Adventure Dependency Disorder

ADD – Adventure Dependency Disorder

I, Chris ‘Tarzan’ Clemens, have a severe case of ADD. Adventure Dependency Disorder.

Adventure Dependency Disorder – The need to always be on an adventure, at the expense of everything stable, secure, and comfortable.

The symptoms that led to this diagnosis include:

  • An intense aversion to cubicles and fluorescent lights
  • Moving out of an apartment to live in a van
  • Considering three wet wipes a sufficient shower
  • An inability to stay in one place for more than 5 consecutive days
  • Counting the number of different places I sleep each year
  • Booking one way flights with minimal planning beyond the arrival airport
  • Judging my success on how well defined my wristwatch tan line is
  • A string of failed relationships due to a mistress named Adventure

What Life Looks Like With Adventure Dependency Disorder

For years I kept it under wraps and masqueraded as a high functioning young professional, but recently it’s grown into a systemic problem that’s turned me into a long-haired dirtbag vagabond. I’ve walked away from two stable careers, given away most of my stuff, moved into a van, and am a more or less “un-datable” specimen of the male species. I hardly know where I’ll be in 3 or 4 days, but have already planned adventures for the next 3 to 4 years. If I’m not on an adventure, I’m researching one. Heck, while I’m on an adventure I’m already planning the next!

Adventure Dependency Disorder
Spending a rainy day during our South American Bicycle Tour to research next year’s River Trip.

The prognosis for Adventure Dependency Disorder is simple. I’ll likely continue bouncing along from adventure to adventure, working enough to pay for excursions while saving a little for “retirement.” I’ll avoid comfort and stability and choose AntiComfortable because that leads to new friends and epic stories. I’ll often travel solo, but won’t feel lonely. Every day I’ll learn more about myself, other people, and the world around me, and I have Adventure Dependency Disorder to thank for that.

AA – Adventurers Anonymous

What about you? Do you have Adventure Dependency Disorder? Maybe we can start our own AA support group, Adventurers Anonymous. Imagine a bunch of like-minded adventure junkies attending group therapy sessions while thru-hiking a long trail, bicycle touring around Asia, rowing across an ocean, or overlanding through Africa.

If you think you have Adventure Dependency Disorder, let it run wild! Quit your job, donate your stuff, get a backpack, buy a one way ticket, and go have the adventure of a lifetime, or, have a lifetime of adventures!

Adventure Dependency Disorder - Group
My tribe of “Adventurers Anonymous”

Official Medical Diagnosis: Dromomania

Adventure Dependency Disorder is a real diagnosable condition called “dromomania.” Condé Nast Traveler reports:

“Dromomania,” sometimes called “vagabond neurosis,” is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as an “impulse-control disorder” and “psychiatric problem.” The definition states: “sufferers have an abnormal impulse to travel; they are prepared to spend beyond their means, sacrifice jobs, lovers, and security in their lust for new experiences.”

So yeah, I guess Adventure Dependency Disorder is a real thing…and…I’m happy to have it!



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