We live in a time where clubs like The Explorers Club and The Royal Geographical Society are in the news for all the wrong reasons. The RGS have for example taken away the word explorer from the clubs activities and it seems it is all the academic geographer which rules the day. A move which of course made all explorers upset so a movement, The Beagle Campaign, is working for change within this prestigious organisation. And the Explorers Club have had some internal strife. I know that many explorers who are part of both these clubs have been thinking about leaving, because the cost is high and the return is for many little. Even though I know both clubs are working hard to change with modern times, other alternatives are popping up. Or another exciting club to join. One of them is The Adventurers Society started by David Udbjørg.
The Adventurers Society
Why start another Adventures gathering point? There are so many excellent Adventures and Explorers clubs around the World, so it seems needless to start yet another one. However, this is exactly what we have set out to do.
Even though there are lots of similarities with the existing clubs and The Adventurers Society, there are a few things which make this new Adventurers Society different. The most important being that it is mainly internet based, and secondly that we intend to develop it into a place where we can share useful information which can help the members in the planning of new Adventures such as information about local conditions, local ways of transport, local assistance, pricing etc. and also information of a more technical and financial, promotional, fundraising and informational character In fact we want to develop this society to becoming a tool, a “The Swiss Army knife” for anyone who is accepted as a member can use to enhance their efforts. And there is another significant difference, the members must be Adventurous. Not necessarily in a travelling context, a person can be adventurous in a lot of different ways, depending on their lives and their profession. Even though most of the members can be labeled as adventurous in the traditional way, we will also allow some into our midst, who has proven to be adventurous or “Out of the Box” thinkers, in a non travelling manner.
We all know what an Adventurer is! It’s Indiana Jones, Forrest Gump, The Great Farini! and other persons who in one way or another are stumbling into one crazy and unusual situation after the other and in a miraculous ways live to tell the tales.
Yes! But, what about Amundsen, Scott, Marco Polo and all the other magnificent people who has conquered the World? Are they not Adventurers? Well, to my opinion they are definitely explorers, and they might also be adventurers, but it doens’t depend on what they have been doing, but how and why, they did what they did in order to be labeled as being an Adventurer.
An “Adventure” in Danish directly translate into “fairly tail” in English! Indicating that an Adventure is something out of the ordinary, fantastic, but also different from an Exploration or an ordinary journey, in fact an Adventure is something almost unimaginable and fare away from what is normal, and so, an Adventurer must be the same, someone, who have the skill and the ambition to live life in a way which is different from what is common practice. An Adventurer is living his life in the middle of an Adventure driven by a constant force, which is not dependant on sources of financing or whatever job might have brought the person in an unusual and “off the beathen path” situation.
Normally, one will think of an Adventurer as someone who is traveling a lot and who is willing to take risks in the endavour, but even though, one will often find that adventurers are often also traveling, this is not what forms the essence of being an adventurer, traveling is merely an activity which is a natural taster sparked by the curiosity which is part of the adventurous mind. An Adventurer doesn’t necessarily have to travel, but is a person, who are walking beside the normal paths of life in whatever area this person is working or have interests, in fact, an adventurous person is in many ways similar to a inventor, an artist or a scientist who always have attention to how things can be done differently, thinking out of the box and seeking inspiration from all realms of life. An adventurous person will often be good at telling stories from the Adventurers, and just like an author, a fisherman or a sailor, be able to give the truth a little edge to enhance the creative side of storytelling, opposite the Explorer or the scientist who will publish an absolutely correct version of the events in a professional journal or the likes. No doubt, the ability to tell the story in an exiting way is a pivot point of the life of an adventurous person, and demands a degree of artistic freedom in the same way you will find among many fairy tale tellers, fishermen and hunters.
Often persons who are sent on missions through their work is labeled as Adventurers, be it a Journalist sent to a war zones and other troubled areas around the world, a Medical doctor or a nurse sent to refugee camps, soldiers sent into a war zone, a scientist sent up the steep hills of a volcano or into the dense jungle to investigate, even though these persons happens to stumble on adventurous experiences bestowed upon them by their jobs, it doesn’t necessarily label them as being Adventurers, they are more or less forced into the conditions leading to unusual experiences, and often they have not formulated the Adventures by themselves, their own driving force, but it has been dictated them to do so. But sometimes, they will prove an interest or do things which is not part of the assignment, but done through their own will and wishes, and this activities will be the ones which could lead on to accept them as being Adventurers. And of course it also depends on how they use their Adventurous information afterwards, are they left on the private shelf or are they just as vividly displayed to the public as the more professional sides of their endevour?
