I can’t believe I actually did it!
Like I said, New Zealand is the “adventure capital of the world!” There are thrill seeking opportunities around every corner. Before we got to Queenstown, I looked into skydiving as something I may “hypothetically” want to do. It sounded great and the company we chose, NZone, has a great reputation. I feel like I read hundreds of positive reviews. Apparently, they have done almost 180,000 dives without major injury. So, I mentioned it to Justin. I still wasn’t set on the idea. It sounded good in theory, but why would a sensible person jump out of a perfectly good airplane? I consider both Justin and I to be very sensible people.
Well, we were halfway through our time in Queenstown, and I still hadn’t decided what I wanted to do. Luckily, Justin made that decision for me. He said, “we’re doing it” and he called NZone to book our skydive for the next day at 11 am. And so the anxiety begins……..
Because we had a car, we were able to meet at the “drop zone” rather than the business center in the city. We decided to jump at 12,000 ft. It was over 200$ EXTRA to get the video and pictures (per person), so Justin decided that we would just get that for me. I think he figured that my video would be funnier than his…..and I’m not ashamed to admit that he was right.
I’m also not ashamed to admit that I was on the verge of tears as we drove to the launch site. Seriously, my parents have enough to worry about!
When we got there, they told us that they were running behind schedule, and we wouldn’t be jumping until about 1:00. At first, I thought that this would worsen my anxiety, but I actually think that it helped. I was able to watch many people jump and successfully land without incident.
When it was our turn, they took us into the hangar, gave us our flight suit, helmet, and goggles, and introduced us to our tandem diver. I was with Brian, and Justin was with Collin. They were both friendly and tried to make small talk to ease our nerves. This is when I started to panic again, and it only got worse.
As we loaded into the plane and the plane took off, that’s when I looked at Justin and said (in no unclear terms), “I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS.” I also had a death grip on the side of the plane. As the plane continued to climb to altitude, the hyperventilation began. Because we paid for pictures and video of me, the cameraman kept trying to get me to look at him and smile with a thumbs-up. I wasn’t into it. I was in survival mode. I closed my eyes, focussed on my breathing, and meditated.
Then, it was time to go. They opened the door, and I sat on the edge with my feet dangling out the plane. Brian said, “one, two, three!” and we jumped. It was a 45 second free fall. I think that I had my eyes closed most of the time. The freefall went by really quickly, and then the parachute opened.
The views were incredible. I actually started to enjoy myself (once I was sure that I wasn’t going to die!). We glided through the skies of Queenstown over the mountains and blue water. It was an absolute sensory overload. The whole thing lasted about 6 minutes.
It was an incredible experience. I’m glad that I did it, although I’m not sure that I could muster up the courage to do it again!!! WOOHOO!!! I went skydiving!!!!
I can’t write about Justin’s feelings, but I know that he enjoyed himself and is glad that he did it.
After we got home (ie the hotel), we called all the parents and told them what we did. We felt that it would be better to let them know AFTER we did it!
That evening, we rode the gondola up to the Skyline Restaurant. Before we ate dinner, we rode the Luge. The Luge is a non-motorized go-kart that you ride down a track. We felt like we were 13 again at Celebration Station! It was so fun! We rode it twice. It wasn’t quite the adrenaline rush that we got this morning, but we both had a blast!
Dinner was pretty good. Justin and I rarely meet a buffet that we don’t like! It wasn’t the best food that we’ve ever had, but I was stuffed when we left.
We only have one more day in New Zealand, and we’re planning on taking easy!
We have about 3.5 weeks left on “The Big Trip.” I truly can’t believe that we have been gone so long!
This is what we have left (after NZ):
Australia- 10 nights
Bali- 4 nights
Maldives- 6 nights
Dubai- 3 nights
Then it’s back to the US!!!!