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The Explorer Archetype

The Explorer archetype is one of the three Jungian archetype that yearns for paradise. The motto here is “Don’t fence me in”. The core desire of this archetype is the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world so they can experience a better, more authentic and more fulfilling life by journeying, seeking out and experiencing new things and escaping boredom. One of the greatest talents of this archetype is being true to one’s soul apart from being autonomous and ambitious.

They are those that refused to be caged in. We are exposed to this archetype first, most likely because of its significance to exploring our world and learning, each day, how much wider it is than we thought the day before. These are the kind that are self-motivated, self-driven, and self-sufficient. Independence is their hallmark.

Also known as the seeker, wanderer, pilgrim, and iconoclast, the Explorer is a character that, familiarly, seeks to escape the confines of their average life by travelling the world or exploring its many mysteries. At the very core, the Explorer is on a journey. These people desire for new experiences repelling boundaries, restrictions and conventions.

This archetype is naturally inquisitive and spend a great deal of their time in their minds investigating ideas. They are very mind-oriented people being both observant and analytical. Being intellectual, methodical and curious, they are able to grasp complicated concepts with relative ease. This does not mean they are anti- social. They have a strong need to understand the world while helping others. They also tend to be supportive, understanding and patient.

The downside is that they are so self-sufficient that they avoid support from others. They have an insatiable need to do things themselves. In extreme cases, the Explorer is so self-involved that he or she creates an alienation by building walls too high for others to scale. Also, by not committing to a course of action or settling down, they can lead to anything from aimless wandering to thrill seeking.

As with every archetype, the Explorer archetype can also be expressed at varying levels. The lower levels are less mature, while higher levels are more developed.

Level 1 of the Explorer is very straightforward, expressed by exploring the world and getting out into nature.

Level 2 is expressed when the exploration turns inward into discovering what makes oneself unique. It is the process of seeking one’s own individuality.

Level 3 is reached when the journey has led to one’s own Promised Land, a place of knowing who you are, with freedom to be completely true to who one is and express that uniqueness fully.

Ideal careers for Explorer archetypes include school psychologist, gynecologist, pediatrician, dermatologist, psychiatrist and neurologist.

This archetype can be seen in brands such as NASA, National Geographic, North Face, The Body Shop, Jeep, Starbucks, North Face and GoPro.

The Indian outdoor gear brand, Wildcraft is in the Explorer archetype. Their website reads ‘Wildcraft is India’s favourite outdoor gear brand. The brainchild of intrepid explorers, Wildcraft is a brand born for the open air. Whether it’s a hill or a…’

Explorer brands are often ground-breaking or pioneering. Any brand that veers off the beaten path is tapping into Explorer tendencies. Originality and non-conformity are the hallmarks of an Explorer brand.

Elon Musk epitomises the Explorer Archetype. 

The culture in Explorer organizations is to value individuality, de-emphasize rules and hierarchical decision making. This results in a newer, flatter and more democratic organizations. It empowers workers who make as many decisions as possible at the most local and involved level.


Explorer customers tend to be loyal to products that carry the archetypal meaning of authenticity and freedom. Such products reinforce deeper longings of customers with a strong freedom orientation. A relatively traditional and conformist individual might express that freer potential by buying a motorcycle or a mountain bike.

~Sanjana Ramani and Deepa Soman


  • Archetypes: Explorer

Ariel Hudnall – https://arielhudnall.com/2015/03/16/archetypes-explorer/

–        Character Archetypes 101: The Explorer

LMFT Campbell – http://charactertherapist.blogspot.in/2013/05/character-archetypes-101-explorer.html

–        Explorer!


–        Design – from All Angles


Video Links:

North Face Ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHw55K4ByOA

Go Pro Ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHw55K4ByOA

4 thoughts on “The Explorer Archetype”

    1. Glad you read the piece and it resonated with you, Rashmi. The Archetypes sessions are amongst our most popular classes at Lumière. Its fun when we can “spot” ourselves in the Archetype. Thank you!

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