Everybody Told Me It Was a Bad Idea to Invade Russia in Winter, but There’s No Harm in Trying, Amirite?
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.