I've figured it out. It's taken me two glasses of wine and an evening listening to "Music for the Open Minded" on iTunes radio, but I have an idea about adventure, and how to use it in a meaningful way.
Adventure is about the unknown, and the fears, excitement, adrenaline and ultimately satisfaction that come from experiencing it. Anything in life can be an adventure, whether it's selling your car or jumping off a bridge, both of which I've experienced as such. The common thread is the excited fear of the unknown and the anticipation of how it will play out. True adventure forces you to live in the moment, creates a zen-like experience whether you consciously want one or not, from traveling without a destination to walking through a rainforest. Bungee jumping in New Zealand was the single most terrifying experience of my life, but looking back, that 8 seconds of freefall I experienced over a gorge near Queenstown was the longest 8 seconds of my life - it was eternity, followed by the most amazing, indescribably feeling of euphoria that one can imagine. It's impossible to describe. It was dying, and coming back from the dead in a little over 8 seconds.
Adventure Travel, therefore, adheres to the same idea of the unknown, fear and timelessness, with the added implication being that the event take place outside one's home area. I was struggling with how to declare 4x4 driving as truly adventurous under my definition of the word, until I realized it, as is every other "adventure" experience, is uniquely personal based on one's previous experience and their simple gut feeling. My goal then, as a writer, is to create that gut feeling, the fear of the unknown, and to foster the excitement and uncertainty as it relates to each experience - to give that one person who has never left their garage the temptation to try something new and adventurous, even if to me, it's completely mundane.