Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The value of Adventure

March 20th

Several things happened today which I did not imagine could have happened on this trip. Frank took me to the local ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) affiliate to be interviewed. I had just found out about it last night, and it seemed as good an idea as any to shoot from the hip. What exactly we were going to discuss I was not sure, although I assumed it was something to do with biking or rowing. The man who interviewed me was jarred; he was no slouch having cycled from Europe to part of the Middle East before tapping out when the road got too hot – from bullets, I assume, not heat. Thus I was surprised when he implied I was crazy in, of course, a good-natured way. However, the question I enjoyed most was this:
“What is the responsibility of Adventuring?” I.e., what happens when someone has to risk themselves to rescue you?

One side of this can be boiled down to what is the intrinsic value of an adventure or.... is it worth the risk? I think it is. I believe that accepting and accomplishing a challenge is part of human nature. When we explore for the first time, for ourselves, or even re-explore, we learn. What is learned is different for each person. Anything worth doing involves a certain amount of risk, however you may define it. A life without risk is boring and far too easy. The responsibility of an adventure is to make those risks calculated risks. Being reckless, irresponsible, and uneducated is asking for trouble. That is the principle my mates and I in OAR Northwest followed as we approached it.

To adventure well, one needs to research first. Research, research, research – hunt down the people in the fields you need and those smarter than yourself. Go in humble with enormous respect for your environment and what you want to try and accomplish. Prepare. Have Plan A, have Plan B, and always be working on a Plan C. Despite all this, know that you will make mistakes and prepare to take a beating for it. But, even the best laid plans can and do end in tragedy. It’s easy to dismiss this and say, “well, they were unprepared.” Sometimes this is true, sometimes not. Sometimes your luck runs out. Sometimes it’s time for you to go. What it comes down to is that you can die anywhere and at any time. You don’t need an adventure for that. I think an adventure on any scale enriches our lives and reminds us that there is a huge world out there and that sometimes we can reach beyond what we thought we were capable of.

Last, but most certainly not least, is having just one more story to share amongst friends. That is never a bad thing.

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