Newton’s Adventure Cradle – How one Adventure inspires Another
Newton’s Cradle of Adventure’ refers to the effect that tales of adventure have when they pass through the world. Each one has the intrinsic power to inspire another; the full force and weight of endeavour having the ability to touch our very souls such that we seek out and set forth on a course of our own. The inspiration to follow an adventurous, unconventional life can come from many sources. Our ‘Bucket List’ of places and activities might be fuelled by reports in the media, the fascination with distant lands portrayed in a beautifully illustrated book or simply the sparkle in someone’s eyes as they talk animatedly about an exotic destination over dinner.
One things’s for sure though, once that initial adventure has happened the lifting and letting go of that first ball in Newton’s Cradle of Adventure will richochet throughout the complex neural net of the mind, setting off plans for the next one to come, and the next one after that, and the next one so many years in the future!
Exploring a country different to the one that you’ve grown up in can be especially intriguing; the more you see, the more you realize there is to see and each time you leave, another idea is set in motion to return. Italy in Southern Europe, and Morocco in North Africa are two countries I return to time and again. Italy, synonymous with the good life (‘la dolce vita’) of sunny blue skies, fabulous food and style second to none, is a magnificent, romantic place full of cultural adventure.
Morocco is a country of immense contrast again and appeals greatly to the imaginative mind. From the deserts of the south to the majesty of the Atlas Mountains, the seaside shores and the enchantment of the Souks, it is a country of mystery where the past meets the present and where people speak strange and lesser known dialects. Here an adventure always awaits as you step back in time into the pages of your own storybook; each time to learn something new, and each time from a different perspective.
Admiration can trigger the beginning of an adventure when we attempt to walk in the footsteps of heroes and heroines from the past (or the present). I visited Dorset recently to see more of the county that T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) returned to after his years in the desert. Lawrence of Arabia was a brave man; brave enough to stand for what he believed in, brave enough to be different, and brave enough to get to know people who were different from his own, to understand their culture, beliefs and needs entirely from their perspective.
His adventures with life have truly inspired the adventures of others, including this visit of my own to ‘Clouds Hill’; a small house (in the woods) where he spent his nights after returning home from work at Bovington Camp, and in the village of Moreton where he now lies.
The desire to push our own boundaries can lead us along an adventurous path; to test the limits of our own capabilities and then some, pushing beyond the limits of known belief and fact. In 2012, Felix Baumgartner took his love of adventure to amazing limits with a monumental leap from Space; the highest sky-dive on record at the time.
The lifting of that first ball in Newton’s Cradle of Adventure might also be based upon the desire to explore and to discover something that has been lost in time. The lost city of Mahendraparvata – where people lived 350 years before the building of the Angkor Wat Complex – was discovered (this decade) beneath dense vegetation atop the Phnom Kulen Mountain in Siem Reap in Cambodia by the Australian Archeologist Damian Evans and colleagues.
Frank Goddio and his team from the IEASM also uncovered the ancient landmarks of Thonis-Heracleion dating back from the 6th to the 4th century BC, such as the grand Temple of Amun (and his son Khonsou).
The city – thought lost between legend and reality a long time ago – was finally discovered (through scientific adventure and endeavour) beneath the sea in the Western part of Aboukir Bay in Egypt.
Science yields many great adventures; what greater adventure can there be to see what can’t be seen, or to know what isn’t known. Marie Curie spent many backbreaking years working with Pitchblende to isolate what couldn’t immediately be seen – the radioactive element that she named Radium. Charles Darwin spent 5 years at sea on the Beagle exploring the islands of the Galapagos to know what wasn’t known then, slowly developing the his theory of Evolution, and eventually culminating in the writing of his book ‘The Origin of Species’.
Some people give up their ‘normal’ lives completely to travel around the world for years at a time, perhaps on the back of a motorbike seeking and soaking in all of the beauty that exists in the world, and marveling at the sheer contrast and variation that exists on the planet. Here Newton’s Cradle is in perpetual motion, each adventure leading immediately to the next, from day to day, from country to country; triggered perhaps through the desire to be free, to live unconstrained and unconditionally.
My solo trip around the UK by motorbike was one of the most amazing adventures I’ve ever had. Challenged by the British Weather almost daily, I had the courage to just get on the bike and go; and the personal rewards in terms of what I experienced were immense!
Listening to the stories of others at Adventure Travel Meetings such as the Horizons Unlimited HUBB UK Meetings organized by Grant and Susan Johnson, and the Adventure Travel Film Festival run by Austin Vince and Lois Pryce provide great inspiration. At these meetings networks are established and further adventures come into being through active discussion.
Talking about adventure inspires many other new ones because the elements that make up a good adventure stimulate us as people. Beautiful scenery, being outdoors, good conversations, good food, sharing moments or connections all release the molecule serotonin – the molecule that makes us feel good. An adventure more often than not occurs in an outdoor environment where there is a more plentiful supply of oxygen in the air. This in turn increases our serotonin levels naturally, and make us feel great! Serotonin is in effect the Adventure Molecule; the molecule that lights up our bodies and lifts us to euphoric heights of well being. Thus there’s even a molecular basis for Newton’s Cradle of Adventure to operate!
Whether it’s an epic expedition, a long trek, or simply an adventure close to home, speak about it and inspire others. Our adventures help us to realise what an amazing planet it is that we live on, and how truly wonderful it is to be a human being.
As the saying goes…
‘Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – “WOW – What a Ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson.
May ‘Newton’s Cradle of Adventure’ long continue to rock!
by Jackie Moreton
Co-Founder of Abeona Adventures