MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

A Man’s Core Desire for Adventure

Filed under: Boys / Youth / Education,Events,General — fatheringadventures @ 8:55 pm Sun 3rd August 2008

So here I am… an Australian man posting on… brave or what? Especially after the Wallabies received an absolute grubbing at the hands of the All Blacks yesterday. John Potter had explained that was specifically designed and created for New Zealand men, but after I played the “ANZAC” card, he was most gracious, and has allowed me to author and post a few articles here. So here it goes…


Whatever your nationality, there is something at the core of ALL men… and that’s our desire for adventure. Oh sure, most of our lives on the surface, look anything but adventurous, but it is there… however deep we may have buried it over time. Just watch boys play. My youngest son, Theo, has just turned 5. About a month ago, he came to me and asked if I could remove his training wheels from his bike. I didn’t think he was ready, because he hadn’t been riding long, but I resisted those doubts, and off they came… and more importantly, off he went… and he never looked back. Within an hour, he was challenging his brothers to race from one end of our court to the other… to simply ride was just not enough anymore… and I’m happy to report that he wasn’t far off the mark either. Within another hour, he was setting up ramps… determined to defy gravity. And he did, for a short time at least. Risk-a-plenty, and no fear… just an unhindered adventurous heart. It made me think back to my own childhood… growing up at the foot of Mount Louisa… which by definition is not a mountain at all, but to an 8 year old boy… I was Sir Edmund Hillary, and it was my Everest. And what about exploration… the extensive system of bike tracks, and abandoned World War II bunkers… my boyhood was one Indiana Jones adventure after another.

So what went wrong? We as a society have lost what it means to be a man. We get older… we “grow up”, we get married… have children… become responsible… and somewhere during that process, our good and true longing for adventure heads underground. It is then that a man begins to create his own, very small adventures… finding himself addicted to video games or pornography, and perhaps even falling into an affair. By their own admissions… men don’t find themselves falling into affairs for love, or for sex… but for adventure.

Last weekend, I took a bunch of men away, from all spheres of life, for what we called our MAN ALIVE adventure weekend. The theme was, as you could probably imagine… Adventure. Armed with major motion picture theatrical trailers, and specific clips to illustrate that theme, I spoke a little on both the Friday and Saturday evenings, followed by hanging out together around a fire. All day Saturday was devoted to white-water rafting down the Tully River. A great and truly adventurous weekend was had by all, with many stories coming out over the course of the weekend. One such story was this… one of the men who I will call Shane, joined us on the weekend. It was on day 1 that he informed me that he could not swim very well. How brave is this man I thought to myself. He went on to explain that when he was just 5 years of age, his father drowned… in white-water of all things, and his mother from that point on, never allowed him as a child to enter the water, hence his inability to swim well. Both the rafting guide… who was a New Zealand man in fact… and I, kept a very close eye on him whilst on the river… but what a great victory he won that weekend. What great strength, courage, and resolve. I wonder what I would have done in that same position? I think I would have hid… been too busy to take part in the weekend… I’m sure I could have come up with some really good, honourable, believable excuse. Shane now plans to have a swimming pool installed in their backyard, and he plans to teach his son and daughter how to swim. A new beginning!

Yes, adventure is crucial for a man… it calls something out of us… it shapes us. I like the way Andre Gide (1869 — 1951) said it… “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.”

Guys, one of my current “life adventures” is what I call “Fathering Adventures”. Take a little time to explore our website at, and book yourself and your son, or your Dad, or another significant male in your life… a mentor, or even a protege perhaps, in quickly, for our September “Father-Son” adventure. Hope to meet you then!

Strength and Honour,
Darren Lewis

Darren has been married to his beautiful wife Melissa for 17 years, and is father to his four courageous sons, ranging in age from 14 years to 5 years. Darren has not given up on his desire to live life to the full.

