By Rob Currer
As many of you know, I will soon be departing the area bound for a two year stint in Guinea, West Africa. I want to take this opportunity to say it has been a great pleasure sending you snarky emails and posts each and every day. I will deeply miss sending all of you sarcastic messages.
That said I also want to take a moment and talk about something near and dear to us all, albeit often elusive: adventure. Though it might not always feel it, diving is an extreme sport and carries with it some inherent risks. Yet, for many of us those risks are vital to the experience. They enrich every sight and enhance every color because we know that when we dive we are seeing something that most people will never see outside of an aquarium. We are experiencing something unique. This makes it worth the risks and keeps us coming back again and again. In essence, this is what transforms diving into an adventure sport.
Personally, I think it is that basic desire for adventure that sets divers apart from most others. We are not content to merely drift through life and let the world sweep past us (unless, of course, we happen to be on a drift dive). We have an inherent curiosity that drives us beyond our conventional terrestrial bonds and pulls us down into an alien world full of indescribable wonder both indomitably colossal and infinitesimally minute. All the pictures and videos you’ve sent, all the bright-eyed tales and wide smiles you’ve shared have proven to me time and again that you all possess this same irrepressible urge for adventure.
But what is adventure exactly? It’s a word that gets used too liberally these days. Society at large is fond of describing every wrong turn and night out as an adventure, but are they right? Can we really clump our beloved sport in with the time you got on I-395 instead of I-495 or that night they got your order wrong at your favorite restaurant but you ate it anyway? I don’t think so. There must be something more to it than mere novelty. It’s a question I’ve put to a lot of my friends over the years and one to which I have heard an innumerable string of definitions.
Someone once told me that an adventure was anytime something unexpected happened, yet that can’t be right. If it was it would mean that tripping on the sidewalk would be an adventure but a vacation to Thailand wouldn’t. Another friend said that an adventure was any experience shared. That’s a heartwarming sentiment and I love the idea of an adventure being shared, but it still doesn’t sound right to me. Is it really impossible to have an adventure alone?
After a lot of thought and deliberation, I’ve come to the conclusion that an adventure is any challenge big or small that enriches our lives and leaves us fundamentally better people for the experience. It’s found where we make it but it lives in our hearts. It will always be a part of us, prodding us on, breaking us down, building us up, promising us something unforgettable beneath the next wave and around the next atoll. It is something that we live for and live through. Adventure is something that leaves us with new friends, fond memories, and great stories. That is to say, whether or not there is treasure at the end there is always something to be treasured. So, my fellow adventurers, my fellow explorers, my fellow divers, I hope you will join me in raising a glass to adventures near and far, in the sunset and on the horizon, and, most importantly, in our hearts and minds. Thank you all for sharing so many adventures with me and, as I embark on my next, it is my sincerest hope that you will keep chasing more of your own. Live free and dive, my friends.