Adventure is out there


Garrett Masters, Arts and Entertainment Editor

A couple of weeks ago, a group of friends and I decided to embark on a little hiking trip around some of the unexplored parts of our hometown. Much like the protagonists of a Spielberg flick, we met up, backpacks and mischief in hand. An air of comradery and excitement blew in the warmth of incoming springtime. And after some final preparations, (and way too many history jokes)  we were off, searching for adventure. 

The days following that little excursion came and went. And the more time that began to pass between our group’s journey, the more and more the concept of exploration and being adventurous began to intrigue me. 

Like Indiana Jones clawing his way out of a temple booby trap, there was something that kept grabbing at my mind. Questions I couldn’t quite shake, something that kept digging at me: Could I do this again? DId exploring benefit me? What were some of the positives and negatives? How do I work this compass? 

Sure enough, there was a grain of truth to this. Adventure comes with many practical benefits that can be used in your everyday life. (Plus it has the added benefit of potentially finding some lost treasure or artifact.) By subjecting yourself to adventure, you gain a lot of experiences that would have otherwise been unobtained. 

Firstly, by taking that first step into the unknown, you not only keep yourself fit, but you also are exposing yourself to healthy habits. You are working your body, as well as your cognitive abilities, depending on the activity you are doing. 

Physically, you are learning how to build perseverance. By allowing yourself to get down in the dirt, or rocks or water, or leaves or sand, you are able to build grit and toughness. Through this, you are able to learn resilience and self-control, which is vital for success in the real world. Your resolve can grow in ways you may not have even thought possible. 

Plus, this type of behavior has the added benefit of building your immune system and keeping your body healthy and strong. (Which is vital if you want to escape any ancient traps!) Adventure and exploration can leave you thrilled and even a little energized. So, even though you may not be able to do parkour like Nathan Drake, you’ll still be capable of facing that next upcoming backpacking trip with your friends.

Similarly, by exploring the real world around you, you grow in your knowledge and practical wisdom. This can be done by learning to map out trails, learning nautical and terrestrial navigation, and compass reading. You grow more environmentally aware, and in more extreme cases, you might even learn some tips and tricks for survival, like first-aid, cave navigation and tracking. 

You get to see the real world around you, and expose yourself to new locations and people. With these new skills and knowledge, you’ll have greater “tools” to use later in life. 

In relation to this, the call of adventure can be grown by simply stepping out of your comfort zone. A secret cave by your neighborhood. A hidden trail in your hometown park. That part of the woods in your backyard you don’t dare explore. Even going off the beaten path at your local state park. By being willing to actually embrace that curiosity, by taking risks and even failing, you are able to push the envelope about what you can do, both internally and externally. 

Finally, the bond and experiences you share with others can last a long time. Even after finishing our little uncharted affair, my friends and I couldn’t stop talking about it, and we’ve grown more and more excited about when the next one will be. 

That trip opened up the doorway to a set of shared experiences and memories that will last longer than just 4 years of high school. The thrill, the conversations, the skulduggery, all those things will survive, much like a lost ruin in the jungle. And that’s something that no grave-robbers can try and steal. So yes, ultimately, friendship WAS the real treasure we made along the way.

Overall, adventure and exploration can be a very vital and rewarding part of one’s daily routine. It helps you stay fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. It opens you up to new locations, experiences and places you haven’t even thought to explore. And it has the added benefit of being a great bonding experience that can be more rewarding than any hidden treasure you find along the way.

Now with all that out of the way, I hope you’ll excuse me. I’m stepping outdoors. My friends and I have another lost trail to discover. And I hear this one has a picnic at the end of it!