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Adventure travel is like investing

Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

At the height of the financial panic, many people pulled all their money out of the stock market and have left it in a money market account ever since. Although they know that with low interest rates their money won't grow, at least they know they won't lose more capital. And after having lost a big chunk suddenly and unexpectedly, their focus has switched from trying to make money to simply not losing it. At least the money feels safe.

Woman Climbing

As understandable as this response is, it actually does not avoid  risk. Because of inflation, the value of a dollar will go down and the money sitting in your account will be worth less. In addition there is opportunity risk-the risk that you will not participate in any of the rewards that could come with investing. So basically this strategy, if it is longterm, is not risk-free either.

How does this relate to overseas adventure travel? With renewed turmoil in the world on many fronts, its tempting to just stay at home where it feels safe. And if your main goal is to avoid any possibility of risk, then you have at least limited the possibilities to all the common things that happen as part of every day life (e.g. car accidents). But as you get older, your ability to do the things that interest you now will decrease. And of course you have also guaranteed that you won't experience the growth and stimulation that comes with getting out of this country and seeing the rest of the world. Is that a good long term strategy? And does it really keep you safe?

It's times like this that I remind myself what Helen Keller said. Most people know this part: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." But it is the entire quote that has particular meaning: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in  nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding  danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

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