Explorer Archetype


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What is the Explorer archetype?

Does it originate as one of the 12 Jungian archetypes?

What are the characteristics of the Explorer archetype?

The Explorer is one of Carl Jung’s 12 original archetypes. Like all Jungian archetypes, it ties into the collective unconscious and is one of the categories into which all people (both real and fictional) can be placed.

This archetype is one of searching as well as open-mindedness. Those who consider themselves free spirits may potentially fall into the Explorer archetype and may find a sense of belonging in simply knowing how to identify themselves.

At the same time, most Explorers will be pleased to gain this new information about their lives, since they are always looking for tips, suggestions, and guidance from those around them.

If you’re interested in finding out whether or not you fit into this archetype or you want to analyze one of your favorite fictional characters based on this possibility, you’ve come to the right place.

Below, you’ll find more detailed and specific information to help you better understand the concept of the Explorer archetype. When you take some time to consider the different aspects and qualities of this archetype, you’ll be better suited to determine how it relates to your life.

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Read on to find out more about the Explorer.

Explorer Details

Consider the details of the Explorer archetype as outlined below. This archetype may not be quite as common as some others out there, but it is nevertheless an important one to remember and to pay attention to, both in yourself and in others around you.


  • The Explorer wants to find a bigger, better, more interesting, or more fulfilling life. This archetype longs to discover a better way to be themselves and often sets lofty personal goals in order to achieve this.
  • The Explorer desperately wants to be able to live life as they see fit. They don’t like to be told what to do, they don’t like for others to decide anything about their lives for them, and they don’t want to be tied down. The objectives of the Explorer revolve heavily around what they do not want in their lives.


  • The Explorer wants to have something interesting to do at all times. They do not ever want to feel bored, dull, or like they’re wasting their time.
  • The Explorer enjoys pursuing hobbies they find fulfilling in some way, including hiking, collecting, reading, and more.
  • This archetype wants to learn as much as possible and has a constant thirst for knowledge. This desire for information is not quite the same as the one seen in other archetypes, but it’s similar.
  • The Explorer wants to remain as self-motivated and self-driven as possible at all times.


  • This character’s ultimate goal is to break out of the monotony of life and find a place where they belong. Identifying a sense of belonging, however, can be difficult, and the Explorer may not always know what this means.
  • Explorers who do know what they want out of a place to belong are often looking for both validation that their life is not wasted and plenty of opportunities to try new things and reach for new horizons.
  • The Explorer is always in search of challenges and adventure around every corner, and may even set daily goals to find something new to do.


  • One of the most noticeable strengths of the Explorer is that they simply know what they want. They are good at understanding their own mental and physical needs, and they will not be stopped on their way to satisfying those needs.
  • This archetype is strong in their sense of Self. Where some archetypes tend to lose themselves among their character traits, the Explorer’s goal is always to find themselves instead.
  • The Explorer is very good at setting new paths and making waves, especially where old methods and traditions may need to be shaken up a little bit.


  • This archetype may never actually find a place to fit in because they have an idealized version of what this might really be. They end up making themselves social outcasts with their constant wandering and searching for the “perfect” place.
  • Many Explorers never end up truly making any decisions or tough calls about their lives. This may lead them to feeling as though they really have wasted their time, which is one of their biggest fears.
  • Some Explorers may engage in more and more dangerous behaviors in trying to meet their mental and emotional needs.


  • Explorers are generally caring and understanding, although they do not tend to go above and beyond for anyone other than themselves. They are generally archetypes that are willing to help the Hero, however, if need be.
  • The Explorer is prone to daydreaming or coming up with schemes and plans that can help them reach their lofty and sometimes even impossible goals. They may rope other archetypes into their ideas, too.
  • The Explorer is always looking forward and always has some kind of plan regarding their future, even if that plan is scattered. They never stop longing and yearning for more.


Now that you’ve had a chance to read through the information above, you may find yourself wanting to know more about the Explorer archetype. And if this is the case, you may just be an Explorer yourself! This archetype is not as commonplace as some others from the Jungian list, but when it speaks to someone, it tends to speak loudly.

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Understanding whether or not you fit into this archetype, however, relies on a solid understanding of the archetype itself. In order to better comprehend it, you may want to think about some Explorer examples you’ve encountered.

Here are a few examples of this archetype to keep in mind:

  • Captain Kirk from Star Trek: Kirk loves adventure and exploration. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in the process, but he always tries to make the right decisions.
  • Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones franchise: Indy may fit into more than one archetypal category, but Explorer is definitely one of them.
  • Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid: Ariel longs for more information, more education, more experiences, and a world she barely knows. Her desire to be herself drives her textbook Explorer archetype.
  • Star-Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy: Like Indiana Jones, Star-Lord fits more than one archetype, but incorporates the Explorer elements into his character seamlessly.
  • Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin: Jasmine just wants a chance to be herself and live a life based on her own desires and hopes.

Can you see how these characters fit into the concept of the Explorer archetype all too perfectly? These characters are all written specifically as Explorer types, although sometimes with other traits and archetypes added to the mix as well.

There are, however, plenty of real-life people who are Explorers, too. Do you think you could be one of them? Consider the possibilities based on the information provided in this article, and spend some time in thought or meditation as you try to find your own archetype.

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