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The Real Meaning of Adventure

“Not that this is an adventure,” my client said to me (driver of the Adventure Shuttle), “but are you able to take my mom to her eye appointment in Missoula?” My emphatic response, “Of course,” was met with relief from the young woman who recently moved to Montana and is currently living over 70 miles south of Missoula. Her work schedule was not flexible enough to offer several hours off to drive her mother, who was unable to drive herself. On the way, the mother and I talked, and I heard tales of their recent move which included snow storms, horse trailers and very slow travels, all in the spirit of making a life change from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains. It was a fun and energetic conversation.

Yet, after the simple trip back and forth with the mother, that first near-apology by the daughter stuck with me… Who can really claim that a simple there-and-back trip to the eye doctor can’t be considered an “adventure”? Not all memorable journeys are full of heart-pumping excitement, fraught with danger, or involving the rigors (or even relaxation) of outdoor recreation, sight-seeing of national monuments, and so on.

Imagine you are traveling on a highway, passing by towns you may have never seen, and your journey is--as thankfully many journeys are--an uneventful travel experience with no incidents or complications. Suddenly, though, someone is telling interpretive stories of the natural world around you, or historic tales of the ghosts said to reside in a nearby town. What if the trip included a little exploration of the mind as you simply gaze out the window, or, a spontaneous collection of your fellow passengers’ memories of their favorite vacation destinations? Would you then consider any of those scenarios, “adventures”?

I believe, our life experiences, no matter how mundane they may seem, can be called adventures if they fall into the category as we ourselves define them. Parenthood is an adventure; just as starting a business or attending a new school are often referred to as “a new adventure”! Really, if you think about it, every day is a new adventure, because it fits within some of the parameters of the Webster’s dictionary definition(s) of the word “adventure”: (n.) “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks”; and, “an exciting or remarkable experience”… New friendships formed on a journey or just the company you choose to travel with can also often feel like an adventure!

The day I was hired for that simple point-to-point shuttling experience to and from Missoula felt like another remarkable experience to me, as it included exciting tales of another’s adventure, as we drove through a wintery scene, topped with a story about a harrowing traveling experience across the plains with freezing temperatures, wind and cold, scared horses and determined souls behind the wheels. I could somewhat relate to some of what she told me, and in my mind, I was brought back into my own memories as well as on an adventure not of my own!

So, when you hire the Shuttle for your excursion, you should remember at least these two things:

1. The journey you are about to take is your adventure, and it can become what you make of it, especially if all else goes smoothly.

2. Never apologize for the ‘lack of adventure’ you think you are about to embark on with the Montana Adventure Shuttle…there is no such thing as a lack of adventure, ever. Your trip, however simple, becomes my adventure as well…so, there we go.

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