I think there is a lot of truth to the idea that one of the most common drivers towards the urge to seek out adventure and excitement is the monotony of everyday life. Of course, that’s not to say that everyday life must always be monotonous… but a recognition of how easy it is for the familiar to feel mundane. It’s only natural that excitement lies in the extraordinary, in the things that take us out of our ordinary experience, even to the extent of risking the ordinary life. Sometimes adults feel the need not to be sensible, not to do the list of things they know they ought to do…
I had come across the short quote I’ve shared upon the photo a long time ago, but only recently tried to find out more about the author and the origin of this text. I’ve failed utterly to find out more about the author, but came across this longer passage, from which the quote was taken. In it, Michael Drury discusses a concept as described by Alfred North Whitehead – that adventure is a necessity. If you know more about the author, please do let me know.
“Alfred North Whitehead listed adventure as one of five necessities to the truly civilized community, next after truth and beauty, ahead of art and peace. It is a startling idea and he meant it to be so. Men and women are both taught to recognize adventure only as a passing fancy in the growing child, to be put aside with adolescence at the latest. The mature individual settles down; that is to say he does without adventure. Then he should do without beauty, and faith, and laughter, for these too are incidental to real life, to eating and begetting and keeping out of rain.
….Adventure is as needful to the real life of the spirit as food is to the body. The inadvisability of an action will not curtail it if it fills that need. Gambling is more or less bad for society, but people will play the tables so long as hope of sudden wealth connotes hope of change, variety. That is why it appeals broadly to the poor more than the rich: their lives are drearier. Workers go on strike not only for wages and decent hours but out of sheer dramatic hunger. A love affair imparts adventure, not merely because it is unsanctioned and a little risky, but because it proceeds on part-knowledge, like all creative endeavor. A general goes into battle; an artist paints; men climb Everest and fling themselves into the sky; become healers and judge a crime on part-knowledge. They have to, for that is the condition of living.”
Do you agree? Where do you feel adventure fits in to our human needs and urges, and what do you think drives it?
This is one of my favourite photos from our first trip to Antarctica in 2004. I loved watching adult king penguins feed the cuddly brown balls of fur that were their chicks – so very different to their parents that early explorers assumed they were a completely different species, rather than adult and child of one!
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Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!32 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | Michael Drury"
Not to exaggerate, adventures are definitely a need for human well-beings. I mean, what is life without the cure for curiosity, right? Great thoughts, great quote! Thanks a lot.
Indeed! I mean, it’s all a little “first world” attitude, I know that for many around the world, simply surviving, raising a family, working and living are a challenge, so there is no space left to look for adventure. But for those of us fortunate enough to live comfortable lives, relatively speaking, it’s a genuine need!
I think we also need to remember that Adventure doesn’t have to be the expensive, the once in a life time. It has different meanings for different people and it’s about finding new things, things out of your own personal ordinary to do. Love that photo, how close were you? GG
Totally agree. Adventure can be climbing a tree, trying a new sport or hobby, taking the plunge to join a dance class on your own, becoming a bee keeper!!
Officially, the rule was not to approach closer than five feet. But of course the penguins didn’t follow the rules. I would usually sit on the ground and just watch (and photograph) for a long while. Often the penguins would come closer to me… For this photo, I think I was around 10 feet away.
I love this one. And your words about the mundaneness of life are so true. It doesn’t mean everyday life is bad but change is always good and definitely refreshes the soul and mind!
Yes indeed. I love my job, and it’s actually different every day, it’s not a job where I have a routine day at all, yet the work days still blur together in the memory, as compared to the excitement of travel!
That’s such a gorgeous picture. I do agree about travel being inspired by a zest for adventure. And, that adventure in some form is essential.
Yes, and as has been said, it doesn’t have to be travel but for many of us, that’s a wonderful and addictive way to get it!
I completely agree with this quote. I need movement, experiences, new things and culture. I just wish that I could do it every single day for the rest of my life.
