The quest for adventure

“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts” – Yvon Chouinard.

Scott Gilbertson describes very eloquently why most people no longer experience real adventures when they travel. We plan everything, and we know what we are getting into because we’ve researched all details of our trip on Tripadvisor and guidebooks, or have asked a travel agent to arrange all details of our trips. Yet we call our trips to faraway places an “adventure”.

180 Degrees South is a great movie that follows Jeff Johnson on a trip to Patagonia. Along the way, lots goes wrong, but it doesn’t matter; the trip is a a great adventure. Along the way we are introduced to Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins (co-founder of the Northface), and the ways they use their fortunes to save the environment.

My greatest adventures have been when things went wrong, like getting stuck in a river in Mongolia, running out of gas in the Gobi desert, or walking through the rainforest of New Guinea without water for 30 hours, or even getting stuck in snow storms in the far northwest of BC. None were planned, but they were all epic adventures in places that are not listed in the guidebooks or on Tripadvisor.

As Mark Twain said: “… throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Oh, and go places where there is no cell phone coverage or Internet, and which are not in the guidebook.

» The quest for adventure


  • By Beth, November 11, 2010 @ 20:00

    Hey Rogier, I couldn’t agree more! I wish I had some of your gumption. We are in northern Laos right now planning our guided trek! Everyone has a certain risk tolerance and mine is much lower than yours. I guess that’s also part of travelling… Getting to know yourself for better or worse.

  • By frizztext, January 24, 2011 @ 1:00

    I would like to introduce your camel
    tied to a billiard table in the Gobi desert in my blog at
    would you give permission?

  • By Nanci Blavenstone, March 4, 2011 @ 11:00

    I agree with you. People sometimes turn their vacations into work! I think it is best just to let things flow and not be too attached to plans.

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  1. Rogier Gruys — November 11, 2010 @ 18:00

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