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An adventure refers to an undertaking, which usually involves danger and unknown risks. For there to be an adventure, the status involved in the adventure must significantly differ from the status quo or what one is used to. The person embarking on the adventure must have a starting point or that place which he/ she calls home. The point of departure need not necessarily be better than where one is headed to, but merely a place he may return to. Different people have different reactions to an opportunity to embark on an adventure. To some people, they do not have to wait for that chance to present itself, they seek it out.
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It has been argued by some literary scholars that before the setting out on an adventure, there is a stage of refusal and developing cold feet. This is attributable to the fact that the people interested in embarking on adventure may be frankly comfortable where they are, and adventures being uncomfortable undertakings most of the time, the dictates of what is good for concerned may urge them to stay where they are. At this stage, very many possible adventures are lost. This stage acts as some sort of inertia, whereby a body, which is at rest, wants to remain where it is, unless some outside force act upon it.
This outside force is what is called the call to adventure. Apart from fear of the unknown on the side of the hero/ hero embarking on an adventure, the other reason why the call to adventure may not be heeded is the immediate society surrounding the one interested in embarking on the adventure. For example the family members out of genuine love for their kin, may dissuade them. In addition, the adventurous spirit in all human beings differs. There are those people who cannot stay in one place for a long time, the restless feet. These people will be bored by the status quo however comfortable their current environment. On the other hand, there are those whose fear for the unknown is so great that even possibility of better prospects will not draw them away. In some cases, when the call is thrust by fate into one's life, there is no alternative but to heed it.
Perfect examples of people who have headed calls to adventure despite initial discouragement can be found in "A Dip in the Cold", an article appearing in The New Yorker. The bug for adventure hit Lynn Cox at a tender age, but despite the inherent dangers, she has kept up for almost for almost four decades. Although she knew that many adventurous had lost their lives in both the arctic and the Antarctic, this did not dampen her spirits. For instance her close encounter with the red jelly fish which would have hurt her if she had merely touched them is enough to dampen the sprits of a less determined person, but not her. In 1820, a British explorer William Edward Parry had made it through Lancaster Sound but was later forced back by ice. In 1933, John Ross had his ship trapped in the ice for four years hence forcing him abandon his second attempt to cross the passage while in 1945 John Frankling commanding two ships disappeared without trace. In the weeks she swam the waters of Greenland, Canada and Alaska, Lynn Cox had achieved a no mean feat. Above all, she had travelled through the same Arctic world as her hero Amundsen. Any single misstep would have meant disaster. However, the call to adventure had to be heeded.
The first North West passage having been accomplished in 1906 under the leadership of Ronald Amundsen. Knowing very well that anything could happen on the sea, Cox remained undaunted and went on to tackle several expeditions for the next several years. This thirst for adventure could not have been quenched in any other way but by heeding its call. Unlike Lynn Cox who did not have much opposition to her quest, Ronald Amundsen had not been as lucky. Since he was sixteen years old he had known he wanted to conquer challenges on the sea but his mother had other plans for him has a Physician. Not wanting to disappoint his mother, he took a course in medicine but later dropped out when her mother died hence releasing him from parental control.
Having looked at three very adventurous individuals, it is important to look at the other type as well. In W.H. Auden's poem The Unknown Citizen, we found a character that by all intents simply lives his life by the dictates of prevailing times. The authorities testify to the fact that no one ever launched official complaint against him. He rendered his services to his employer's whole-heartedly and in order to show solidarity with his fellow workers paid his union dues among other deeds. Generally, he is a person who lived by the dictates of society in which he lived. This citizen despite doing all what was expected of him, died unknown.
Although not in the extremes of the individuals I have featured above, I can describe myself as adventurous. When I was 24 years old three years ago, we decided with three childhood friends to take a joint trip to Las Vegas .We got accommodation at the Las Vegas Hotel and casino from where we started visiting all the places of interest through out the city. After one week of visiting places during the day and clubbing at night, we were due to fly back home the next day having had the time of our lives in one of the world's most interesting party cities. On our last day of visit, we were all tired but happy with the fan we had had in Vegas and hence we decided to relax in our hotel rooms in anticipation of our departure.
However, on the eve of our departure after having some drinks, I suggested to my colleagues that we take a stroll to catch some fresh air. After strolling for about 300 yards from our hotel, two of us were of the opinion that we should stroll back to our rooms while me and the other woman wanted us to forget about the next day's imminent departure and to go to a club for another night of partying. Our argument was interrupted by soft pained growling of a dog on the other side of the road. When we checked out it was an injured German shepherd puppy about two months of age. My friends wanted us to leave it wherever it was but I could hear none of it.
I took the cute puppy and when they realized they would not prevail on me, they gave in and followed me. On contacting the local directory, I came across contacts of several vet doctors but they were not willing to wake up at that time. Fortunately, the management informed us there was a animal welfare officer staying in the same hotel who would know what to do. The officer, a Mr. Jones was a trained animal health specialist and after examining the puppy, he assured me it would survive. He led us to a 24/7 human medical clinic where after some explanations, he was granted basic paraphernalia for first aid for the puppy. I spent the night my hotel room with the puppy and placed several calls to radio stations for the owners of the puppy.
By the next day owners had not been located and I could not dare entrust young Sally (that's the name I christened her) into shelters for abandoned animals. How could she survive among the older dogs, which were veterans of the street? No,not my Sally. She was admitted at a local vet clinic and when the owners finally shown up, they were so grateful that they offered me Sally for good. How could I resist? Sally is now fully healed. She is three years old and we are the best friends there ever was. She the best that ever happened to me.