Both Robert Walton and Victor Frankenstein crave adventure. Robert Walton seeks to explore the boundaries of the natural world. In a letter to his sister, he expresses his desire to "satiate [his] ardent curiosity with the sight of a part of the world never before visited," and he also wishes to set foot on land no other man has explored in the Arctic realms. Similarly, Victor Frankenstein craves adventure by pushing the boundaries of human life. He wishes to touch the realms of science in ways no one has ever been able to do before. Similarly curious, Frankenstein wants to discover the path to a man never before created—one not birthed by a woman but instead created by his own hands.
Both men are also highly intellectual. Walton complains that he cannot enjoy friendship aboard the ship because no one shares his intellectual capacities. He is thrilled to encounter Victor Frankenstein, believing him to be the intellectual stimulation he's longed for. Frankenstein is indeed an intelligent man, highly praised by his teachers and classmates:
It may be easily conceived that my progress was rapid. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students, and my proficiency that of the masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on, whilst M. Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in my progress.
In fact, the men seem so particularly focused on their intellectual quests that they are willing to abandon their relationships. Walton writes that he has worked on the details of his voyage for six years, and Frankenstein recalls that he never went home during the years he studied the sciences with his professors.
Both of these men want to be world-changers, impacting known understandings through their adventurous spirits, strong work ethic, and keen intelligence.