Adventure

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An adventure is an activity that is perceived to involve risk, danger or exciting experiences.[citation needed]

The term is often used to refer to activities with some potential for physical danger, such as skydiving, mountain climbing and or participating in extreme sports. The term also broadly refers to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with physical, financial or psychological risk, such as a business venture, a love affair, or other major life undertakings.

Adventurous experiences create psychological and physiological arousal,[1] which can be interpreted as negative (e.g. fear) or positive (e.g. flow), and which can be detrimental as stated by the Yerkes-Dodson law. For some people, adventure becomes a major pursuit in and of itself. According to adventurer André Malraux, in his La Condition Humaine (1933), "If a man is not ready to risk his life, where is his dignity?". Similarly, Helen Keller stated that "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

Outdoor adventurous activities are typically undertaken for the purposes of recreation or excitement: examples are adventure racing and adventure tourism. Adventurous activities can also lead to gains in knowledge, such as those undertaken by explorers and pioneers. Adventure education intentionally uses challenging experiences for learning.

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Adventure in mythology

The oldest and most widespread stories in the world are stories of adventure.[2] Mythologist Joseph Campbell discussed his notion of the monomyth in his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell proposed that the heroic mythological stories from culture to culture followed a similar underlying pattern, starting with the "call to adventure", followed by a hazardous journey, and eventual triumph. The adventure novel exhibits these "protagonist on adventurous journey" characteristics as do many popular feature films, such as Star Wars.

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