Chasing That Feeling
I always wanted to fly like a bird, to go where the wind took me, to sway to the direction of the breeze. I always wanted to know what the feeling would be like.
And, this year, I did get that opportunity —‘To fly like a bird’—but with the added feeling of, ‘Maybe I am better on the ground’. Ultralight flight is one of the most sought after adventurous rides that people worldwide come to experience in Nepal. To witness the snow-capped Himalayas closer to their eyes; to experience the adrenaline rush that fills them with energy for the normal days; to experience the thrill that gives meaning to their hard work.
And yet, when I was soaring up in the sky, I was perplexed. Was I closer to death? Or, was sitting on that edge the feeling I was looking for? When we were over maybe 25,000 ft above the valley, my pilot asked me to flap my hands like wings, but although I was not flying the airship, it felt highly important for me to grip the handle with all sincerity. However, I didn’t want to let down my pilot, who was excited to give me the experience that I was asking him to describe. And so I flapped my wings—even though I was scared to death. When I reached the ground, I was panting and trembling. However, I was smiling to myself, as well!
About one and a half months before the quake, I also went trekking to Gosainkunda. After I reached the frozen lake, located at 14,370 ft, I had wept while talking to my mother over the phone that evening, because walking on that edge of old snow on a steep cliff felt like walking on a death trail. One mistake, and you would fall straight down into a deep gorge. But in the morning, with the rising of the sun, the surreal landscape took my breath away. And I wanted to live in the mountains forever.
If you ask me now if I would want to experience all those anxious moments again, I’d say, “Hell, yeah!” Because I guess this is what makes traveling and experiencing adventure more special, for in the end, when we remember our tough journey, we always find ourselves smiling. It’s now five months after the quake, and Nepal is still persevering and healing from the wounds. Perhaps it’s now time to take a little break to enjoy nature and try some adventure.
We bring you a hefty content of adventure in Nepal. Read Matthew Gardener’s ‘To Ride a Motorcycle’ about his exciting journey to Upper Mustang with his Enfield riders. Experience the madness of Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lhakpa Sherpa, who leaped on a tandem paraglide from the top of the world, Everest, that today makes them ‘Nepal’s Flying Snow Leopards’. There is more to this issue, with more options for your adventure holidays. So, get flipping.