DO you work in a factory, an office, a shop, or drive a company van? Are you a member of parliament, unemployed, a doctor, a refuse collector, a teacher or the chief executive officer of a multi-national corporation? Maybe you fix washing machines, collect taxes, build homes, trawl for fish, deliver mail or paint white lines on roads. It doesn’t really matter . . .
Perhaps, whatever you do, you have those days when you glance through a window and see sunlight breaking through clouds. And you think: I want to be out there with rain spattering my face and wind in my hair. I want to leave the suit or the high-vis jacket hanging on the wardrobe door. I want to boil water from mountain streams, sleep in unfamiliar places and awake beneath unfamiliar hills. I want to bloody well live because I’ve got only one chance.
Adventure to me is about standing on the summits of Blencathra or the Glyders while the wind and rain whip you off your feet; it’s about warming a pan of curry at the end of a day in the silence of a Scottish glen; drawing a sleeping-bag cord and feeling the hood encase your head; washing in a freezing stream; conversations around a bothy fireplace; the hiss of a petrol stove; sore feet and damp socks; an unexpected sunset; the sun burning your neck; open countryside; a freedom to roam; distant horizons; blue horizons; new horizons.
Because that is adventure. It’s about putting one foot in front of the other, repeating the process and discovering somewhere new. And if that somewhere leads to somewhere else, and that leads to the Khumbu Icefall or the Appalachian Trail, well – that’s how life goes.
This post was published for the Berghaus What Does Adventure Mean to You competition. Details can be found here.