“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts.” -Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia outdoor apparel
Adventure is a personal journey into something entirely new. We often are better off learning and growing as a result of an experience. When that is taken as the measure, an adventure can simply be a walk around the block for someone who has never left their house. It is exponential from there as people continue to experience more of what this world has to offer.
With greater experience comes wisdom. And those with this quality prove to be great teachers on the ways of life. They design maps, write instructions, and explain consequences of doing things the wrong way. Some take the responsibility so serious that they convey to others warnings of what not to do and emphasize the less is more lifestyle.
Regardless of what people are taught, they sometimes need to pee on the electric fence to understand. Scholars fail to grasp this concept when the same mistakes are made throughout history. “Why can’t we learn from the past?” they’ll ask. We do learn, but it does not mean we understand. An optimistic view upon history shows that we have improved ourselves in a progress over perfection kind of way. We will not figure everything out at once. Some may, other’s won’t. The individual must at the very least know where he or she is going. And then take another step forward.
The motivation for pursuing adventure is far more interesting than the details of a plan. It should not be so difficult for it to materialize. Near the end of the documentary 180° South, Chouinard continues a conversation with Doug Tompkins, a co-founder of The North Face.
Yvon Chouinard: The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life because most of the damage caused by humans is caused unintentionally I think.
Doug Tompkins: In response to people saying “you can’t go back,” I say well what happens if you get to the cliff and you take one step forward or you do a 180º turn and take one step forward? Which way are you going? Which is progress?
Yvon Chouinard: The solution may be for a lot of the world’s problems is to turn around and take a forward step. You can’t just keep trying to make a flawed system work.