Having it all: security and adventure

Daily writing prompt
Are you seeking security or adventure?

This WP Daily writing prompt #1998 caught my attention – asking us to chose between security and adventure. Who says we need to make a choice? Can’t I have both? Surely one doesn’t need to be to the exclusion of the other? Lets explore this together.

Definitions and perceptions

I don’t consider some things as risk-taking or being brave because I’m aware of and have considerfed and prepared for the risks, but others do. So what we consider to be risky or safe is subjective. Its possibly useful to give some thought to what the words themselves mean.


An unusual, exciting and possibly dangerous activity, such as a trip or experience, or the excitement produced by such an activity



freedom from risk and the threat of change for the worse

freedom from danger, safety


We can see from these definitions that an adventure doesn’t need to be dangerous. That if going on a trip (me visiting a museum yesterday) is an adventure, I don’t think there’s much danger wrapped up with that – unless you consider getting caught in the rain or not watching where I was going when taking photographs and and could fall down stairs. I identified the risk, made sure I was not standing at the top of the stairs when taking my photographs and so was safe.

This will be my basic argument, there may always be risks associated with what we do, but even staying at home can be dangerous. Every year, in the UK, 6,000 people die in accidents in the home and more than 2.7 million visit A&E after an accident in the home. I don’t have the statistics for the number of accidents that occur where they don’t seek medical attention but imagine they will be higher still. The ROSPA also indicate that those who spend more time at home have an increased risk of being in an accident in the home – does that mean we’re safer out having adventures?

Risks are everywhere and perhaps having a sense of security in the home is misplaced, so we should get out and have some adventures. I’m now going to use a couple of examples to discuss how we can have adventures and protect our security at the same time.

My perspective – examples

I’m assuming we all assess the risks involved in what we’re doing, even if its subconsciously but I accept that some adventures will be more risky than others. I’m going to look at 2 examples which illustrate my attitude to adventure and how I consider the risk.

Off exploring for the blog

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I love going exploring – going on adventures. While I enjoy sharing the experience with others, usually my friend, Alison. However, I am also comfortable to go solo. A few months ago it was commented by a fellow blogger that they thought I was brave going out on my own, and going into a restaurant alone for a meal (my post about a day in Dunblane was the trigger). I hadn’t thought about this as being brave. I want to explore and I’m not going to sit at home because I am doing something alone. I spent a year alone living in France as part of my university studies. You’ll not be surprised to learn that I went off exploring whenever I had the chance. I believe my attitude towards exploring and the confidence to go it alone, comes from my time abroad.

The impact of a year in France

Image shows the Chateau of Chambord sitting in front of the water
Image by 5350755 from Pixabay
Chateau of Chambord (my favourite)

I was in France in 1999/2000 when I was 34 and had a brilliant time. I was studying part time, and working teaching English for the rest of the time. I was living in the Loire Valley (Angers) and any free time I had, I would be off exploring the towns and cities of the Loire, along with their chateaux and cathedrals. Sometimes I had company, but much of the time I was alone.

Cathedral of Orleans, France
Image by Jean-Baptiste N. from Pixabay

My attitude was that I wanted to get as much out of the experience as possible, just finding ways to ensure my safety and security as much as possible so I could focus on the weekend experiences. One particular example that sticks with me was going to Orleans for 3 or 4 days across a holiday weekend – celebrating Jeanne d’Arc. I was excited to be in Orleans for the festival and if I ever find my photos I’ll see what I can share.

Jeanne D’Arc/Maid of Orleans
Image by Jeremy B from Pixabay

I knew that I needed to take care of my safety and security while having fun. Basic things such as:

  • ensuring your room door locks fully/securely and if you have any doubts/concerns put something in front of the door so you’ll hear anyone trying to come in.
  • as a woman travelling alone, I always asked for a room upstairs – you don’t want a ground floor room.
  • if you’re going into restaurants etc to eat alone take a book/notebook with you so you can read or write up your experiences of the day.
  • also be aware of the layout of the room etc and if possible, ask for a table where you can see what’s going on in the restaurant/cafe.
  • it may seem obvious, but if you feel uncomfortable going into somewhere, leave and go elsewhere. Its important to feel comfortable
  • one tip I remember from planning my 6 week stay in Seville as part of my studies (the year before my stay in France) is not to wear expensive jewellery (in case you get mugged) and all jewellery should be something that if someone grabs at it, the chain breaks easily so you don’t get hurt.
  • if you’re at a table etc, be aware of where your bag is at all times. If you can, loop the handle/strap around the chair/table leg so it won’t be snatched and always keep it closed. Once of the group I was part of had her purse lifted out of her bag while sitting on the table in front of us.
  • I have always hated anyone at my back, so I’ll usually slow down – stop to tie my laces, check my bag/phone for something or sit down if possible to let people get in front of me.
  • I think my other tips would be general common sense, stay to main streets, particularly after dark. That said, I would usually be exploring so much, eat my main meal at lunch and be grabbing a sandwich/baguette for dinner and taking it back to my hotel room.
  • the above reminds me, don’t assume standards, the weather, environment etc are the same as back home. A tale for another day, but my worst experience was self-inflicted when I gave myself horrific food poisoning after eating a ham baguette I’d carried in 40c heat for hours without thinking because that’s what we do/can do in Scotland it would be safe to eat.