If they are not seeking and getting inspiration by the means of their own mind, and in all areas of life, they are just people with unusual and difficult working conditions, which counts for a lot of people around the World, for instance the ones who are working on Garbage Dumps, in the sewers in India or chopping up ships on the shores of Bangladesh, no one will lable these people as being Adventurers, but they do have unusual jobs and are walking of the beaten path. On the other hand, the work and undertakings of the more professional people, of course has high value, and will often be labled as being brave, scientists or explorers. One of the ingredients of being an Adventurer is self driven curiousity and out of the box thinking, which might indeed be present in the persons seeking these unusual positions and the difficult working conditions which follows. The Adventurer is not defined by the solitary incidents in life but the continuous row of incidents derived from their own thinking and actions which as a total forms the Adventurous personality.
Soeh! What you are saying is that the Adventure must be a driving force which is reflected in both the personal life as well as the working life of a person Yes exactly the Adventurous person doesn’t have an on/off switch, he will always seek the adventure in whatever he/she is doing! If he no longer holds a particular position or job he will still be moving forward, investigating, concluding, planning, implementing and expressing new and unusual thoughts and Adventures.
Throughout the times, a lot of Adventurous people have gathered in Clubs and Societies around the World, to share their stories and experiences. These clubs are often fixed to a specific location, such as The Adventurers Club of Norway, Denmark, Singapore, New York, Los Angeles etc. Some are more precise in their definition on who can become a member, such as The Explorers Club, who demands a scientific angle on the undertakings, it’s not enough just to have climbed a mountain or done some deep sea diving, there must be an exploratory purpose and some scientific value.
Fortunately a lot of those, who can label themselves as Explorers or travelers are also driven by the Adventurous mind, this is in many cases the reason why they ended up in the jobs they have, which lead to the unusual experiences they have been through. No doubt about that, and just like an explorer can be identified as a person who will seek the boundaries for a scientific purpose; we need a solid definition of what it is to be an Adventurer and a differentiation between the Adventurer, the Explorer and the globetrotter or traveler.
In the existing Adventurers Societies or Clubs, the formulation of the criteria for acceptance is rather vague and in some cases bases on pure nepotism more than actual facts. Friendly clubs who only allow people from the “Accepted” and by the Medias recognized, persons into their midst, no real, genuine evaluation of the character and achievements of the person applying is needed. This is fine, its their right to behave as a closed “Masonic” like order, clandestine and exotic, it’s a preservation of old values and thought patterns which still today have some merits. It is often difficult for young Adventurers to be accepted, and a lot of the old Societies becomes an almost extinct race of former glorious Adventurers patting the old shoulders in a mono sexual environment. Fortunately this is not the picture of all of the Adventures Clubs, some are significantly more open towards the public than others.
At the same time, the existing Adventurers Clubs have had a hard time growing into the age of World Wide communication, and globalization. Some of them has formed alliances with other clubs, but most often its only an agreement which seems not really to bring them much closer to each other, and very little information seems to be shared between them, at least that what it looks like from an outside position. In fact, if there were a vivid interaction between the old societies, it would most lightly also be reflected to some extent in the new social networks or on the internet, and it doesn’t.
The Adventurers Society, is the modern version of the old societies, taking the globalization and the modern medias into account as the most predominant vehicle. It is based nowhere, in contrast to the old societies which is mostly recognized by their geographical position. We allow both man and woman to join us and age has little to do with it. It’s a tool, which can be used by its members to increase their activities, decrease their costs and eliminate planning mistakes as well as a place where they can seek information and help to get their thoughts and works published or made into documentaries etc. We want activity and sharing of experience to be in the center of our society. At least this is the intention, even though it will take years to reach the level of activities we wish for, but the more, the members are active and the more they contribute the sooner this will happen, and the more focus we will get from the rest of the World and the easier it will become an important player in the World of Adventures.
If you think, the ideas behind The Adventurers Society correspond with your thoughts and if you believe that you will be able to contribute and can lable yourself as being a true Adventurer, we welcome you to visit our FaceBook Site “The Adventurers Society” where you can request to be accepted as a member. We will ask you to present yourself in order for us to make a decision on your application.
David Udbjørg is an adventurer, Architect, Artist and Author. Born in the States and currently residing in Denmark and South Africa. He has traveled off the beaten track in Asia and Africa, and has a keen interest in unusual places, such as Garbage dumps, or looking for the Lost City of Kalahari, ship breaking in Bangladesh or indigenous tribes. Featured on CNN, Inside Africa, in relation to his visits to garbage dumps in Africa.