Lifestyle

Meet the new adventurers

Whether we arrive on foot, in our car or even in our own minds, adventure enriches life. Inspired by the arrival of the V60 Cross Country, we meet five people who are exploring the limits of our world and the human psyche, to find out what adventure means to them.

WORDS: NATHANIEL HANDY / LEO WILKINSON

What does adventure mean in the modern age? In an era when it often seems that the human race has discovered all there is to know about Earth, and beyond, is there really anything left to discover?

It doesn’t take much digging to discover that the spirit of adventure is alive and well. From the weekend adventurers that get their thrills mountain biking, climbing or sailing to those that explore new territories – of the world and knowledge – for a living, adventure remains integral to our existence as humans. Here, five people for whom adventure is a way of life, and a way of thinking, tell us what it means to them.


CRISTA VALENTINO
Conservation entrepreneur and rock climber, founder of CoalitionWILD

“My adventure is rock climbing. It consistently pushes you mentally and physically further than you’ve ever been before. On one particular climb, I was struggling up a route. I didn’t feel strong or capable enough and, after finally reaching the top, about 100 feet off the ground, I felt completely defeated.

“With my head hanging, my climbing partner yelled up to me: ‘Hey! Remember to enjoy the view!’ In that moment, she snapped me out of my pity party. That moment has stuck with me for years – whether on the rock face or in the office. I still have a Post-It note stuck onto my computer that says, ‘Enjoy the view’.

“A life of adventure is about making the most of your own capacities. While building a coalition of more than 10,000 environmental activists over the past four years, I’ve met some incredible people. Each time I walk away changed in some way. That’s a never-ending adventure.”

CAMILA AHRENDT
Marine Biologist, Scientific Director of Plastic Oceans Foundation

“Water is my second home. I grew up close to the sea and I remember the first time my family taught me to identify the animals that lived on the Chilean coast. I wanted to keep learning, to discover the living beings beneath the waves.

“Every time my work takes me into the fi eld, I dive to explore the habitat. This is when my role as a marine biologist combines with my deepest passion – observing just how wild and beautiful the natural world is. When I’m diving, I experience a very intimate moment with nature. It is a space of peace, where humans cannot intrude more than the scuba gear allows.”

SAM COSSMAN
Tech explorer, founder of Qwake

“Curiosity is a quality we all possess. When we’re young, we’re curious about everything in the world and, over time, grown-ups have a tendency to abandon that. If you allow it to, curiosity can inspire innovation, because you’re constantly on the lookout for tools that can make your explorations safer and more efficient.

“When my team and I went into the Marum Crater on Vanuatu – one of the most dangerously active volcanoes in the world – we discovered that volcanic gas makes for very low visibility. We turned to the hand-held thermal imaging cameras used in the firefighting industry to help, but these weren’t very useful because we had to use our hands to climb. As a result, I brought together a team of scientists, engineers, designers, and experts in the areas of extreme environments to create C-Thru, an augmented reality headset that helps you see in zero-visibility environments, yet keeps your hands free. We realised we had solved not only a problem for ourselves, but also for a global community of first-responders.”

LINGSEN MENG
Seismologist, Professor of Geophysics, UCLA

“Adventure, for me, is when I push everything a little bit outside of my comfort zone. This is when I can improve myself. It’s how I have overcome language, cultural and technical barriers in my career.

“One of the biggest challenges in my work is the unpredictability of earthquakes. I’ve worked on the development of new earthquake early warning systems, and one of my focuses is to develop better imaging using advanced tracking and detecting borrowed from radar, sonar and telecommunications. I’m driven by a desire to understand the interior of the Earth and, for seismologists, the best laboratory is the Earth itself. Humans have unravelled the secrets of the universe using telescopes and space probes, yet we still know very little about the inside of our own planet.”

“Adventure, for me, is when I push everything a little bit outside of my comfort zone. This is when I can improve myself.”

KAREN FONTIJN
Volcanologist, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford

“When I chose volcanology as an undergraduate, most studies were looking at volcanoes using satellite remote sensing images but I insisted on fieldwork – the adventure lay in first-hand experience.

“I’ve been fascinated by geology since I was a child, and I recall being inspired by photos of the Grand Canyon and the Meteorite Crater in the USA. My passion as a volcanologist is to understand the volcanoes of East Africa – some of the most poorly understood on the planet – and to contribute to the training of the next generation of African geoscientists.

“I am currently working with colleagues in Kenya on exploring volcanoes not only as hazards but also as economic resources. Some are enormous geothermal reservoirs that could play an important role in renewable energy and sustainable development.”

Meet the car built for adventure

“Cross Country models were created to enable active lifestyles. They help people pursue their passions and give them confidence in all weathers and on all roads, yet also provide the versatility, luxury and engaging driving experience that they expect from a Volvo,’’ says Robin Page, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo Cars.

Read more about features of the V60 Cross Country – the car designed to inspire your spirit of adventure.

DISCOVER THE V60 CROSS COUNTRY