Most memorable travel experiences
Overview: It's been more than 5 months since we traveled to any place. Remembering some of the most memorable experiences which I had in my travels in the pre-Covid world, which have been the first of its kind for me:
1. Skydiving: Being scared of heights, it was expected to be a difficult experience for me, but when I wore the Skydiving suit for the first time and attended a quick instructions session, my heart was pumping more than usual. All was fine and I was very excited while boarding the flight and taking off. The moment we reached a height of 15000 feet, my instructor strapped himself with me, and asked me to jump, and that moment was the most scariest of my life. We jumped and immediately after that, it was all fun and I didn't even realize when the I landed and the experience was over. This one near San Francisco, CA has been the only Skydiving experience for me so far.
2. Scuba Diving: I had done snorkeling at Andaman islands before, but Scuba Diving was an experience I wanted for a long time. I got an opportunity for tandem Scuba Diving for non-swimmers when I visited the Lakshadweep Islands. This one at Kavaratti is less commercialized than the ones in mainland India or even the Andamans. We were instructed before the dive and explained us how to hold the oxygen masks. We were taken to around 3-4 kms off the shore for a good view of the corals, and were strapped with oxygen masks and diving suits. The initial part was a bit tough with water getting into the ears, but as we got down, I got more comfortable and felt lucky to view all the beautiful corals and marine life.
3. Cave Exploration: During our trip to the UK, we set off to Beacons National Park in Wales for some caving experience. The caves are known to exist from several million of years and have been used by the pre-historic men as well. At some places it was so dark that its impossible to see without a torch light and there were alternate routes so it was very important to be in sync with the guide. The guide explained how the Stalactites and Stalagmites are formed and how some rocks glow after being exposed to limestone for several years. Our caving session lasted around an hour and a half and we emerged to see the daylight again.
4. Driving along Silverstone circuit: One of my most memorable experiences is driving Ferrari and Aston Martin head-to-head. Driving a 480 BHP Ferrari and Twin Turbo Aston Martin at over 250kmph was some experience. There was an instructor to guide me else its easy to get carried away by that insane speed. 3 laps got over in no time.
5. Rock climbing: There are several steep rocky mountains around Bangalore and I had not climbed a 45 degree slope without any stairs before. The climb can get really steep at times and one has to maintain will power to overcome such challenges. So the climb to Savandurga, which is one of the biggest monoliths in Asia, was my first and was my confidence booster to climb more mountains in future.
6. Witnessing the launch of PSLV C-46: A very interesting trip done to Sriharikota where we visited the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and witnessed the launch of PSLV C-46. The take off from the space station was an incredible experience and the roar of the rocket shook the earth.