James Wight
Written by James Wight
Published on 11th August 2020
4 min read
This month we played with what adventure means in numerous ways. One of the most playful asked adventurers in the community to complete and riff on four unfinished sentences. The third sentence was 'One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is...'

Bex Band, Founder, Love Her Wild

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure are... the barriers and comments I’ve faced as a female and newbie starting to get outdoors more. I’ve personally found the adventure space judgemental and competitive and on many occasions have faced sexism in lots of scenarios from doing a mountain leader course to working as a professional adventure speaker. I had to work a lot harder because of it to get where I am today. Firstly because the same opportunities were not there for me but also because when starting out in any new space with low-confidence and imposter syndrome the last thing you need is others reinforcing these self-limiting beliefs.

Genevieve Brown, The Antarctic Aruban

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… community! It’s been 3 years since I started training and preparing for this expedition and I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have without the wonderful and eclectic community around me. Knowing that I don’t have to go it alone or figure everything out by myself has made expedition prep such a joy!

Genevieve Brown training for her 2020 Antarctic expedition in London

Ruth Allen, Outdoor & Ecopsychotherapist

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… simply awakening to the privilege of the adventure lifestyle. I can’t say any one thing has changed my view, as much as a gradual reappraisal of what it’s all about. Why do some people do what they do, and why do others not. We like to believe it’s all just hard work and tenacity. But it’s not. There are structural issues, inequalities and injustices in the world that keep people out of The Great Outdoors. The world is increasingly awake to the problems of the old ways of doing things and seeing the world. It is a long-overdue awakening, but with every new look into the adventure world, you start to see the problems and the opportunities to do better. You start to see what is missing, and who.

Ruth Allen Camping

Dwayne Fields, TV Presenter, Adventurer, Explorer and Naturalist

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… speaking to young people and seeing their eyes light up when you describe being followed by a Polar bear of mothering a baby Musk Ox showed me the power of adventure, equally talking to them about the range of adventures they can have right here in Britain and hearing them plan how they're going to encourage their parents to take them out more is such a great feeling, getting them to think beyond what they've seen and been told their limits are, is what adventure can and should be about.

Dwayne Fields

James Dyer, Expedition Leader, Adventurer, Explorer, Educator

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… leading people, not just throwing myself into exciting and adrenaline-inducing experience but seeing how others see the world, how they build their own narratives and make better decisions, seeing the power of the experience on others, helping to facilitate their learning, working with diverse groups to improve their performance, extending their horizons, pushing their own previously perceived limitations and feeling something from the experience.

 

Naveed, Boots and Beards

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is... that it's on our doorstep even in your local park. Adventure doesn't have to be costly but merely an attitude to explore and be wary of what is around the corner.

 

Chris Burkard, Photographer and Artist

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… seeing it through my kids eyes. The whole world is new to them and they appreciate and value every little experience.

Chris Burkard

'Adventure doesn't have to be costly but merely an attitude to explore and be wary of what is around the corner.'

Naveed, Boots and Beards

Lola Akinmade Åkerström, award-winning Nigerian photographer and travel writer

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is… that it is not exclusive. The status quo has tried to keep the concept of "adventure" limited for so long, that it tries to invalidate others who don't have access to financial security and resources to support grand expeditions from climbing to trekking to kayaking and circumnavigation. There are marginalized people whose daily lives of trekking for miles, hiking dangerous mountain passes, and navigating treacherous waters just to feed their families can be classed as "adventures". So, the difference for me becomes whether or not you have a choice to do so. That in itself is such a privileged stance and view of life.

Meet @LolaAkinmade on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and find out more about her newly launched academy here.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström

Alastair Humphreys, Adventurer, Blogger, Author, Speaker, and Filmmaker.

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is... microadventures; realising that I could find wildness and places I had never seen before within a few miles of my home.

Kite flying on the horizon of Parliament Hill, Hampstead Heath

Photo: Alastair Humphreys

Erin Monahan, Founder of Terra Incognita Media

One thing that has changed my perspective on adventure is... getting called out online five years ago about my writing being rooted in white feminism. My perspective has also changed by learning from Jolie Varela of Indigenous Women Hike, Autumn Harry of Brown Folks Fishing, and her parents, Bev and Norm Harry, as well as Kenya Budd, an Equity and Diversity consultant in Portland, Oregon. My perspective of adventure has changed by reading bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Dispossessing the Wilderness by Mark David Spence.

My perspective of adventure has also changed by listening to speeches by Zarna Joshi on YouTube through her work with Women of Color Speak Out. Reading everything by Bani Amor, a queer, Ecuadorian travel writer has changed my life. Listening to the podcast Hoodrat to Headwrap by Ericak Hart and Ebony Donnley, and following Ericka Hart on Instagram and hearing her speak has also literally changed my life. Seeing White hosted by John Biewan and Chenjarai Kumenyika by Scene on Radio, and The Land That Has Never Been Yet by the same organization, has also greatly influenced me and my relationship with adventure.