I can’t remember ever being the adventurous type. I mean, as a kid I said whatever came to mind, broke more rules than my parents know about, and drank more than I probably should have, but I was never really a thrill-seeker. That’s thanks to my over-developed superego, my issues with anxiety, and my family’s motto for life that I’m pretty sure is on an old coat of arms somewhere:
Trust no one
Am I really that cowardly? I live vicariously through the heroines I read about (Elizabeth Gilbert, Jane Eyre, even Miss Marple), but would I ever have the guts to do what they do?
So I decided to take a look at the data we collected for our Adventure Quotient (AQ) Test to see how I compare. Here are some of the questions we ask on the test, and how women in our sample answered:
The lowest comfort I would consider for sleeping is:
- Outside on the ground 50%
- A tent 30%
- An RV or camper 11%
Ok – I don’t do outside, because I don’t like bugs…and might as well scratch the tent too. I’ll go with the RV.
At a theme park, I’ll try:
- The highest, scariest ride 50%
- Something fast, but no upside-down stuff 34%
- The park bench 9%
- The merry-go-round 7%
Yes! This is where my adventurousness comes out. I love rollercoasters; although right before you do that first down part (after the click click click of going up), I always tell myself that I need to write a will to make sure someone gets custody of my cat.
You inherit $100,000 from a distant uncle. What are you more likely to do with it?
(For this question, we offered people answer pairs. They needed to choose one of two choices.).
- Go on an epic shopping spree 52%
- Donate some, or all, to charity 48%
I don’t like shopping. I wear things until they wear out. I’d probably donate some money to PBS (their shows are awesome).
- Go on a casino fling 8%
- Put it in the bank 92%
I don’t have a poker face. I’d put it in the bank.
- Go on a dream vacation 92%
- Throw a gigantic party 8%
My dream vacation is to go to Scotland, find a hot Scotsman who wears a kilt and owns a Scotch brewery and live there forever, exploring haunted castles as a Parapsychologist.
I would rather take:
- Survival skills classes 81%
- Speed reading classes 19%
As long as the survival skills training doesn’t include “50 ways to cook centipedes,” I’m in.
- Kickboxing classes 44%
- Tai Chi classes 56%
I am all for the inner peace, fix-my-chi thing, but I’d rather kick butt with kickboxing.
I would rather go to:
- An Inuit igloo 38%
- A Buddhist temple 62%
I’ve lived all my life in a climate where winter lasts at least four months. I’ve also been dreaming about finding a guru who calls me Little Grasshopper. I’ll take the Buddhist temple.
- An African hut 42%
- A European hostel 58%
Why would anyone choose a hostel? It sounds like hostile. I know the bugs are huge in Africa, but I’ll take my chances with the hut.
- A Japanese pagoda 58%
- A California spa 42%
I can’t get myself to relax when I’m in a spa. I don’t know what people do in a pagoda, but they’re beautiful and considered sacred. Sorry California. Hello, Japan!
I’d rather have:
- Goldfish 69%
- Snake 31%
Ok – I choose neither. Goldfish are ugly and smell fishy. Snakes are just terrifying. But kudos to the ladies who are willing to handle them!
- Tarantula 10%
- Horse 90%
Those who know about my arachnophobia can guess which answer I’d choose here. And I’ve always wanted to do that whole riding-down-the-beach-on-a-black-horse-with-my-hair-flying-in-the-wind-in-slow-motion thing.
I like the thrill of:
- A looming deadline 45%
- A charging rhino 55%
As long as I am watching from the safety of a sturdy, rhino-proof vehicle, I’ll choose the rhino.
- Running cross-country 63%
- Running with the bulls 37%
Let’s make one thing clear here: I do not run. Short girls with short legs were not made to run. But if I had to choose…walking cross-country.
- Swimming with dolphins 79%
- Swimming with sharks 21%
Am I the only one who thinks sharks are awesome, but can’t stand their dead eyes? Dolphins are adorable, funny, and sweet – and smarter than at least two of my ex-boyfriends.
- Finding something I really like on sale 32%
- Finding an ancient Egyptian artifact in the Valley of the Kings 68%
When I was contemplating my career path, I was really drawn to archeology. Not sure why I didn’t go for it though – my guess is the heat and the discomfort of having sand in my undies. But I’d happily join an excavation!
You’re in exotic city. Are you willing to taste the local fair, which includes chocolate covered grasshoppers, stir-fried snake, and pickled pig tail?
- Definitely 26%
- Depends on how they’re prepared 34%
- Depends on what’s at stake. For $100 I would 10%
- Not a chance 30%
First, I want to offer my heartfelt praise to the ladies who chose any of the first three answers. But there is no amount of chocolate or money that will get me to eat any of the above.
Based on my responses in comparison to other women in our sample, I’ve officially decided to upgrade my adventure status from “Cowardly” to “Cautious with occasional bursts of what can be considered adventurousness.”