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ERIC Number: EJ1083404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1324-1486
"The Mirror of the Sea": Narrative Identity, Sea Kayak Adventuring and Implications for Outdoor Adventure Education
Miles, Beau; Wattchow, Brian
Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, v18 n1 p16-26 2015
This paper explores the complex and changing nature of adventure as a form of cultural practice. Borrowing from Joseph Conrad's memoirs "The Mirror of The Sea" (1907), sea kayaking is contextualized here as a journey that takes place just as much between "landfall and departure" as it does between the paddler's ears (i.e., in the paddler's mind). That is to say, to gain useful insights into the experience of sea kayaking it is necessary to consider both the external and internal journey of the paddler, and the relationship that exists between these two phenomena. Using tenets of personality psychology which presents new ways of understanding narrative identity, we will "waymark" textual vignettes from four modern day sea kayaking adventure narratives to explore ideas of self, narrative identity and meaning making. These key passages aim to reveal how the adventurer's story is influenced by "external factors that shape the public expression of stories about the self" (McAdams & McLean, 2013, p. 233). Summary discussion will address potential implications for contemporary outdoor adventure education, offering a way of stimulating reflective practice about the culturally and textually constructed nature of adventure.
Outdoor Council of Australia. 150 Caxton Street, Milton, Queensland 4064, Australia. Tel: +61-7-3369-9455; Fax: +61-7-3369-9355; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A