I hear you! But then again, sometimes when I read the blog posts of semi-permanent or permanent travellers, they seem to have lost some of that joy and heightened awareness because travel has become their every day.
I think you always need to have some adventure in life, whether it’s at home like experiencing a new restaurant or maybe a walk you’ve not done before etc or aboard experiencing a new culture, historic landmarks etc. Embrace the joys of life. Great quote 🙂
Exactly so, you can find adventure without travelling far from home – a new restaurant or cuisine you’ve not tried before, a new hobby or sport experience, whatever it might be!!
couldn’t agree more. I need adventure in my life. I think it adds to my soul every time. But I think this is because when you are having an adventure, you are learning and when you are learning you are nurturing your mind, heard, and soul.
Yes, I think that act of learning and of experiencing new things is what keeps one’s mind active and occupied!
I agree! And we also have to work on correcting the idea that adventure needs to be expensive. Some people are afraid of traveling because of this but there is always a doable option.
Yes absolutely. Adventure could be hiring a row boat in your local park lake, or making a bicycle tour of a new part of your town, or taking up a new sport or hobby… In this particular photo, it shows an expensive trip for sure, but I certainly don’t mean to imply that only expensive travel can fulfil the yearning for adventure in those who feel it!
That quote is so totally awesome and I can relate to that 🙂
Glad you like it!
Gret quote. I personally love the little everyday adventures just as much as the big ones. Keeps life interesting.
Yes indeed, the little adventures are fun too!
It indeed is a beautiful quote. I have only recently known the meaning of it so completely, since I started traveling more frequently
Neha, great to hear you’ve started travelling more, recently. I would say, as others have mentioned, that you can bring adventure to your life without travelling too, by seeking out fun activities and new skills at home too. But travel is certainly one of the great ways to find adventure!
The call of doing something beyond the ordinary, something that lifts your life above the mundane is the magnet which draws people to travel. But after traveling when you return back to your “mundane” routine, you are sure to appreciate it better. Loved the picture of the penguins, so cute.
It took a while for me to actually understand the image fully( i didn’t read your text first). How cute it is. A penguin feeding it’s little one. Wow! Travel for me happens as an Interlude between my mundane life. The beauty lies in being able to balance both the aspects well and that is how I learn to appreciate having both the aspects in life- the certainty of regular life and the uncertainty travel brings with it.
Thanks, really glad you like the image. And totally agree about how travel can bring interludes of adventure into one’s life.
Oh I love this quote too! The main driver for my love of travel is that feeling of discovering something new. Some of my best experiences while traveling come from walking without aim, seeing what happens, who I meet and where I end up. I like the idea that I could incorporate these types of experiences more into my daily life, maybe taking different routes to work or exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods where we live. Thanks for this 🙂
Adventure definitely fits in our nature. Love this quote! Watching king penguins feeding the cuddly brown young ones must be a one of a kind experience!
For me travel is the only time in your life when you are truly free to do what you want, when you want. So yes, it ranks right up there in terms of important things in my life. Having said that, I don’t know if I could call it a need. To me a need is food and water, travel is just something damn awesome to those who can afford it!
There is something primal about travel and adventure. The need to explore and break out of routine. Love the quote and it does ring true. Though I might add, adventure does not necessarily mean traveling great distances. It could be as simple as seeing things with new eyes!
This is the background of the quote, besides being from Whitehead: It’s from a book published in the 1960s called Advice to a Young Wife from an Old Mistress, by female author Michael Drury. She was from Northern California and graduated from Stanford University. She wrote many nonfiction books and articles. She passed away some time in the last ten years or so after relocating to the east coast. The book is nonfiction and supposedly based on a woman Drury met and found fascinating. The mistress was from an old western ranching family, I think also from California. I would love to know who the mistress was! It’s a very good book, short, but elegant, and I recommend it.
Oh this is wonderful, thank you so much, I hadn’t been able to find anything much about Michael Drury (and didn’t realise she was a female, I assumed from the name that she was a man!) Really appreciate the information!