What is an adventure?

A cold dictionary definition is “a wild and exciting undertaking”. But that’s all dictionaries know about adventures. Let’s ask the experts about the subject:

Helen Keller, educator who was born deaf and blind:

“Life is either a great adventure, or nothing”.

G.K. Chesterson, writer:

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.

Jacques Costeau, explorer and scientist:

“The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

Wilfred Peterson, writer:

A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints

But the most perfect definition I’ve heard of this word is the one by Cornelius Hackl, the charming character from the film The Matchmaker(1958):

“The feeling of an adventure is when you’re in the middle of the big city and you say ‘Oh God I’m in the middle of an awful mess, I wish I was sitting quietly at home!’ And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you’re sitting quietly at home, wishing you were having an adventure.”

You have to watch this film.

We are all familiar with the fictional concepts of  ” the superhero”, “the one” and such. I’m a big fan of superheroes. But these tags have a dark side. They separate fiction from reality a bit too much. They make you think that in order to have an adventure, you have to either be the one, have superpowers or be lucky enough to encounter the alien ship that just crashed.

Those things don’t happen in real life. Therefore we think that adventures don’t happen in real life, to people like us. But films like The Matchmaker send the opposite message: you have to get your own adventures. That is exactly what Cornelius does. He says he’s going to have an adventure and gets moving. This is not an adventure film. It’s a film about adventure.

In this blog I will explore the lives of real and fictional adventurers who got their own fun: their character, lifestyle, professions and actions. What exactly makes them so special?

The musical version, Hello, Dolly!(1968) is great too:

Thanks for reading, have a good time!


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