Not all who wander are lost. Some may, however, starve, freeze, or discover the wrong continent. History is full of adventures: stories of heroism that most often ignore the blowback their droll times caused. Here, we address the repercussions inherent in adventure.
Ulysses’ Odyssey (1260-1180 BC)
Sailed around the Mediterranean on a twenty-year quest to reach Ithaca, his home.
Repercussions: Infidelity; dethroning; Cannibal! The Musical; homework; Enya.
Frederick Barbarossa’s Third Crusade (1189–92 AD)
Embarked on the third and last Crusade in conjunction with the French and the English. After drowning in a river, his army tried to preserve his body in vinegar, but failed.
Repercussions: Chaos; suicide; loss of Crusade; Monty Python.
Marco Polo’s Mapping of China (1269-1296 AD)
Embarked on a journey to Asia, returned to Venice to find it at war with Genoa, dictated his stories to a cellmate while imprisoned.
Repercussions: Christopher Columbus; first detailed chronicle of China; that annoying swimming pool game.
Christopher Columbus’ ‘Discovery of America’ (1492 AD)
Crossed the Atlantic to reach India and prove the Earth was round, and to discover a shorter passage to India.
Repercussions: Discovery of the New World; genocide; pumpkin spice lattes.
Napoléon Bonaparte’s Invasion of Russia (1812 AD)
Lead his Grande Armée to a disastrous invasion of Russia. Was completely wiped out in six months due to the weather, disease and food shortage.
Repercussions: Loss of Empire; loss of reputation; exile to Elba; canned food.
Jonathan Trappe’s Atlantic Balloon Crossing (2013 AD)
Tried to cross the Atlantic Ocean using a cluster of balloons. Landed in Newfoundland and posted on Facebook: “This doesn’t look like France.”
Repercussions: Loss of dignity (if it ever existed).
Matt Lindsay’s first Uber Ride of the Year (2016 AD)
The admittedly intoxicated electrical technologist from Edmonton, Canada paid a fare of $859 USD for his ride home on New Year’s Eve.
Repercussions: Empty bank account; hangover; anger.