I have been remiss in keeping up with some of my more exciting adventures here in New Zealand (I blame this on poor internet access, see previous blog post for a better explanation).
Back in January I was traveling around the South Island, which has some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. Before I left on my year long OE (overseas experience) I had a few things I knew I wanted to do while I was here. Towards the top of the list was to skydive.
While in Franz Josef I went out to the local bar with a group I had been traveling with. A promotion was going on that night, buy a pitcher and enter to win a two for one sky dive with a local company. I thought this was great and had one of my new friends enter with me. We sat there enjoying the company, me anxiously waiting to hear the results and hoping to win, my friend praying our ticket wouldn’t be picked.
The end of the night came, they pulled the first ticket and disappointment rolled through me when my number wasn’t called. But, as luck would have it, you had to be present to win, and the first number wasn’t there. Again I had my ticket clutched in my hot little hand and waited to hear what the next number to be called would be. The next winning ticket was called out and I sat in silence for a split second before jumping up with a huge smile on my face to go collect my prize. I was ecstatic, my friend was not. It was a good thing the sky divers were there to talk her into it.
|I'm really excited we won!|
The next afternoon the company came and picked us up. I was surprisingly calm and quiet as we drove the half hour to the airport. On arriving we watched the crew set up and take another group up before we dressed and got ready to go up. My nerves started jumping around and I was having a hard time staying still. We were instructed on what was going to happen and before I knew it, we were strapped to experienced divers and climbing up into the sky.
|We were dressed and ready to go.|
The plane circled at 1200 feet and the man on my back started to make his way to the open door, careless of the sudden upheaval happening within my stomach. And before I knew it, we were out of the plane and falling towards the earth through the clouds. Some might think having your free fall through the clouds is not ideal, but I beg to differ. Having it so lets you concentrate more on the feeling and excitement of falling and not on the ground that you are quickly coming to meet.
Almost as soon as we were out of the clouds, and the ground came into view, I was told to pull the release and the parachute jerked us into a glide. The serenity that came over me from floating through the sky was so unexpected and breathtaking. Being able to see for miles and miles on end was an experience I will always remember, the quiet of just your heart beating after the excitement of your free fall. There is something very peaceful about seeing the world from above and slowly coming back to it.
|You really can't help but smile :)|
When we got back to the ground I was exhausted. It was such an adrenaline rush that I had nothing left for the ride home and fell asleep on the couch waiting for my ride back to the hostel. Once back, everyone asked how it was, and the only way I could describe it was that it was the most exhilarating and calming experience I have ever had.