Paragliding in Pokhara
Ever since I watched the movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, I was eager to check sky-diving off of my bucket list. I am not very open to trying out new activities – especially life-threatening ones – but the appeal of flying through the sky definitely trumped my fear.
When I visited Nepal in 2018, my parents and I decided to go paragliding in Pokhara. The afternoon that we had designated to the activity began with a long drive up a hill. I was extremely nervous about what to expect but soon my excitement overcame my worries. After a short trek, we came face-to-face with a clearing of colourful parachutes strewn across the grass. It was only then that I realized that we were literally going to be jumping off the hill.
Each of us was assigned to paragliding instructors who helped us get familiar with the equipment and ensured that the safety measures were in place. My instructor, Benjamin, kept reminding me that I would have to walk towards the edge of the cliff and pick up my pace to a run towards the end. We took a couple of pictures and then it was time to take off. One moment I was running on grass and the next I was floating through the air, supported by a parachute and the assurance of an experienced instructor coming along with me on the ride.
The fear of falling left my mind as I took in the sight below me. It literally felt like I was flying – swooping low towards grassy plains and zooming through blue skies. The exhilarating experience lasted for thirty minutes, during which I observed the views that I would not witness from anywhere else in the city. As we approached land, Benjamin steered us in different directions and the feeling was similar to being jerked around on a roller coaster. At the end of the ride, I was extremely glad that I was still in one piece.
Adventure activities seem daunting due to the obvious risks associated with them but there is nothing that can compare to the excitement and awe that they guarantee. After all, who would turn down the prospect of soaring through azure skies like a bird without a care in the world?