Darren Lewis

Fathering Adventures

Ph: (617) 4723 2941

Fax: (617) 4723 2941

Mob: 61431 839 035

email: [email protected]



  1. Good advertisement !

    Comment by martin swash — Sun 3rd August 2008 @ 9:12 pm

  2. Great Stuff Darren – You have seen a need and met it head on – Thus your own adventure – Most ideas cost money – Helping MEN restore their ManHOOD is costly – Helping MEN restore their FAMILY is also costly – MEN have to restore their ManHOOD to restore their FAMILY – NEVER be discouraged by those who will take and see you broke – They aren’t MEN

    Keep up the good work

    Ration Shed – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 7:57 am

  3. R.I.P Steve Irwin & R.I.P Peter Brock

    Comment by bull en a china shop — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 10:04 am

  4. Also beware of people cashing in our plight !

    Comment by martin swash — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 11:14 am

  5. Martin I assume you have a question for those who make money from the misery of others as to the ethics of screwing your fellow man while growing an unnecessary industry.


    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 12:23 pm

  6. G’day everyone… thank you for all of your comments. First of all, I must apologise. After reading back over my post, I can see how my final paragraph may have come across as an over-the-top sales push. Once again… I’m sorry… that’s not my heart… it’s just that I have invested so much time, energy, and money into this cause, and there seems to be very few who actually understand the importance of the father’s role in the life of his son or daughter… especially here in Australia. Please read my bio… hopefully that will shed a little more light on who I am as a man.

    In regards to “cashing in” or “making money” from others… that’s just not me at all. Since 2000, my wife and I have been counselling individuals and couples in our “spare time”… had the privilege and honour of listening to their stories, and seen great healing and restoration come to their lives and relationships, and never charged a single cent for our time. The need has become so great, and I just don’t have that much “spare time” anymore, so forgive me for wanting to draw just a modest salary from Fathering Adventures. The cost of each 5-night adventure package is $1,200 per person, and my cost alone for accommodation, catered meals, and all of the outdoor adventure costs, is over $800 per person. I am not about to get rich off this initiative. I desire to see Dads plug into their sons and their daughters, to lessen the wounds inflicted from an absent Dad, by fostering and growing that relationship… effectively doing myself and others out of a job at the other end of the spectrum, when people come to us broken. Prevention is better than cure right! In between adventures, my time will be devoted to men, marriages, and families, and I’m looking into the possibility of reaching out to the prisons, in the hope of offering understanding to those who didn’t have fathers or another positive, significant male influence in their lives. Personally, I do not refer to this as an “industry”, and I absolutely believe that this is most necessary!

    Comment by fatheringadventures — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  7. Kiwi males are so spin doctored by years of Anti-Male stuff most are unaware of how feminised and separated from each other, we have become – niggly being one of them – Time of the month – Its far from the first time that Men who have seen a need for men and found a way to fund it, have been accused of making money from our misery – Rex McCann is one accused yet he and his org were responsible for turning me and probably 1000’s by now from suicide and help value ourselves as a Men and FATHERS – Many have gone on and become physiologists, counsellors, built orgs like ManAlive, FARE, Shore Fathers etc. even lawyers and have been accused – There were many others some who are on MENZ, John-P himself who have helped me and still do

    Accusing each other of impropriety, as I have been because I survive, Father my Son and help others on a single persons invalids benefit with NO help for my Son, will not get the job done – It simply helps the Helens of this world stay in power a little longer

    Helen has acheived her aim in politics because Men niggle rather than unite

    Ration Shed – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 5:03 pm

  8. I told Darren he could post here, even though it is an advertisement, because I personally think that doing things like rafting down rivers is an excellent activity for men (or women for that matter) to undertake.

    Rafting the Motu – I’m in the back left corner – click for bigger version:

    Not all MENZ readers are suffering and miserable, and some of those who are might very well be cheered up by getting into an adventure like this.

