How can I become an adventurer

Interview: Erling Kagge: "You can also be an adventurer at home"

If anyone is still a real adventurer today, it is Erling Kagge. The Norwegian was the first person to reach the "three poles of the earth" - South Pole, North Pole and the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. In the extreme cold of the Antarctic, he was completely alone with just a sled for weeks. Kagge has recorded his experiences and findings in a "Philosophy for Adventurers". Here he tells what it has to do with supposedly normal life.

What motivated you to start your adventure?

Erling Kagge: I believe we are all born explorers. You, me and everyone else too. Every child wonders what is beyond the horizon. And every child wants to create more space around them. This spirit of discovery never disappears, but it is slowly being watered down by kindergarten, parents, friends, school and colleagues. But we have it in us as long as we live.

What were the toughest moments on your expeditions to the South and North Poles?

Erling Kagge: Getting up at the right time every morning when it is minus 50 degrees in the tent. The first step is always the most difficult.

And the most sublime, greatest moments?

Erling Kagge: To be part of nature, to listen to mother earth. It tells you where you come from and also a few things that are still ahead of you on the street. Also, the warmth was nice when I got frostbite and to be full after nearly dying of starvation.

Some say adventure is just outside the front door. Do you agree or do you think that is a cliché?

Erling Kagge: I definitely agree. Some of life's greatest secrets are waiting in your own neighborhood. Every other travel book is about someone who has traveled a long way but finds the answers to the big questions when they return home.

So what's stopping travelers from going on an adventure?

Erling Kagge: You need to realize the importance of making your life a little more difficult than necessary. A free person has time. But if you always choose the easiest path in life, then you will live an unfree life.

How do you mean that exactly?

Erling Kagge: Responsibility is the key to a free life. If you avoid responsibility, you will choose the easiest path at every crossroads, and in that case your decisions, big or small, will be predetermined. We should want a challenging life. Responsibility and stress give substance to life. Always choosing the easiest route is the recipe for killing this substance. If your life doesn't make a difference to others, it won't mean so much to you in the long run.

Do I have to avoid tour operators to go on adventures?

Erling Kagge: No. I think everyone has to find their own way. And to badmouth tour operators, I find disrespectful.

Do you sometimes feel nostalgia because the world has already been discovered and there are hardly any blank spots left on the map?

Erling Kagge: I think the world actually remains undiscovered. It changes all the time, just like us, and in that sense the world is new every morning. And when it comes to discoveries, I am convinced that the best is yet to come.

Are we too afraid that something will fail?

Erling Kagge: Sometimes it probably does. Failure is almost never a good feeling. This experience, on the other hand, is a very good school, even if it is the most expensive. Someone who never fails has probably dared too little from the start. Failure is part of life - we all fail.

What will your next adventure be?

Erling Kagge: I think of life as a long walk. A way in which everyone has to find their own south pole ..

  • To person:Erling Kagge, born in 1963, is a publisher, author, art collector, adventurer and family man. He has published several books, including “Silence. A guide ”. And now the book “Philosophy for Adventurers”, Insel-Verlag, 186 pages, 18 euros.

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