Are we over-using the word adventure?

Are we over-using the word adventure?

I think this is an important question to ask. I don't pose it simply to police language or diminish others' achievements or activities of choice, it could be easy to fall into the trap of simple saying 'that's not an adventure, a real adventure is x, y and z'. I'm not here to take ownership of the word and define it as I see fit. I hope that in asking the question maybe we'll actually aim higher and enjoy better experiences and who knows, maybe even achieve something remarkable. 

At the risk of inserting a line from every terrible speech you've ever heard... the dictionary defines adventure as 'an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks'. This definition is something worth thinking about and holding on to. Because in the age of social media, #adventure has never been more prevalent and less meaningful. I say this with no judgement, I'm guilty of mis-using this word too. We even use the word adventure in our tagline, primarily as it's a useful catch-all for our love of outdoor pursuits from surfing to snowboarding. 

But here's my point, we've started to use it for simple walks, small road trips or anything that involves leaving the house. And as I said, in some ways I don't care how you use it - getting out the house is good, walking is good - keep doing those things. I guess my point is that ambling through agricultural land in middle England or strolling through a park on the outskirts of a city doesn't involve danger or risks. It would be more adventurous to walk the Birmingham canal at night. I can hear myself verging on belittling the activities that I too engage in. However, my point is that let's give the word some meaning again and let's aim for better.

If we enjoy the outdoors, which I think most people who use the word do, then let's plan a real adventure. Let's go a bit off piste, let's challenge ourselves to something physically demanding or to go somewhere truly unfamiliar. Let's plan trips with healthy amount of 'will this be ok?'. We need to stop using the word adventure for activities in which the only risk is a slightly annoying blister.

Disclaimer, I'm not telling you to be reckless but to be bold. I'm asking you if we're willing to call a 6 mile walk an adventure, where else are we willing to lie to ourselves? (gees Jonny getting a bit intense here, keep it light, KEEP IT LIGHT). But again, I say it with the aim of doing better things rather than to bring people down. If we accept a really tame version of adventure are we also accepting an average and unfulfilling job as a good career that I'm happy with? What else? 

In summary, of course it's ok to use adventure how you please, the adventure police won't come knocking. But do value the importance of language and do start pushing yourself and planning something truly adventurous, something truly amazing because... why the hell not? Go find a remote Russian beach to surf, sail to Tahiti, cross the Atlantic in a swan pedalo. Deal?

Tags: adventure, blog