Calculated Risks

I believe it is possible to have adventures and be secure at the same time. You just need to be aware of your environment and be confident. I’d say assess the risks associated with what you’re doing and consider what you can do to reduce those risks. You are responsible for your own safety; be aware of what’s happening around you and remember that there are also risks to staying home.

Go out and enjoy yourselves, exploring and having adventures. Go and have fun.

To find out more about my own adventures, sign up to my blog today.


  1. I agree with you Brenda that it’s possible to have both adventure and security if one is mindful. Great tips to people traveling alone.

  2. “Surely one doesn’t need to be to the exclusion of the other?”
    I agree…

    so very nicely done, Brenda.
    lovely how you turned this prompt around. much enjoyed 🤍✨🤍

  3. Interesting Brenda! Love the idea of a year in France teaching. Yes, smart to being smart in the decisions you made, but love too the sense of adventure. I think sometimes we let the fear hold us back. (At least I worry about that for myself. Ha ha)

  4. It kinda just makes me mad that there’s a double standard for men and women when it comes to perceived safety and societal norms. Under that anger, there’s a feeling of hopelessness, I think. Will it ever really change?? I want to hope it will. And I am glad you have been able to gently push back on the societal norms, as you enjoy your life – the only life you have! May as well enjoy it!!

    • Thanks David. I hadn’t thought about that side of things, but yes I think as a woman, I’m always aware of who’s around, where any threats etc might be. I think we do a lot of these things instinctively

  5. While it’s impossible to plan for everything I think we miss out on a lot by deciding it’s too hard, too scary, too risky, too whatever and then just not doing anything at all. Why miss out on fun, learning, or just staving off boredom by sitting home alone. I’m always taken aback when I hear someone mention how brave another person is for simply stepping out alone. Why is that weird and why does it bring about the mention of bravery? I want to know what has impacted a person so greatly that they respond that way- is it culturally or socially inspired, past trauma, learned behavior…

    You do a great job of highlighting a lot of the whys and hows to consider about getting out and just living life Brenda. We all need adventures!

    • I think there are lots of factors that impact – the factors you mentioned, but I also think society is changing, so age makes a difference too. But I agree, culture/societal norms in your background, upbringing/familial influences etc … how much we were encouraged or discouraged. My mum wasn’t adventurous, but my dad was … probably why I feel the need to control and will have minimised risks before doing anything.

  6. A thought provoking article, Brenda.
    I enjoyed reading every sentence and your tips to have fun during adventure, while being secure.
    “Safety and adventure can coexist, creating a perfect blend of excitement and tranquility.” – Anonymous

  7. I love your sense of adventure, and with adventure comes risk. I’ve traveled abroad solo many times. I’ve also backpacked in the wilderness, where any given day I did not see another person.
    Risk is a funny thing. You just never know. You know I like to collect things, what you don’t know is I collect quotes. Allow me to provide a couple (for discussion of course) that I feel relate to risk.

    You don’t get true adventure without suffering. – unkown
    The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. – Jack London
    Sometime you leap, and sometimes someone catches you.- Issac Asimov
    It means that you must do what you really and truly want. And nothing is more difficult. – Michael Ende
    In a world where I feel so small, I can’t stop thinking big. – Kevin Anderson

    And my fave:
    It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be. – Tolkien

  8. I love your sense of adventure, Brenda! Yes, you are right we can get hurt anywhere – even if we stay home. Your tips are very good. I think the ultimate form of safety is ability to be resilient when things go wrong – because things often will in big or small ways and we have to know how to regroup.

    • That it so true Wynne. I hadn’t thought about resilience, the ability to bounce back. Thanks for adding to the discussion

  9. Useful tips Brenda! I am always looking around myself when travelling but also when going to see an exhibition. As you say security doesn’t prevent you from having adventures!

  10. I love learning about other places and cultures, and I am willing to take risks to actually go to different places, sometimes by myself and sometimes with others. I remember a trip to the Lake District in England to hike with three friends, one an experienced Lake District hiker, except he had always gone in summer and we were there in November. When the sun began to set in mid-afternoon, he panicked because we had not brought flashlights and this was before cell phones. But, somehow, we made it back safely–with a story to tell (and a lesson learned). I have had wonderful experiences of generous hospitality all around the world because I was willing to take the risk. I know people who are risk-averse and learn of other places and cultures through books and movies; to each her own.

    • Thanks for your insights and sharing your experience with us. Yes, I would imagine the Lakes in November would have some challenges

  11. Very useful tips even for every day activities, Brenda! These same habits should be used when going to a local restaurant or corner grocer….why is it more dangerous to go on an adventure…unless you’re talking extreme sports? I’m generally more comfortable on a hiking trail than in a city, which brings its own set of safety rules….but with common sense and precautions you can have your adventure, whatever that looks like for you! 💞💞💞

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