one only steps in a river once because it is not the same river or not the same man.” In the fifth episode of Balancing The Act we have Sunil Budden who works as a media professional but also someone who believes that heaven is some place where mountains touch the sky. His love for nature started during the time of schooling. This love was ignited by the 4 year course his mom enrolled him for under the Merchant Navy. Therein he learnt sailing, rigging, March Past and even how to shoot a gun.
After Grade 10 he got an internship in marketing and events where he was exposed to media, marketing and events. Also saw the glamour life but the thing that attracted him the most was the travelling people did. Completing his degree college from Mumbai University, he always wanted to save up and travel.
While attending college simultaneously decided to travel and completed 16 trips in a span of 12 months. In these 12 months he went with the motto that travel happens to you and tried to view everything from a business point of view. Having a way with words, deciding to use that to his advantage and tried writing which got him a bike for free. Also won a contest called “Whats in your Bagpack?” which got him an exclusive paid trip to the Himalayas.
On first trip to the Himalayas he enjoyed various activities such as River crossing, Paragliding, and Trekking. This brought changes in him and taught him lessons such as how to enjoy small pleasures in life.Speaking about one such incident during the time he went to Bir Billing for paragliding , reaching the peak took them 3 hours by car. Along the way, saw children who had to trek one hour uphill and one hour downhill to go to school. This made him feel that the place where he lives is luxurious and should feel blessed teaching him the qualities of Humbleness, Kindness and Courage since the children were fearless even in the dark.
After the year 2015 , he decided on going for solo trips which opened his horizon to the next level. Believing that companionship could be made along the way he travelled solo. Started saving after Post Graduation and started giving himself a small trip every birthday and on his big ’25’ he decided to go for a trek with his best friend Rakesh to Ladakh. It was a 20-25 day trek with taking turns riding along with proper riding gear as safety is a must.
Taking small initiatives plays a bigger role and thats what Sunil decided to do which was called Green Road Initiative. In this initiative he decided to plant saplings at pit stops and ended up planting 40 odd saplings along the way.
A few of the pit stops were as follows:-
One of the craziest incidents which made him rethink his decision was the time he summited the worlds highest motorable road which passes via Umlingla Top. Ascending was easier than descending. People also visited Pangong Lake which is famous because of Bollywood’s famous movie, 3 Idiots .
Pang was another adventure in itself. While riding through Pang it started snowing badly, they decided to turn back but there was a landslide behind them. The air was filed with fog and their vision was blur therefore they had to ride at a speed of 20-30 km/hr. After an hour of riding they reached a base camp who guided them to a place where they would spend the night. Everyone there was hospitable and offered them food and shelter along with the exchange of tales from both which was like a meeting from parallel worlds. He also made a few companions along the way in this couple and their friends who cycled 600 ams from Leh to Manali.