EYB #3 - Adventure

Updated: May 29, 2021

On a very bright summer day of March in Chennai, I was roaming around in the Phoenix Mall (of course before the pandemic) with a few friends to accompany and no money. The geeky minds of us always get attracted to the 'tech' shops, which also made us look cool (at least that's what we believed). So, we were checking out this authentic 'Apple' store in the mall to glance at what is new and check in the Amazon if the Chinese have come up with a better alternative. A new-gen couple was also there scrutinising the latest MacBook Pro, and the shopkeeper was going sycophantic about the product. To the dismay of the shopkeeper, the lady asked her husband, "isn't it better to spend this huge chunk of money on experiences rather than a brand name?". Though I had no intention to buy even a USB cable from that store, that question really moved me. Aren't they actually correct? If you also think so, then this post is for you. As the third post of the "Empty Your Bucket" series, I thought of waking up the adrenaline junkie in you to try out the best adventurous activities around the globe and the perfect places to have a go. Buckle in!

1) Sky Diving

Take position…loose off the bar…3…2…Here we go!!! Cant start the list with the king of adventurous activities. Launching yourself from a plane 10000 ft off the ground, rocketing towards the bottom with adrenaline rushing through the nerves! Well, if you wanna enjoy the birds-eye view, you have to have your parachute unfolded first. Diving is becoming more popular across the globe, with established specialist companies providing solo or tandem jumps. The most popular picks are Palm Jumeriah Dubai, Interlaken Switzerland, and Hawaii islands. However, my personal pick would be Fox Glacier of New Zealand. Too far, right?? Check out the diving spots of Aamby Valley of Maharashtra and Pondicherry. Also, it might not leave a hole in your pocket with an average price of Rs 25000 for a tandem jump.

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2) Rafting

It's time to soak your clothes as we hustle downstream the rapids. Watersports have gained tremendous popularity recently, especially in India. Owing to the fairly moderate safety along with very well trained dingy captains, the worry goes for a toss. When it comes to rafting, nothing can beat the torrents of Rishikesh. With River Ganga flowing at its peak, caressing the Garhwal Himalaya, the thrills would be at its peak. The whole stretch is diving into four based on the difficulty and the length to cover. Costing around between Rs 600 to 3500 pp, it's a reliable add on to your picnics.

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3) Bungee Jumping

Here comes one of the most insane activity. Add this activity certainly to your list as it is guaranteed to be one of the best experiences of your lifetimes, either good or bad! If nose-diving off the feet and taking a freefall skimming the floor excites you, then this is for you. Though the risk element is pretty low, the death-defying experience is remarked as more terrifying than sky diving. Maybe we don't trust the bungee rope as much as the parachute. The first bungee spot was established in New Zealand, and the country is still lauded for hosting the world's best bungee spots. Rishikesh again tops the list in India with a bungee height of 83m. The jump cost is moderate at around Rs 3500 pp.

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4) Abseiling

Well, you are familiar with rock climbing and would have sensed how difficult it could be. But ever thought the descend would be more challenging? That's abseiling for you! Not so popular activity, abseiling on steep cliffs is performed generally by the rock-climbing experts. It definitely includes an element of science for a safe descend and hence recommended under proper guidance only. Nevertheless, there are spots that let you experience abseiling where the cliff is steep vertical like the Waitomo caves pointed in EYB #2. For a beginner, a few clubs offer abseiling packages in Mumbai for around Rs. 1500. Still, to experience the ecstasy, Himachal is the hub.

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5) Paragliding/ Parasailing

This activity needs no introduction. Where there are hills and perfect wind for a takeoff paragliding is possible. And if you prefer water over heights, why not parasailing? A tandem paragliding is a fairly safe job and would let you simply engulf the beauty of landscapes comfortably. If you have the hack of manoeuvring the glide, a safe valley will serve as a perfect location to go solo. The activity is so popular that you don't need to travel far from your home to try it out and wouldn't usually cost more than Rs 5000. Yet, wouldn't it be awesome to glide over the lush landscape of Switzerland?

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6) Surfing

Haven't you gone awweee over how elegantly people glide on the waves? As smooth as it looks, more days would have gone into the training. Surfing is not a cakewalk for everyone. The sport can go to extreme levels where the waves are mammoth and brave are the surfers. If you are not afraid of drowning, then definitely a hand can be tried on this sport as it is becoming popular in India. Though there isn't an ideal beach to showcase surfing as a sport, the experience can be savoured the best on the beaches of Pondicherry and Goa. It is highly recommended to try it out through a surfing school if you don't have the basics, which only costs about Rs 3000.

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7) Scuba diving

Ever since Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara had released, underwater diving has been a dream of many. Scuba diving lets you reel into another. Considered very safe, scuba diving is one of the best to be mesmerised by the planet's beauty. The time and place of dive hold a significant role in the amusement as scuba cannot be tried all around the year. Memorise a few hand signals, learn to paddle the fins in rhythm, and you are good to go with a trainer. Though there are plentiful diving sites around the globe that offer the best view of the marine world, nothing beats the Havelock island of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indian context costing around Rs 6500.

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(*All the images in the post are sourced from google images; ratings are based on personal perceptions)

The list is never-ending as long as the world remains unexplored. Till then, "Adventure is worthwhile in itself – Amelia Earhart"

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