Skydiving — something on most people’s ‘bucket’ list, but I think it’s something you do, and do again because you will want to experience it again.
While on a trip to New Zealand with friends, we spent a few days at Taupo – right in the center of the North Island. Like every place in NZ, it is picturesque, made-for-postcard views everywhere, great food and great people.
While looking up things to do in the area, I came across this fun fact: Lake Taupo is THE Skydiving capital of the world! So that was an easy decision. Done. Sold! That also explains why I constantly heard distant screams and wondered why they were coming from above!
Lots of skydiving companies to choose from – all organized, similarly priced and very friendly. Mine paired me up with the cutest instructor ever, so of course THEY are the best. Quick safety briefing, watch a video about what to expect, get into a jumpsuit and you’re set. Oh, I got to go up on a hot pink plane. Score!
Initially, it is scary going up in a wee plane, and not a trusty Boeing 777. But I had the cute instructor with me, remember, so scary thoughts are inconsequential. As we ascend, I realize that we also have a whole team of pros on board who then decided to jump ahead of us, do their formations etc., as the pros do, and leave us noobs to freak out on our own.
And just like that, its time to do it. No backing out now. Mostly because you are strapped onto someone who insists you’ll be fine, and they’ll do all the work. Dangling my feet off the side of the plane was about the bravest thing I’ve done till date. At this precise moment, I had to look out and smile to the cameraman filming my every move.
And then we jumped. 15,000 feet above this beautiful planet. Me and the cutie. Gorgeous lake and mountains for a view. I was the luckiest girl in the world.
90 seconds of freefall goes by pretty fast. It blocks out any other thoughts you could possibly have, you can’t hear yourself scream, and then you just focus – clouds, other people falling, the earth below, and oh yeah, the cutie.
Ripcord gets pulled and then you have a good 6 – 7 minutes of gliding bliss. You finally get to look out over the horizon, everything looks so much more peaceful and you wish you could glide on for a bit longer. This was my favorite part of the jump – the freefall is a major adrenaline rush, but like most daring undertakings, the ‘dare’ is the fastest part of the task. After that, you just get to savor the accomplishment, and realize, you have now raised the bar for yourself.
It’s a new normal. Bring on the next jump!