There’s a fine line between being adventurous and being a reckless daredevil.
Which are you?
Here’s how to tell the difference:
1) You’re curious, but you’re not naïve
First up in the signs of being adventurous is a deep curiosity.
You want to know what Madagascar is like and hike in Montana.
You want to go deep sea diving and also see the Andes.
You are curious about what it’s like to ride a wild mustang on the beach and to go on a real safari deep into Kenya.
But you’re not naïve.
You don’t just randomly purchase airplane tickets and figure it out once you get there, you plan ahead.
You also take time to get the right equipment and find people who can teach you how to master certain skills you want to learn.
This brings me to the next point:
2) You love thrills, but not risking your life
Adventurous people love thrills, that’s well known and true.
At a young age you were probably already the kid at the swimming pool climbing up the diving tower to the highest board and jumping off like a pro.
Skydiving, white water rafting, taking experimental hallucinogenic substances, visiting dangerous places, you’ve likely done it all…
But you’re not a fan of risking your life.
You won’t snort just anything because somebody said “go for it” at a back alley hostel in Rangoon.
You won’t just swim in an alligator-infested pond in Louisiana because your friend dared you to, or a pretty girl said she’d kiss you if you did.
What good is a kiss from a pretty lady if you’ve become a bag of writhing beef jerky between the teeth of a fearsome green beast?
3) You push your physical limits, but you don’t break them
Next up in the adventurous department is physical exertion and feats of strength and endurance.
If you’re an adventurous person then you push your limits:
- Sports tournaments
- Fighting championships
- Outdoors trips
- Multi-day hikes or canoe trips
- Weightlifting competitions
- Hunting trips and wild excursions
- Crazy trips to Las Vegas
- Treks through mountain passes
- You name it…
You’re there and you’re loving every minute of it.
But you never push your body to the point that it breaks.
You may have a few too many drinks or stay in a cold deer stand for one hour too many and feel it the next day.
But you never ignore the signs from your body that enough is truly enough.
You are adventurous, but you know when it’s also time to tap out and take a break!
This brings me to the next important point about being adventurous…
4) You conquer your inner fears, but you don’t ignore them
Adventurous people have fears just like all the rest of us.
The difference is they manage to obtain a certain level of inner calm and discipline that allows them to supersede and consciously override their fears in many circumstances.
Does that cliff jump look too scary and crazy? There’s just no way…
But the adventurous person has studied the topography and concluded the jump is safe. Now all that’s left is to tame their mind.
So they calmly walk to the edge with their heart pounding at their rib cage like a furious tiger and then resolutely and swiftly jump.
They just do it.
But they think first and consider whether that fear is warranted and spells real danger.
The reckless individual doesn’t care, and often doesn’t live to a ripe old age as a result.
5) You crave adventure and newness, but you also care about your duty
The next of the personality traits that show you’re adventurous (without being reckless) is that your desire for newness and thrills never displaces your duty.
While you crave adventure, trips and new adrenaline rushes, you don’t just stay an adolescent for your whole life.
You do care about your obligations you’ve made to those around you in your family, personal life and career.
This twin ability to still stay rooted and responsible while enjoying adventure is a big marker between the adventurer and the reckless hedonist.
6) You’re open to rethinking tradition, but not contrarian or pretentious
The next of the big personality traits that show you’re adventurous (without being reckless) is that you question custom and tradition but you aren’t contrarian just for the heck of it.
In other words, you feel no need to be a “rebel.”
If you like dressing in a fairly humdrum way, you’re going to do just that…
If you like the same tacos as everyone else in your family, so be it! They’re good tacos!
You’re willing to experiment with some very exotic and spicy food, and you’re adventurous in many areas, but you feel no need to break the rules just for the sake of it.
Unlike a truly reckless and mindless individual, your adventurousness doesn’t mean your brain isn’t working properly.
In fact, it’s screwed on just fine.
7) You’re fascinated by new people, but not overly trusting
When it comes to your adventurous streak socially, you love making new connections but you’re not overly trusting.
You may be the life of the party and making friends with every second person you come across.
But that doesn’t mean you’re giving anyone your credit card number.
And you’re not starting serious relationships or trust bonds with those you meet unless and until you really get to know them.
A reckless person tends to trust almost anyone, especially if they’re physically attracted to them.
But an adventurous individual tends to hold back a little and not jump right in without at least a bit of forethought.
You can have fun and enjoy the company of others, but you’re far from just sharing your life with any person you hit it off with for a few hours at a party or who you meet via a friend group.
8) You’re culturally and spiritually curious, but not gullible
Lastly in terms of the personality traits that show you’re adventurous (without being reckless) is that your curiosity for exploring new places, cultures and spiritual paths is strong…
…But it never displaces your basic core values and who you are.
You are always curious to hear about different ways of living life and understanding love and work, but you don’t just change on a dime.
You’re not Episcopalian one day and a vegan atheist the next.
You go through shifts and evolutions, and you love to hear new ideas, but you don’t turn on a time.
You’re able to be open and curious about new ways of living and other cultures without always joining them.
You also have friends from many walks of life and don’t live in a silo or echo chamber.
Online and offline, you get around and mix with anybody you form a connection with, regardless of labels.
9) You respect your roots even if you’ve outgrown them
The last of the personality traits that show you’re adventurous (without being reckless) is that you respect your roots.
The past had plenty of problems and injustices. Maybe your own upbringing did, too.
But you never for a moment have the hubris to think that you or your generation just “get it” and everyone who came before was an ignoramus who doesn’t matter.
Love it or hate it, the people who came before us built the world we live in and the capacity for us to survive.
It’s true that they also created many problems, but their bare physical survival is why any of us are here.
You have to respect that, but less traditional cultures tend to be losing that respect for ancestors.
As an adventurous person, you love to branch out, do new things and be daring.
But you never think that you’re above your raising or superior to those who came before.
You respect your roots even if you’ve outgrown them and you take adventures firm in the knowledge of who you are and what’s made you who you are.
As the iconic musician and poet of our generation Flo Rida sings in his song ROOTS:
“Roots before the branches, roots before mansions
Roots before your paper crazier than Marilyn Manson
Roots with your grandparents, roots under your canvas
Roots whether you black, white, or Spanish
I’m talkin’ bout roots.”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself Mr. Dillard.
The adventure of a lifetime
Adventure makes us feel alive.
It also makes our down time so much more satisfying and rewarding.
Being an adventurous person is a great quality to have!
You’re one of those who aren’t content to sit and watch Netflix documentaries, you want to go out and be in one or make one!
Adventurous folks are change makers and trendsetters.
The rest of us watch, admire and learn from you as you share your adventures and inspiration with us.
Keep on rocking!