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Omaha Magazine May 2023 - The Adventure Issue

Apr 26, 2023 03:11PM ● By Julius Fredrick

Compasses and Dictionaries: A Word or Three on Adventure

What separates a trip from an adventure? An element of risk? A sense of novelty?

I suppose reading might be considered an adventure then, as you never quite know what word— pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis—might come next. Though, as long as you aren’t coughing up silica dust, even big words like that aren’t so scary.

No, it’s the short words that jump out at us, and sometimes lead us in unexpected directions… Take the word ‘hope,’ a word local artist Anthony Peña combined with an image of solidarity during a time of outrage, heartbreak, and division. He inspired millions to consider ‘hope’ and launched his art into the public eye, changing lives—including his—with a single syllable.

Or take the word ‘care,’ a word that is painfully elusive in certain areas of the world when medical or surgical procedures are required. Though surgeon Dr. Debra Reilly recalled the time she “broke down in the hallway” after observing the awful state of a Kenyan hospital on her first visit to the country, ‘care’ picked her up and called her to return, to teach. Kenya has gone from zero to 24 plastic surgeons since Reilly began regularly visiting the country, and she continues to care for patients across the globe through the non-profit Reconstructing Women Internationally.

Perhaps the most potent word of all, ‘love,’ is what led Henry Doorly Zoo Director of Genetics Dr. Edward Louis Jr. to create the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership—a love for the abundance and variety of life nestled in an island nation he visited 25 years ago—that has employed thousands of Malagasy natives and planted nearly six million trees in an effort to combat deforestation. 

Whatever words inspire you, make sure you pay attention to where they lead—after all, you may already be on the adventure of a lifetime.

Speaking of words and new experiences, Omaha Magazine is thrilled to partnered Radio Talking Book Service to bring you audio versions of our stories. The QR code in our table of contents links to a playlist containing all of this issue’s stories as narrated by the wonderful volunteers at RTBS. Additionally, there’s an individual QR code for each of this issue’s features at the end of those stories. Enjoy! 

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Omaha Magazine - The Adventure Issue May 2023

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