In life you should never say never… and yet I did, “I will never ever go skydiving!”
To celebrate my birthday my choice was simple, I just wanted to go to the theatre and watch a musical… The day of my birthday, after blowing out the candles on my cake, I opened the envelope that supposedly contained our tickets but in their place there was a voucher to go skydiving. My reaction was mixed, a forced laugh, a gritted thank you… as far as surprises go it was a big surprise.
So early one Saturday morning we headed up to the Bay of Islands, one of the most beautiful spots in New Zealand to choose to jump out of a plane. We turn up and I’ve got my stress levels under control, I decide to get the photo and video pack on offer, I refuse to leave without the proof that I did this! The team is really great, the instructors are relaxed and they joke around while putting on our harnesses. Everything is going well so far.
The plane appears in front of the hanger after returning from the last jump. We wait for all the skydivers to land, the adrenaline is really starting to kick in but they’re all back safely with their parachutes with massive smiles on their faces, it’s fairly reassuring. Then it’s our group’s turn, the plane takes off with the instructors, me and the other two girls who are jumping. When we reach 12,000 feet the pilot signals and the doors open. We smile one last time for the camera, our toes dangling over the side and then we leap from the plane.
You always dread the feeling of falling when you think of skydiving, the feeling of hurtling towards the ground with your heart in your mouth, but it’s actually a completely different feeling altogether. For a whole minute we were just flying. It’s an incredible, almost magical sensation. Then your parachute opens and you have the time to take in the sights from above as you descend. The turquoise ocean, all the little bays, the rolling green hills. It’s just breath-taking.
Once we land I can’t believe it was real and my legs keep shaking. If you’re tempted but haven’t done it yet I say just go for it, you will not regret it, and you couldn’t choose a better place to do it!
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