My mum tells me I came in to the world wriggling and ready for action. She says I was always exploring and wandering off. Heavily pregnant with my sister, she had to tether me around the waist so I would not escape the confines of our yard and stumble into danger.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been keen to see the world. To have experiences. To savour discoveries, relishing the newness with all my senses. When I bushwalk, I long to climb the ridge line to see what lies beyond, even when I know it will look much the same as where I am. I feel that horizon as a magnetic pull. It sits in my gut, hungry.

I have paddled thousands of kilometers of Canadian rivers, walked across Aussie mountain ranges, climbed mountains in New Zealand, skied powdery slopes in Japan, dodged traffic in Delhi, and slept on many rocky, hard surfaces, cradled by the earth’s crusty dirt.

This world is deliciousness unbound. I yearn to rove its shores and hills, boundless.

Adventure is happiness.

In Wild Ducks Flying Backwards, Tom Robbins writes, “Our greatest human adventure is the evolution of consciousness. We are in this life to enlarge the soul, liberate the spirit, and light up the brain.”

Consciousness expands in the presence of natural beauty. Awe saturates the senses, and we are lifted to a new way of knowing ourselves, the world, and our place in it.

Joseph Campbell catalogued the world’s great myths and found there was a common narrative that he called the Hero’s Journey. It’s the archetypal pattern of human discovery and growth. One of the core components is the Call to Adventure. This is a call to step beyond the known confines of our existence to explore, to try something new. In doing so we meet many challenges. In the depths we are transformed by new knowledge, new awareness.

There are a thousand reasons and more on why NOT to adventure. Many of them good reasons: I have work commitments, I have family responsibilities, money is tight.

Many excuses are masquerading as reasons. The truth is, we are comfortable with being comfortable. We shrug the familiar around us like a snuggly shawl. And when we do so, we shrink a little more inside.

Adventure is our natural state. We arrived on this planet to learn what is possible for us in this lifetime. Dare to explore, and we feed our soul.

What adventure is calling you now? How might you bring adventure into your daily routine? What do you need to let go of in order to embrace new experiences?



  • Zoë Routh

    Australia's Leadership Expert, Author of Book of the Year "People Stuff" l Speaker l Mentor l Strategist

    Zoë Routh is one of Australia’s leading experts on people stuff - the stuff that gets in our way of producing results, and the stuff that lights us up. She works with the growers, makers, builders to make people stuff fun and practical.

    Zoë is the author of four books: Composure - How centered leaders make the biggest impact,  Moments - Leadership when it matters most, Loyalty - Stop unwanted staff turnover, boost engagement, and build lifelong advocates, and People Stuff - Beyond Personalities: An advanced handbook for leadership. People Stuff was awarded Book of the Year 2020 by the Smart WFM Australian Business Book Awards.

    Zoë is also the producer of The Zoë Routh Leadership Podcast.