Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Adventure with a purpose

A post on one of my email forums recently has lodged itself in the "adventure" braincell in my head and started to use up a significant portion of my imagination's RAM.

There's a few blokes heading off on a 4x4 trip to Botswana, which is nothing new. Guys go places every weekend! But these guys are going to "find the Lost City of the Kalahari" as mentioned in 1883, sought for by Allan Paton, and brought to life in a Wilbur Smith novel.

OK, so they probably won't find it. Scientists and expeditioneers have sought it in vain, and zooming around in Google Earth yields nothing. But still - what a good excuse for a trip to the desert!

And that got me thinking. Too often our road trips and our away-treks involve simply going to somewhere and then coming back again. We may have mini-adventures along the way by accident, or take in some sights, or do the tourist thing in parts unknown, but we've lost that sense of "let's go find new lands!" that started the whole itchy feet characteristic generations ago, and which today makes some of us squirm at our deskjobs.

Look at guys like Livingstone, or more recently David Attenborough. They went on quests to find the different, the unexplored, the unknown - and experience one hell of an adventure in the process.

So perhaps we can't all grab National Geographic Society funding, or get the BBC to back up our travels. But there are places and purposes that we all too often ignore in favour of just "going somewhere".

Me, I think it's time to get a different mindset going for Olivia's travels. Even if it means chasing after a legendary city or lost habitat. ESPECIALLY if it means just that. It's time to recapture the sense of wonder, the search for the mysterious and the interesting. Go off the beaten track and be amazed.

Which reminds me... there's rumours of a plain of fossilized dinosaur eggs, and forgotten trade route civilizations somewhere in the Gobi Desert. There's the Mountains of the Moon with landscapes seldom seen and pockets of vegetation with undiscovered species. There's the deserted mansion in the forests of the DRC - and the strange patches of grass where the forest ends and mountains begin. There's the hidden oases in the Sahara where crocodiles thrive.

I feel a rather lengthy road-trip coming on! :-)

No comments: