What is your definition of Adventure?

The guy on the television had the look of someone who had seen a lot more of the world than I had... and was going to see much more than most of us can even imagine, too. I can't even remember now what scenery was behind him. A craggy rock or sharp mountain ledge or waterfall, perhaps. What distracted me so much that I forgot to embed his physical surroundings in my memory? It was what he said. And even after all that, I'll still have to paraphrase:

Adventure is doing something no one else has done before.

Come again? You're telling me that if I don't go out and find myself some kind of challenge heretofore unknown by humanity, adventures are off limits to me? His definition did not sit well with me, and I felt immediately annoyed. One might even say mildly combative.

Then, just like that, my irritation dissipated. His words dissolved into other words in my own mind... other definitions that might be just as valid. The fact that definitions are sometimes fluid and suit different people differently.

What occurred to me in my "I want to have adventures and you're standing there with the authority of your own TV show telling me that probably I never will," state, is that unlike the definition of, say, the word "mountain" or "cloud" or "ocean" - each of which will render fairly straightforward, scientific explanations, "adventure" is quite a different situation altogether.

We have some choices, according to the response to my quick search on Dictionary dot com:


1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.
5. Obsolete .
a. peril; danger; risk.
b. chance; fortune; luck.

–verb (used with object)
6. to risk or hazard.
7. to take the chance of; dare.
8. to venture to say or utter: to adventure an opinion.

–verb (used without object)
9. to take the risk involved.
10. to venture; hazard.

Any of which fits much better with my own definition. As I considered his definition, I realized that's just what it was: his definition. And like him, you get to create your own definitions, too. As do I. What is exciting to me? What constitutes an "unusual experience" to me will be very different from my friend who's hiked the Appalachian Trail, and different still from my other friend who grew up riding horses. What constitutes risk, even, will vary from person to person.

Our adventures might be singular and unique and completely different from anything others before us have taken on. Or they might be new to us.

What say you?