The wind whipping through my hair, and the most beautiful views I’d ever seen, all witnessed with a huge smile on my face. You may imagine I was on a luxurious boat cruise when in fact that is far from the case. What if I told this was my experience of skydiving? A huge smile might not be what you’d expect from someone who was falling from a plane at a speed of 200km per hour but that’s exactly what happened.
From the moment I confirmed my trip to New Zealand, one thing was certain. I was going to skydive. I told my friends and family, and I’m sure you can imagine the response, along the lines of why would I possibly want to throw myself out of a plane and I quote ‘plunge to my imminent death’?
To tell you the truth, I can’t tell you why I wanted to skydive so badly—there was just an innate feeling inside me saying that I had to do it. I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie and this just seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Upon arriving in Lake Taupo, I was all set and ready to jump. I’m not going to pretend I was completely chilled, I was not. I was absolutely terrified, but I wasn’t about to back out now when going skydiving just felt right. In addition to this, my initial option of a 12,000 foot skydive quickly turned into an 18,500 foot jump, so I might have been feeling the pressure.
As we taxied towards the runway, my heart was beating out of my chest. We flew a short distance and then the time came, the door was flung open and the countdown began. One by one, my friends jumped out of the plane and then it was my turn. One awkward bum shuffle to the plane door later and I was looking down into the cotton candy clouds below. Then time stopped. We fell. Words can’t even describe the sensation, but I had never felt more alive than I did in those 75 seconds of free falling. I had the goofiest of grins on my face as we soared, no flew, towards the ground below.
I could have cried at the beauty of the views and the pure happiness I was experiencing if it wasn’t for the force of the wind blowing my cheeks back, making me look like a rabid chipmunk. This feeling only intensified as soon as the parachute was deployed, and we slowly floated like a leaf before landing gracefully on the ground. I was heartbroken. I had just experienced the best sensation of my life and it was over so quickly. I was addicted, I just had to relive this moment. So, what did I do? I only went and signed up for a bungy jump.
A week had passed and then we were in Queenstown the adrenaline capital of the world and home to the legendary Kawarau bridge Bungy. As the time approached to my jump, the nerves once again kicked in. I looked down into the blue water and questioned how was I going to do this? Then the countdown began: three, two, one. I honestly don’t remember the moment I jumped, I only remember the insane sensation that came afterwards. As my body was flung around like spaghetti, I was again beaming like an idiot and screaming ‘this is incredible’ at the top of my lungs. It was even better than skydiving.
Until these moments I had never felt more alive, everything was just so clear. I know it sounds bizarre, but I really gained a new perspective on life and learnt what true happiness was whilst ‘plunging to my imminent death’. You just gain this immense sense of achievement. It’s almost as though I momentarily became a superhero, was flying ready to go to defeat the bad guys and save the world. It’s that feeling, the feeling that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it, is something that has stuck with me and will continue you to for years to come.