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Why Rock Climbing?

At the turn of this millennium, a major event occurred. Tom Cruise climbed the rocks at Dead Horse Point in Utah. And I was watching him with eyes wide open. He hung off a cliff and then reached the top like he was born to do this. Only if I could do this like Tom, I sighed.

I was nowhere close to Utah, but half way around the world in a hostel in Bangalore. This was the opening sequence of Mission Impossible 2. My friends and I watched the movie on a grainy box TV with a rented CD and player.

Since then I have had fantasies. Of the rock climbing kind.

Streaming videos on youtube transcended from fantasy to reality a few years ago in India. After which, I spent hours watching rock climbing videos. From the mountains of La Dura Dura in Spain to Yosemite in the US, I have been everywhere, virtually.

Rock climbing is a beautiful sport that makes you realise how amazing the human body is. And to create a friendship with vertical marvels of nature is one of my deepest wishes.

Barry Finlay who wrote ‘Keep On Climbing’ says ‘Every mountain top is within reach if we just keep on climbing.’

Hence rock climbing.

Now, why Thailand?

There are two reasons.

First Ton Sai in South Thailand seemed to be one of the best and most reasonable places to learn rock climbing. Second, Thailand is an amazing country blessed with diverse nature, lip smacking food and kind people.

Sadly, sex tourism overshadows other facets.

Of course, the first reason is more important than the second one. I could have learnt the sport in India, at places like Badami or Hampi. But the 12 project’s and my own desire to visit different countries brought me to Thailand.

After traveling non-stop for 25 days on second class Indian trains, everything seems possible. But rock climbing is very different from traveling horizontally. So it will be interesting to see how I manage to put the project together and execute it.

A Challenge Within A Challenge

Yes, Thailand is one of the more economic countries for travelers. A lot like India. But can I complete this project in less than 40,000 Indian rupees or 650 USD (including flights, rock climbing equipment, living and traveling cost)?

That and becoming an amateur climber would mean I have had a successful outing in Thailand. Hopefully my experience will help others to plan a super budget trip to Thailand even better.

What Do I Hope To Learn?

Rock climbing and mountaineering are the real vertical movement activity. Corporate career uses climbing the ladder as a metaphor. Eight years of my life were spent in working this ladder.

And may be rock climbing can give you and me some more pointers in manoeuvering the career mountain.

Whatever the lessons are I will share them with you.

I know I won’t be Tom Cruise by the end of this month, but I certainly aim to be a better version of myself.

And whether or not there is a mountain top, I promise to keep on climbing. That’s what ‘The 12 Project’ is all about.

Stay with me on this journey.

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