It’s true. You were born too late to discover Earth, and too early to discover Space. I mean, technically you could discover the depths of the ocean, but who the hell would want to do that?
It can seem like especially in our current age of the Internet that adventure and discovery is a now, for the most part, dead concept. I remember as a kid I used to be really excited to discover new paths, easter eggs, and mysteries in the video games I used to play; however, now thanks to the unfortunate creation of data-mining, all of these secrets are ruined on day one or two. All the mystery is gone. So, how do we find adventure in our upcoming year?
Well, I think the first thing we have to do is discover what “discover” means. I think discovery, and therefore adventure and exploration come in phases. First, there is an initial breakthrough, such as when Europe discovered the Americas at the turn of the 16th century. Sure someone had set foot on it, but that didn’t mean that data was easily transmitted to the rest of the world. What did it look like? What sounds were there? What did the people and animals appear as? You could, if you were lucky, get this information second-hand from either knowing someone who went to the continent or otherwise read it being described, but beyond that, no one had truly discovered the Americas besides the people who went there.
Then, as time came on, we got pictures. And then video. And then Google Earth. Now, all of a sudden, I can pick a random spot in Russia and tell you exactly what it looks like. I can find a video of Thailand and figure out what it would be like (approximately) to live there. This second form of discovery I like to call impersonal discovery; even though you’ve never been there, thanks to technology you can get a very good understanding and estimation of what its like. I’ve never set foot on the moon, but if I view pictures and video of it enough, combined with second-hand experiences like reading, I can pretty much know what it’s like to set foot on the moon.
Alright, well that’s two generations of discovery down that we’ve already missed. What’s next? Well, fortunately for you, this final realm of discovery can never be fully absorbed by anyone but you. Which is why it gets the name personal discovery. You see, being born in Arizona, I was exposed to the Grand Canyon a lot. I saw many videos of it, even more pictures, and like any good child I flew through it in the Google Earth Flight Simulator numerous times. So, when I heard I was finally going to go to it when I was 14, I wasn’t really expecting to get anything new. Boy was I wrong.
There was this ethereal majesty to the canyon that I really could not get from anything I had previously experienced about it. Things like depth and length were awe-striking attributes that could not be condensed into any current technology. And, guess what? There are many types of these attributes, and they run across all life experiences; not just canyons.
Our brains are wired to thrive on new experiences. The more we can learn about the world by exploring it ourselves, the more we become rewarded. It doesn’t have to be the Grand Canyon anymore than it has to be the new coffee shop down the street. As long as we are constantly switching from routine, and discovering things on our own, we will stay just as happy and wise as the people who explored Earth long ago.
Well, that’s it for now. Have any thoughts about how people can crack their own adventure for the upcoming year? Have any plans of your own? Feel free to comment about them down below. If you liked this post, feel free to follow the blog or my personal Twitter to stay updated. I will be having a newsletter for my content (hopefully) pretty soon, so look forward to that as well!