Adventure. Exploration. Discovery. Experience.
Not everyone wants these things, of course, but the new and exciting certainly does still interest many a person.
Some people may be shy, maybe even timid, but all in all, we are a species that thrives on curiosity, with many among its members who feel most alive when they can venture out into the unknown, experience an element of danger that heightens perception, get a rush of adrenaline from the novel and fascinating.
We are still being promised such excitement, but merely in many an advertisement, within safe bounds and with little discomfort, through the purchase of products and travel packages.
Clearly, there is some interest.
Interest, however, that is being co-opted and misdirected into consumerism.
And as much as we know that the promises of advertising are pretty empty, they still appear more tempting than all the other ways toward adventure that require our own decisions and determination – especially as the great age of adventure seems well and truly over, and all that’s left are well-planned adventure races and adrenaline-injecting action sports activities, exotic travels and maybe, just maybe, assorted travails.
Really, though, we are not just (being) misguided, we (actively) misunderstand.
Having read about all the great journeys of discovery and planning our own journeys with cruise catalogues and WikiTravel, the exotic is only too near and mundane – and if it is not just the same brands and problems as everywhere, it is often too exhausting, or too different from the experience it was imagined to be.
Feeling too little excitement, we let the mundane encroach on us even more, get quick hits of adrenaline from ever more hair-raising extreme sports and quick shots of serotonin in sexual encounters or other pleasures wild and small.
Meanwhile, being so used to reality being mundane and TV shows only too exciting, our senses are dull and our minds closed – and with all the quick hits of this and that, only ever more so.
So much so that we fail to be there, eyes open to the beauty around us, for the wonder of a beautiful sunrise, the sense of discovery that awaits in a few ambassadors of spring and in early wild edible greens, in the steps we take along the same circles as before (which are never the same as before).
A single patch of grass at your feet can hold a great diversity of species – but have you ever bent down to look more closely and learned to recognize any of them?
Have you learned what all the different real foods in your supermarket taste like, how they can be used, where they come from – and how much that is edible may be growing in your neighborhood?
Have you ever stopped to look around a familiar place anew, up or down, or otherwise trying to take it in with fresh eyes, view the details more closely or the entire scene from another perspective?
The adventure still awaits, quietly and patiently. Will you go out and encounter it, equally as quietly, ready to see?