What Alice taught me about adventure

What Alice taught me about adventure

‘Adventure’ is a word used so frequently in our everyday language that we don’t pause to think about what it actually means. Most of us think of it being associated with the outdoors. A cursory search on Pinterest will present you with images of blonde American girls with long tanned legs wearing plaid shirts toasting marshmallows in front of a campfire with a view over an impressive range of mountains. 

Outside of Pinterest we are more likely to think of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, or Scott of the Antarctic, or perhaps Indiana Jones, or any other intrepid explorer discovering hidden cultures and inaccessible places. But really, these are not adventures, they are expeditions. In fact, in this context Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian Polar explorer, declared that ‘adventure is just bad planning’.

I have always seen adventure as an attitude, a way of life. It’s something to be sought out every day, whatever one’s circumstances. Adventure serves to relieve us of the monotony of dull routine. A desk job, weekly meal planning, life admin, a commute or housework, all those perpetual tasks that suck us dry of creativity and make use feel we are being carried passively through life towards our death. 

Life can be very hard at times, we all know this, and it can also be very boring and full of drudgery. Being able to take ourselves out of our situations even if just for a few minutes can change a mind-numbingly dull day into a day full of meaning, purpose and joy. Forget those intrepid men, my real hero is Alice, the girl who alleviated her boredom by following a white rabbit down a hole and there found the greatest adventure of her life.

Adventure doesn’t need to be fraught with danger, but it does have to be thrilling. It needs to be something that is a challenge and a new learning experience, a journey into the unknown. It might be discovering what your mind and body are capable of, or an exploration into the phenomenal power of nature. It might be letting ourselves fall down the rabbit hole into the depths of our fantasy life, as Alice did so wholeheartedly. It could be falling in love, or moving to a new city. It might be starting your own business, or having children. It could be learning to speak French, climbing Kilimanjaro or choosing to share your life with a dog. Whatever it is, it’s a voyage of discovery and daring with a dash of boldness and optimism thrown in. 

A more adventurous life is what I want to inspire with Bleak House. We offer products and ideas to help you escape the everyday, to make the small things more exciting and to facilitate the big things. Whether it’s the perfect mug for hot chocolate after you’ve taken your first ever cold water swim, or it’s the rucksack that holds your needful things as you conquer a mountain, or the soft throw that accompanies you on every flight you take to adventures far away. Adventures can be big or they can be tiny, but they are what makes us feel alive and gives meaning to our lives and we want to be with you every step of the way.

So let’s dare to live our dreams, and make adventure a way of life.

If you like this, you might also like our walking guide to Hampstead


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The Bleak House guide to Columbia Road flower market

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