Ever since I can remember, I've had this insatiable curiosity to explore things. When I was very small, I climbed around with my sister in an old creek behind our house, finding rocks, holes, and new places to look at. If it seemed out of reach, I would try to reach it through any way I could, including shimmying across fallen tree trunks and jumping onto half-submerged rocks. Unbelievably, I only fell twice. Once, when I was four. Another time, when I got distracted. That was a larger tumble, but I stood up from the bottom of the creek (having just rolled down many feet of large boulders and jagged rocky outcroppings) and simply said I was okay. No blood, no broken bones, no pain.
When I was seven my family went to visit friends in Utah. We climbed up canyon walls and crawled through tunnels; looked around small caves; explored old Native American dwellings with other folk there for the touristy stuff. At one point, our dads and all of us girls went all over exploring on our own on a separate day. The one moment that sticks in my mind the most is when I looked to the horizon and asked what "those buildings" were. They were Native American houses, built right into the rock wall of a mountain. Excited, I asked if we could go see. Next thing I remember, we were on our way. Through tall brush that reached my waist, until we came to a barbed wire fence and a sign. NO TRESPASSING. Ha. My dad and his friend held the barbed wire and helped us girls climb or crawl over and through the fence, then stepped over it themselves and followed. We had been walking a few minutes;we were getting so close! And I was so excited. Then we heard gun shots. I don't remember what was said or how we got back to the fence, but I remember being picked up and practically tossed over the barbed wire. We made it back to the car, and I laughed, exclaiming, "That was *awesome*!" Our dads laughed at fearless Geek Girl.
When I moved to my current home city, a friend of mine told me of a haunted, abandoned building. All set to go, we made it almost there. There was a catch, however. He stopped the car beside an old house and got out. I followed his example and got out of the car I was in. My sister, the driver, refused to budge. Apparently, we had to walk from where we were. I almost grabbed a flash flight from him, but then my sister insisted she would stay. She was too freaked out. Well, one does not leave a sister behind. So, we got back in the cars and left. I still want to go check that place out. . .
Recently, we took a tour of an old battleship here in town. Of course, there are dozens of sectioned off hallways, doorways, stairways, and rooms. At one point, I was craning my neck, struggling to see down one darkened, roped off hallway. DO NOT CROSS. "What do you think is down there," I asked my dad. He gave a nonchalant shrug and replied, "Go see." So I did.
Not long after I went on my little exploring mission, one minute tops, a voice on the intercom announced that we cannot cross ropes and chains. "This is for your safety." We laughed.
The point of all this is, I've always had this penchant for getting into new places, exploring, discovering. And there's a word for the hobby now! Urban Exploration. ;)