When a person sets out to explore a new subject, skill, culture, or location, there are generally two types of exploration.
There’s exploring the possible, which means exploring deeper into areas that are a reasonable extension of an existing field of knowledge or experience. Doing research in academic institutions such as graduate schools is generally the exploration of the possible. Exploring the possible is generally a predictable and detailed exploration.
The flip side is exploring the impossible. Going against common belief in an attempt to uncover a whole new understanding of life and the world we live in. Exploring the impossible requires taking risks to do things that no one else has ever done before. Exploring the impossible is generally unpredictable and unpopular, like the acts of daredevils.
However, the two sides are not mutually exclusive, and many fields of exploration can be seen as an overlap of the two sides.
The fact with innovation is that there must be both; people who explore and further the possible, while others explore and expand our horizons to the things that are possible.