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Gliding away from life's daily stresses

The Life: Laszlo Toth is the General Manager of H.E.Khaled Saddiq Mohammed Samea's private office, but he likes to go paragliding in his spare time.

Laszlo Toth, the general manager of Khaled Saddiq Mohammed Samea's private office, likes to paraglide in his spare time.

He speaks about how he got into the sport and how he has turned another one of his hobbies into a business.


q How did you get into paragliding?

a I have been into flying since 1984. At that time I was 16, so I went to a sports club in my country, Hungary. Then I got recruited for the air force, so I was flying in the air force from 1985 until 1989. I was flying the jets, MiGs. I was a test pilot in Italy for some time, then I came to the Middle East and became a flight instructor. I established the first Saudi aviation club in Jeddah.

q Is paragliding as dangerous as it looks?

a It's one of the safest sports in the world if you do it properly. You just need to have the right instructions. It's much more safe than driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road.

q What do you like about it?

a The excitement, and I love to be in the air. It gives you a feeling of freedom. And it's like meditation. When you're in the air you don't think about your everyday problems because you don't have time to think about them. You are focusing on the flying. It's like yoga. It's just switching your mind off a little bit.

q And you train other people to do it?

a Yes, I love training people. I recently had four or five students to fill the weekends. I was also training a couple of members from the Royal Family, both from Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other emirates. I was their trainer for paragliding and paramotoring [which is like paragliding, but with a motor providing propulsion].

q And you have turned another of your hobbies into a business called Real Expeditions. Tell me about it.

a After my first expedition, I realised that we have forgotten how to live. I do my everyday job and paying the bills, but it's not real life. I saw all these natural people, tribes, who really live. They hunt, they go out, they socialise, they don't have televisions. It really changed my life. We are trying to build an expedition club where people can build their own expeditions with our guidance. We are promoting areas and locations we have already tried ourselves.

q So how does it all work?

a We don't organise their travel in the sense of tickets and these things, only the expedition itself. We are gathering groups of eight to 12 people, for let's say a Mongolian expedition, where the people themselves will decide when they will go and how many days they will spend there.

q Do you offer paragliding?

a No, some areas we make expeditions where we take paramotoring equipment.

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