How about being a Paragliding Instructor for a living?

You get up in the morning, look at the sky, check the wind conditions, climb up a hill, spread your wings and take off. They say that if man was supposed to fly, he would have been born with wings. But you can do the next best thing to sprouting wings… you could go paragliding.

Don't confuse paragliding with hang gliding. A paraglider is an innovation on the hand glider. It is like a parachute in which you sit using a small harness. You run along the slope of a hill thus inflating your paraglider and off you go. Using the strings attached to it you can control its descent - in effect fly it.

This is a passion career. You love this sport and you want others to experience the thrill and exhilaration of it. As an instructor, you will take people up in a tandem paraglider (that's a paraglider with two seats) for joyrides. You will be at the controls. If someone is interested in going solo, then you would teach him/her to take off. You will also look after the equipment and decide whether the weather conditions are fit for flying or not. Safety will always remain your first concern.

By the way, if you thought a paraglider flight lasts a couple of minutes, you are mistaken. The record duration of a paraglider is over 11 hours and the distance record is 300 kms. Average recreational pilots routinely stay aloft for three hours or more, soar to altitudes of 15000 ft. and travel cross-country.

You need to be at least 16 years of age to fly. There is no minimum educational qualification required. Your interest in the sport will fuel your desire to understand and learn more. You could start with the beginner's course. This would be your first experience of paragliding. You will get to know first hand what it takes to be a paraglider.

You could then move on to the intermediate and then the advanced courses. Here you will learn in detail about weather, equipment and safety procedures. Every course is divided into theory and practical that needs to be cleared. Completion of the course is not enough. You need to gain as much experience as you can in a variety of conditions in different places and in different types of paragliders. As of now there are no specific instructor courses available in India, although you could do one abroad.

You should not have a fear for heights (that's obvious isn't it?). Even if you do, you usually overcome it the moment your feet leave the ground! You don't need to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger to be a paraglider. Being in good physical shape helps as you will be huffing and puffing your way to the mountaintops.

Patience is one virtue that you will have to develop as a paraglider. This sport is heavily dependent on the vagaries of Mother Nature. You must be safety conscious and have the ability to think clearly with your head and not with your ego.