What does it feel like to fall through the sky from 15,000 ft at 120 mph? Exhilarating. Ridiculous. Absurd. Quite literally breathtaking.
I wrote this just a few hours after jumping out of a plane and I’m on cloud nine. I can’t stop smiling and thinking about how insane skydiving was.
The day leading up to the skydive, I was beyond nervous. My heart was beating so fast that I couldn't talk at a normal speed. That night, I even had dreams about skydiving.
The morning of, I hardly felt anything but excitement. As we put on our suits and piled into the tiny plane, I could not stop laughing. The plane took off and slowly we made our way high into the sky. When I thought we may be getting close to 15,000 ft, my cameraman, Eddie, turned to tell me we are halfway there. As we made our way through the cloud line, we were given oxygen to prevent hypoxia (oxygen deficiency) from the high altitude. I kept calm, taking slow and easy breaths.
Suddenly, the door rolls open and people start jumping out of the moving plane. I hear a *phumpf* each time a pair of tandem divers exit the plane and fall from its airstream. And then it’s my turn. With my skydive partner, Mike, strapped closely to my back, we scoot to the edge of the plane’s opening. My legs are hanging out the side and all I see are clouds, water, and mountains. I lean my head back and tuck in my legs. 3-2-1 and we’re off! Mike does a gainer (a backward flip) as we exit the plane and my world is quite literally turned upside down. Then, we are plummeting up to 120 mph towards the earth. I tried to remember to breath and take in the views before the free fall ends. Beforehand, I told Mike to do whatever he likes during the flight -- hence the gainer -- so he spun us in circles as we fell. And just like that, after about 60 seconds of free falling, he pulled the parachute and we glided above Queenstown. It was a beautiful view and an even more spectacular experience.
The free fall was exactly how I wanted it to be. There was no stomach drop. Just the incredible sensation of falling. That, and the realization that I am completely insane for paying a stranger to get me safely on the ground. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Skydiving made me feel invincible. The best part is that when you jump out of that plane, all your fears wash away. Your mind cannot comprehend what is happening. You’re so high in the sky that it does not register it’s hurtling towards the earth.
I hope that if you’re reading this have had any inkling to skydive, you go for it. Yes, it will be terrifying. But it will also be one of the most incredible experiences of your life.
As Will Smith said so eloquently about skydiving, “In one second, you realize that it’s the most blissful experience of your life. You’re flying. There’s zero fear. You realize at the point of maximum danger is the point of minimum fear.”
When In Rome
Two of my most cherished hobbies go hand-in-hand. Writing is my favorite way to reflect after traveling to a new country. I have kept this blog ever since I studied in Rome to share my travels with families and friends. I hope you enjoy learning about my experiences and getting a sense for my writing skills. If you have any questions, please reach out!