean in this context? My current situation means I can't do a lot of the active adventures I have enjoyed for much of my life, so this question is very significant to me.
I've never actually thought of myself as being particularly extreme in terms of my own outdoor adventures - my favourite thing is just to be out walking up a mountain or hillside alone soaking in the beauty of the natural world. Yet to some people that would be extreme. If you've never been in a wild upland environment before the remoteness could seem pretty scary (wot, no people?!), especially if the weather turns. I have never moved so fast in my life as when trying to outrun a mountain thunderstorm (horizontal hail really hurts by the way)! To me however, it's just normal, I'm used to it.
And adventure, does it even have to be something extreme to be classified as such? According to my rather large Readers Digest dictionary adventure is: both "an unusual, exciting and daring experience" and "excitement associated with danger or the taking of risks". It would seem to me then, that whether something is adventurous is actually more to do with how an individual perceives the planned venture. So, whereas I would see a walk in the mountains as relatively low risk (depending on what I planned to do of course...) because I have lots of experience and ability in this environment, a novice would likely perceive much more risk as there would be many unknowns and probably less personal ability in these surroundings.
Thinking further about adventure - does it even have to involve perceived danger or risk? I think not. Exciting or unusual are two key words for me and surely they are very subjective terms. So I have come to the conclusion that life holds plenty of adventures for everyone - yay! This pleases me enormously as I will still be able to have many exciting escapades. It say's in the Bible that Jesus Christ came so that we could have life to the full (see John 10:10) and I intend to do just that! While 'adventure' for me, right now, will not be climbing the Welsh 3000's or walking the Pennine Way (more on that another time), I am excited to see what my new 'extreme' might be. Walk this way for more adventures...