The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

What Is Adventure?

I recently came across a video that asks adventurers how they define “adventure”, which made me think about how I define it. This is important—we call our business Attainable Adventure Cruising!

When pondering this, I remembered a piece I wrote back in 2011, after a very intense Arctic voyage, which talked about the adventure of sailing in the high northern latitudes. In that piece I talked about the opportunity to explore places few others have been—i.e. novelty—and I also mentioned the challenges involved—i.e. pushing myself outside my comfort zone. And I think, for me, that about sums it up: an adventure is doing something or going somewhere unfamiliar, outside my comfort zone.

Where each of us goes and what each of us does for adventure will be different based on previous experience and level of daring, but for each one of us it requires pushing ourselves out of our area of familiarity and comfort and venturing, even if it is only a little teeny step (and we suggest that taking baby steps is the smart way for most of us—we did it that way!) outside that area of familiarity and comfort.

Anyway, check out the video (below)—it’s great fun!


And then tell us what adventure means to you.

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Dick Stevenson

Hi Phyllis,
Agree and quite like your definition of Adventure: leaving your comfort zone. I would want to add that, for me, adventure has to have an element of personal growth and learning. It is my experience that, in the media nowadays, too much is written about adventures that, again my take, is predicated on personal aggrandizement of some sort: “The first to row 3 times around Tasmania blindfolded.” type of thing. The adventurers I admire, I am clear would be doing the exact same adventures even if no-one was watching. If done for an audience, a better term might be stunts.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Marc Dacey

Dick, nice comment. I am reminded by your phrase “even if no-one was watching” of the great Argentinian sailor Vito Dumas, who made a solo Southern Ocean circ in the middle of World War II in a 31-foot ketch, LEGH II. I’m pretty sure eyes were elsewhere!


Adventure: Exhilaration through secure uncertainty.

Douglas MacIver

To me, and as others have already said, adventure is best scoped individually. That way adventure is close by for everyone.

The Seas hail,
The Oceans cry,

John Cobb

Seemed like a good as any place to post this but I’m thinking this would be an “adventure”…Then you go sailing with it ?

John Harries

Hi John,

I agree, a very cool idea. If I were 25 again…