I started out by taking the MSF course, then bought a beat up 250 rebel to get my skills up. While I learned to ride I saved for the next bike. I stumbled on this site and fell in love with the idea of and adventure bike. I settled on a Honda CB500X. It was an awesome bike with plenty of farkles available. I rode from Arizona to California and to Wyoming. I explored most of Arizona highways. But I found myself planning out my "adventures" following other peoples footsteps. I avoided obsticales when I could and other than a few wrong turns I stuck to fire roads that were accessible to most stock suvs My bar ends and crash bars only saw dirt once. Unfortunately the bike spent more time in the shed that seeing the sun. Work and life took its toll so after 4 or 5 years I sold it to a friend and used the cash to fund a family car with a kid on the way. After spending a season bikeless I picked up a used XT225, thinking that like my 250 rebel it would be a bike to learn on the dirt while i saved up and figured out what I wanted. Honestly though when it comes to dollar/fun ratio the used dual sport wins. I now find myself on true adventures, real " I wonder where this road goes" type trips where I burn 50 - 100 miles on dirt on a sat, being slightly lost most of the time, discovering stuff that I would have sped past at 80 mph before. Bonus is where I was not very confident in riding in snow on the road ( mostly due to other drivers), I am pushing the riding season as far into winter as I can. Im no wordsmith, but I would say Adventures are kinda a personal thing, ride your ride whatever that is. Cheers!