The image: an Athenian tetradrachm - the obverse stamped with the "little owl" - commonly called a glaux - γλαύξ - throughout the ancient world.  The owl symbolizes Athena. 

Athena - goddess of wisdom, war and pragmatic skill.  The paragon of self-actualized independence - born fully-formed from the brow of Zeus.  She is Parthenos (virgin) because she is complete. 

A warrior and scholar, intellect and steadfast independence ready to serve the greater good as patron and protector: Is there a better symbol to emulate?

But we are not gods.  So a hero: Odysseus loved best by Athena.  A mortal who banters with a goddess - weavers both (B.13).  Stratagems with weapons and words - tools of the trade.  Cunningness is deceit implemented strategically.  

Yet Odysseus was always the reluctant explorer, always seeking nothing more than the return home... 

And who was more like crafty Odysseus than Sir Richard Francis Burton who adventured purposefully and widely and published voluminously.