So back in the summer of 2018, I did a thing. That thing was jumping out of a plane and, thus, conquering my biggest fear that I could overcome. My other fear is tsunamis but more on that later. Skydiving was something that I had considered for many, many years and mentally noted as a to-do in my never-ending bucket list. However, I never thought that I would really go through with it as I wasn’t ever ready for it. But you know what, you never really are ready for anything so you might as well put your goal into action and schedule it in your diary. Failing to plan is a plan to fail. Wow, I really am channelling my inner life coach right now, aren’t I?
I never understood adrenaline junkies growing up. I was more than comfortable staying within my comfort zone, never venturing out and skipping rollercoasters. The signs displayed outside a rollercoaster were enough to discourage me from going on. Those were crazy adrenaline junkie rides. But then, slowly but steadily, as I grew older, I started to become more and more adventurous. I started going on ‘scary’ rollercoasters, calling the doctor by myself and going on dates with men from dating apps. You know… chasing the adrenaline and all that. 😉All jokes aside, I made a list on my Notes iPhone app with the things I wanted to accomplish during my limited time on this earth. Skydiving was right at the top of said list. It wasn’t until my year abroad in Australia when a bunch of my friends fell into the same trap of wanting to ‘live it up’ and doing crazy stuff like skydiving and bungee jumping that I decided to call up Skydive Australia. What can I say – the year abroad changed me, haha!
Bungee jumping was always out of the question for me. I have struggled with scoliosis from a young age and I can’t imagine the impact of the fall on my back being very good for it. To this day, I have not met a single person who has bungee jumped and would do it again. Most say that they’re happy they did it so that they could cross it off their bucket list but “wouldn’t do it again”. On the contrary, I haven’t met anyone who has skydived and wouldn’t do it again. Myself included. It was honestly one of the best, if not the best, thing I’ve ever done. The adrenaline rush. The excitement. The beauty of the landscape. It’s so surreal. I couldn’t recommend it enough. I would do it again and again. If only it were more affordable but this girl has to keep saving for that to happen again!
In the lead up to my skydive, I squeezed out as much information as possible from my friends who had already done it. I asked for the good, the bad the ugly. I watched countless videos of people skydiving to mentally prepare myself for it. Truth be told, my hands wouldn’t stop sweating from just watching these videos because of the nerves. I couldn’t believe that I would be up in a little plane plummeting towards the earth. Except it took 4 times for that to happen.
See, originally, I had planned to skydive with one of my best friends in Australia (hey, Byron 😉). The first time we made the road trip to Great Ocean Road from Melbourne – which is around a 2 hour drive – we got a call saying that our jump was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. We were gutted. We made the most of the day by going to a cute cafe in Geelong but we were super disappointed. This kept happening for the next 2 days. I had planned a final trip to Fiji for a week before packing up from Australia and moving back to Europe. I had only 1 days left after I came back from Fiji where I could possibly still do the jump I paid for. Except it wouldn’t be with Byron. Long story short, I got the confirmation via a phone call while in Fiji saying that it should all be good for me to jump once I’m back. My friend Mia was kind enough to accompany me so that we could share the experience together. Not literally though as she had already jumped 6 months prior. But the emotional support was invaluable. 🥰
I still didn’t believe I was going to jump on-site because the weather was not ideal and some jumpers who had their booking earlier than me had to fly down as the winds were too strong. Just imagine being up 15,000 feet, super nervous, and the pilot telling you that you have to go back down as it’s too dangerous to jump. How ominous is that!!! I’m happy that was not the case for me… Eventually, the instructors told us that they got the go-ahead and we’d be jumping in 15 minutes. This is where a whole mixture of emotions kicked in – nerves, excitement and disbelief. It was happening.
As you can see from the photos (which are stills from the video), I was somewhat calm and smiley?!? The instructors are super charismatic and make you feel that everything is going to be a-okay. I was the first of the tandem jumpers to jump and I’m glad that this was the case. I’d rather be the first one out than watch everyone else go and know that I have to follow in their footsteps! I was certain that I would feel like the air would just suck me out of the plane as soon as the doors opened but, thank goodness, this was not the case. You’re told to dangle your legs under the plane and make your body in the shape of a banana when jumping out of the plane. That was one of the craziest parts for me. You close your eyes and before you know it, you jump.
Cue the best feeling in the world. Freefalling for a minute. It felt like flying, pure bliss. I went the extra mile and paid for a guy to jump out with us who would get some shots from further away. Listen, if I’m going to be doing this once in a lifetime thing – there BETTER be at least one good photo for proof. There was no way that I was going to trust that little GoPro attached to my instructor, haha! It all went by so fast and before I knew it, I was safely on the ground. I was in disbelief. I just skydived over the ocean at Great Ocean Road. The views were surreal. Obviously, the weather was not that great because it was the Australian winter but it was still so incredibly stunning.
There you have it – the story of one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. Just like that, I crossed off ‘skydiving’ off my bucket list through Skydive Australia. It wasn’t the height that I was scared of, but the fear of a malfunction occurring and not being in control of the situation. I don’t think my irrational fear of a tsunami coming my way can be overcome anytime soon though. I think seeing footage from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when I was 8 must have really scarred me subconsciously. But, hey, let’s conquer one fear at a time, right?
PS. Thank you for all the lovely messages I’ve received about my last post! It makes my day knowing that there are people reading and that you liked my more genuine style of blogging. I want it to feel like you and I are just catching up at a bar over a glass of wine.
What is your biggest fear that you want to conquer? Are you an adrenaline junkie?