Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Epic Adventures: An Introduction

"To break the moulds, to be heedless of the seductions of security is an impossible struggle, but one of the few that count. To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble,. It is not safe."

-Robyn Davidson, Tracks

Given the name of this blog, you’ll be unsurprised to hear that I appreciate adventure. I seek it out, mostly in moderate forms, so that I can learn and explore. And while the constraints of daily life necessitate this moderation, sometimes, I like to go big.

As any good writer of fiction knows, when the heroine travels the path of a story, she must descend the far slope of the arc as a changed person. She must learn something.
And life, at its very essence, is a story. I’ve found that the learning, the change—that is, in fact, exactly where the adventure lies.

Of late, I’ve been contemplating the greatest adventures of my life. The biggest of these for anyone, of course, manifest themselves in life’s major decisions: moving, changing jobs, getting married. But there are other adventures that affect who we are and who we will become.

I think I give so much thought to these adventures because I’m constantly searching for the next one. One of the things I value most in life is learning, and I consider my biggest adventures to be the ones that have taught me the most. As the heroine in my own story, they’re the the ones that have changed me. Although I still think, or perhaps simply hope, that the greatest adventure is yet to come, I also know it’s important to cement the lessons gained from past experiences. I, as you may have guessed by now, do this by writing about them.

So it is my hope, over the next several months, to stray from the daily variety and write posts about what I consider to be my five, most epic adventures. For this project, I’m leaving out the personal life decisions, and focusing on actual journeys I’ve taken. The travels themselves are as diverse as a lifetime could offer, and in writing about them I hope to deepen my learning of each.

I’ll post the first one at the end of this week, and after that … well, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m thinking these pieces may take a bit of effort to write. I’m someone who can turn a fifty mile race report into a five-thousand word epic. Just imagine what I can do with a five month backpacking trip. Nonetheless, I’m hoping to roll one out ever three to four weeks.

If these reflections can offer anyone a bit of inspiration, or even merely a pleasant distraction, then in some ways, the adventures themselves continue. I hope you’ll all stick around for the stories.


  1. Looking forward reading about your adventures, Gretchen!

  2. Can't wait to hear your reflections and insight...

  3. Ooh, ooh, fun!

    (For a second I thought you were about to tell us you were pregnant. That would be an epic adventure! ;)

  4. Olga and Turi - Thanks! Glad you'll be along for the ride.

    Meghan - Hee hee, your brain works just like mine. I probably would have thought the same thing. No, not announcing my foray into motherhood just yet. Let's hopefully file that one under'future adventures.'

  5. As Mia said to Vincent:

    "Oh, this doesn't sound like boring, getting-to-know you chit-chat. This sounds like you actually have something to say."

    Looking forward to Chapter One.

  6. Stacy - Can't promise it'll be as good as a $5 milk shake, but few things are I suppose.

  7. Wow, Gretchen. This sounds like the kind of thing I love to read. Can't wait.....

  8. This is gonna be awesome! I'm on to Part 1 ...

  9. PHEW! My first thought was that you were announcing the end of your blog; that would NOT be a good thing!!! This is very cool and I'm really looking forward to hunkering down and reading part I later this evening (crazy Friday night, huh?)!

  10. Pam and Donald - Glad you guys are excited! Don't set your expectations too high, okay? ;)

    Paige - Sounds like my kind of Friday night! Part I did turn out pretty lengthy (as predicted) so it is a good call to have a little relaxing free time before you tackle it.