Dreamt Of Being An Explorer As A Kid?

The 20s are here to grant your wish.

Deepti Kannapan
4 min readMay 13, 2021
Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash

Growing up reading R.L. Stevenson and Jules Verne, I wanted to be an explorer when I grew up. That dream stumbled when I learned that there weren’t any continents left to discover. Further disappointing was learning what the explorers of yore were actually trying to do — steal land, mess with people’s religion, grab a bunch of animals for zoos, and generally wreak havoc and destruction.

I had no truck with any of that nonsense, I just wanted to wear boots and tramp around in the woods. It’s like when you learn that aspiring to be a pirate is actually aspiring to theft.

Fast forward several decades of living a sensible grownup lifestyle, and quarantine has me digging through old diaries and reflecting on old dreams. And behold, the 21st century has a greater need for explorers and adventurers than even the eras I dreamt about, for exactly the opposite reasons.

Rather than claim land and natural resources for human exploitation, the paramount goal of our century is to return nature to itself. And that requires plenty of travel, scrambling, bushwacking and incredible outfits too.

Here are some ways to channel your inner explorer, no invasion or colonization required.

Dress for the job you want



Deepti Kannapan

Painter, occasional cartoonist, aerospace engineer. Writes about sustainable technology, creativity, and journaling.