On an adventure quotient scale of 1 – 100, where one is completely predictable, safe and, dare I say, boring and 100 is where your life is one huge adventure that has you hopping from one peak experience to the next,, where do you score? Now, be honest!
I suspect that most of us clock in at the mid to lower end of the scale. I’ve recently discovered that my own (AQ) needs a boost. When I plucked my life from Canada and transplanted it here in Australia almost a year ago, many people (me included) thought that I was embarking on a great adventure, as it has been.
This past Saturday, at a welcome event promoted by the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce, I met Chris Bray and Clark Carter. They are two professional adventurers who returned home in August 2008, after spending a combined 128 days alone on the world’s ninth largest and largely unexplored Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic. Clark and Chris have become the first people in history to walk across this remarkable island – a distance of 1,000 kilometres. The iiNet 1000 Hour Day Expedition has been declared a success.
I listened to them tell their tale and pondered the level to which each of us is comfortable with embracing adventure. While my Canadian/Aussie adventure has been more of an emotional and intellectual one, theirs was a newsworthy expedition, a life legacy that demanded incredible physical and mental capabilities. It was fraught with challenges of weather, terrain and animals, yet was obviously life enhancing for them both.
I was fascinated by these two Aussie blokes who traded in their thongs, sunscreen, beaches and board shorts for freeze dried food, toques and parkas. Covered in GORE-TEX from head to toe, these brave souls set out to tackle Victoria Island, where they came face to face with polar bears and arctic wolves, perfected the art of ice-hopping, and became intimately attached to their PAC’s (Paddleable Amphibious Carts).
I urge you to share in their experience, if only by looking at their website. The logs and photos are spectacular! http://www.1000hourday.com/
What makes someone choose to do something like this? In a chat with Chris Bray, I gleaned that you have to have an adventurous spirit to begin with and exposure to adventures early in life helps (five years of Chris’ childhood was spent sailing around the world). Being brilliant, fit and in your early 20’s all help.
When I asked why this particular adventure, he was quick to suggest that a key reason was that it was something no one had done before. This novelty is what constitutes a real adventure. It makes it more intriguing from the adventurer’s point of view and for those of us who will live vicariously through their tales. It’s also a much easier sale for sponsors, on whom much of this is reliant.
I was astounded, amused, inspired and a little deflated when I considered my own less than uber-adventurous past. But, my move here was a step in a more adventurous direction.
The number of us who will embrace a big adventure like the iiNet 1000 Hour Day Expedition in our respective lifetimes is probably relatively limited. But, hopefully pioneering spirits like Chris and Clark will serve as an inspiration for us all to get more in touch with our “inner-adventurer” and look for ways to make our day to day lives more exciting, adventurous and ultimately more rewarding!