The waters of adventure

The waters of adventure

The waters of adventure

He carries the sacred secrets of the river and his ideas roll like water rapids. Jogi Nayak’s adventure club, ‘Life Is Outdoors’, speaks of how much he is attached to an aqua-life. A former software professional, he started the club to help city-dwellers build an intimate connect with nature through round-the-year kayaking and rafting trips.

The thought of turning into a ‘male mermaid’ started three years back when Jogi reached a saturation point in office. Stymied by a sedentary job, he eagerly wished to taste life outdoors. He and his friend then signed up for a seven-day kayaking course in Rishikesh and decided to flirt with adventure.

Jogi recalls, “The course taught me life skills and ways to become a better survivor on land and water. We ‘kayaked’ for 17 days in the most beautiful rivers, backpacked and got lost. Travelling through those rapids, breathing fresh air and living by the river made me realise that I want a life full of adventure.” 

So, after returning to the City, he quit his job and left for Nepal, before being cash-strapped. He then started a web-design company, served a number of clients, travelled with what he earned and recently kick-started ‘Life Is Outdoors’.

He has organised various trips such as Zanskar and Upper Indus expeditions. His modes of marketing include word of mouth and his website. He says, “I organise trips depending on the season. The club is a space to bond and make new friends during unpredictable times.”

Subramanya, one of the travellers, was at a loss for words when asked to recall his experience. “I was washed away in the river and Jogi came to save me. I’m sure the club will grow further as the idea of adventure tourism interests many.” Amit, another traveller, adds, “Rafting and kayaking are activities that can’t be practised everywhere in India. Though the community is small currently, it has the potential to grow as people are excited to try new activities. Clubs like this help people enjoy experiences in safer ways.” Jogi takes adequate precautionary measures and has tie-ups with certified local communities and crews.

Despite being a niche sport, women are increasingly aware of this. Priyanka, one of the first travellers with the group, says that though she was initially scared to try out an adventurous sport, her perception changed by the end of the trip. “I was initially in a state of panic but loved it by the end of the trip. Many people aren’t aware of this group but I feel the scene is going to get better.” Vibha adds that more people should kayak for a variety of reasons. “Kayaking broadens one’s perception and they start appreciating simple ways of life. We are always stuck in a harried lifestyle but there are so many things outdoors. A journey outside makes one feel connected to themselves.”

Despite being a one-man show, Jogi is confident that help will always be at hand for him.  “My parents are the main reason that I am not scared of trying something new. They have given me a home to go back to and are very supportive of my work.”

Jogi hopes that the club inspires people to take an unconventional route to life and wishes to start kayaking operations in Dandeli.

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