Recklessness, Taking Risks and the Excitement of the Unknown

The Oxford English Dictionary defines reckless as: adj: heedless of danger or the consequences of one’s actions; rash or impetuous.

That is to say, reckless incurs a negative connotation. I prefer the Miriam Webster definition, which goes as follows:

adj: : marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences.

Its better, but still not quite the definition that I search for the word. Here's why.


College students and adventurers alike strive to make as many experiences in their lives as possible Epic. Obviously, not everything can be epic, because then nothing is, but the goal is to maximize epicness. Recklessness, in the mind of a adventurer whose lived just over twenty years, is a romanticized state of being. It entails throwing caution to the wind, taking risk after risk, and living it up, without inhibitions to limit potential.

Its for this reason that I search for a more positive definition for reckless. My whole year abroad, in my mind, feels somewhat reckless, are certain trips among that more than others. To me, recklessness is the ability to embrace what comes ahead, it is the ability to make decisions based on the sole knowledge that something big is coming, without quite knowing what.

In a sense, the OED and MW definitions do hit upon this feeling, but they are incomplete, because they lack the positive results that can come from recklessness. Recklessness is the abandon of rationality. Rationality doesn't dictate spending 8 hours on international trains to spend 24 hours in a new country. But recklessness dictates big things will happen when you take the risk, and epicness will ensue.

There's an excitement that comes along with being reckless, it frees us from hindrance. Constant worry about consequence is limiting, and without taking risks, no matter how much you limit losses, you also limit wins.

Therefore, I like to feel as if I'm living recklessly. Spontaneously. Inspired. I didn't know what to expect when I decided to move to Paris, and I never know whats coming next, be it a trip to a new quartier or a new country. Tomorrow morning I head to Germany and I don't know what to expect. In a sense, its reckless, because I booked the tickets and am going, with no deeper thought. But I'm not scared of my lack of foresight, on the contrary it excites me. The unknown is a stimulating realm.

Keep on adventuring, a Germany story will be coming soon.