    Comment by JohnP — Mon 4th August 2008 @ 8:58 pm

  9. Good work Darren
    I concur with Jim, men are instinctively competitive with other men and this makes it hard for us to support each other. I also think homophobia plays a part in our isolation. I am visiting London and was in Leicester square killing some time when a homeless man came begging to me. I decided that in order to earn money he could tell me his story. He reluctantly, at first, revealed how his marriage had broken up and such was the acrimony that after 5 yrs in the family court he gave up on his children and life. After prodding, he began to get in touch with his feelings again and expressed how he felt disappointed that the UK government had betrayed him. Such was the shock that he eventually lost a sense of his identity. I spent a long time with him and revealed my own story, describing how connecting with other positive men bought me back from despair. Eventually I had to go. I gave him a big long hug. At first he began to sob and then it turned into a water shed of tears. I began to feel self conscience at first with so many people looking at us but then the outside world disappeared as my heart joined with his as he experienced a rebirth. He looked in his 50’s when I first met him, by the time we said goodbye he looked his age of 35. To feel and express deep love and support for other men in need is very masculine. It takes courage and the ability to empathise with others. In the Dali Lama’s book on “The Art of Happiness”, he expresses the concept that one can find deep happiness by empathising with others. This can also be a great tool for removing us out of isolation which is our greatest enemy. Rex McCann taught me the art of empathy.
    Darren, your work is inspiring. Keep it up.

    Comment by Bryan — Tue 5th August 2008 @ 4:53 am

  10. Great moving post Bryan, but what has it got to do with marketing and sales pitches of adventure holidays in Oz ? Yours was an emotional tale, this sales pitch is an attempt to play on mens’ emotions after a trauamtic time in our lives when we are maybe vulnerable

    Comment by martin swash — Tue 5th August 2008 @ 7:38 am

  11. Martin,

    You my friend are not listening when you read – Read the orininal and all 10 posts again – Its your perspective that needs to tilt as do many others

    Get out of your head only

    Ration Shed – Jim

    Comment by Jim Bailey — Tue 5th August 2008 @ 7:47 am

  12. Now, now lads, settle down.. Darren should try get government to sponsor his course as an alternative to anger manangement course / protection order, many men are cooped up in their homes like battery hens at times… What does government do to help, not much actually…While i havn’t sailed the seven sea’s myself, i was in the australian merchant navy for a few years, that was an adventure i shall never forget, The Great Australian Bight/southern ocean, woahhh!!!! (sydney to fremantle)

    Comment by bull en a china shop — Tue 5th August 2008 @ 9:39 am

  13. Darren here again guys… thanks for all of the interest… what a wonderful discussion… and a much needed one indeed.

    I would love to get some kind of government funding to help subsidise Dads from all around Australia and in fact the world… but alas… I’ve been told by ALL of the relevant ministers that I’m on my own. Surprise, surprise right.

    Martin, I’m so sorry that you doubt my heart… I completely understand it mind you… given the state of this broken world in which we live, but it saddens me no less. Jim, I don’t believe Martin is in fact operating out of his head in this case… I believe he’s actually responding out of his raw emotions. I suspect Martin that you have either suffered your “trauma” very recently, or you have just not begun the journey to resolve that wounding. I suspect a combination of both actually… wounding upon wounding.

    Martin, I’m also finding it difficult to understand how you can call what we’re hoping to offer… “adventure holidays in Oz”. Have you been to our website yet, or have your preconceived ideas prevented you from doing so? How often does that happen in your life? If you’ve been to the website, then you will see that what we are in fact offering is the adventure of buidling a powerful father-son / father-daughter relationship… to escape from all of the stresses, hassles, and tragedies that life tends to bring… albeit for just a week… in the context of fun, adventure, and laughter. Now if that’s already happening with Dads and their children around the world… great… I should be focussing my efforts on something else… but that’s not what I see… what my experience has shown.

    One final question Martin… and for the rest of us men here for that matter… take one step back from everything else at this point in time… How was your relationship with your Dad? OK… just one more… How is your relationship with your Dad today? What does that have to do with anything? I believe a lot… more than meets the eye… that’s why I do what I do.


    Comment by fatheringadventures — Tue 5th August 2008 @ 11:40 am

  14. My Dad died in 1985. Can I bring him if I dig him up? Could he get a half-rate since most of him will be decayed?

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sun 10th August 2008 @ 11:53 pm

  15. I found a little treasure today.
    I purchased a book of stamps on Trade Me.
    For a small sum.
    In the book was a card.
    Printed and signed, with a written comment.

    A card thanking the expedition to Everest.
    For being good to there son.
    Dated in the days following the event.

    So today, I got a little luck.

    Comment by DJ Ward — Fri 1st October 2021 @ 11:04 am

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