• I Am Sam.

Bucket list item #60: Go sky diving

To be honest, I have never really viewed myself as an adventurous person. I think people that go base jumping, or those that bike down a mountain, or cliff jumpers; they’re adventurous people. I view myself more as being curious. I want to know what is it about a certain activity that makes people want to take it up as a career or a hobby. This was one of the reasons why I have always wanted to go sky diving. What is it about sky diving that has people making the conscious decision to jump out of a plane on a daily basis? And after trying it, I think I now understand.

I might be smiling, but I was terrified walking to the plane

I knew I wanted to go sky diving in New Zealand. I had seen photos of the country, and have always thought that it looked stunning. It would only make sense that the views when you were up in the air would probably be beautiful. I did a bit of research on the different places that offer sky diving, and after comparing the different locations, I decided I was going to go sky diving in Abel Tasman, Marahau with the Sky Dive Abel Tasman team. I booked my activity and I was off!

March 17, 2019, I ticked sky diving off my bucket list. It was amazing! I had booked a morning jump and was picked up by the sky diving company a little after 7:00 AM that morning. Once we got to the place, we did the preliminary weigh ins, and checks before watching a short video on the experience. I had chosen to do the 13,000 ft high jump. There were two groups that went before me. I think watching them jump first really helped calm my nerves. Next thing I knew, I was getting suited up, and introduced to the tandem guide I would be jumping with, Evan. 

That's me!

I’m not going to lie. I was scared shitless. I can sometimes be a nervous flyer so when I saw how small the plane was, I felt like my heart was going to burst. It was small to the point I had to sit on Evan’s lap so that there would be enough space for the camera flyers (the people that were jumping along with us just to take photos and videos of us up in the air). What made it worse was Evan ended up asking who had done my harness up since one of the pieces wasn't where it was supposed to be. Don't know if he was joking or not, but he said he had fixed it, and there was no need to worry. Yeah right!

The first 5 or so seconds of the jump is probably the scariest. Your brain goes through a sensory overload where it literally feels like you're in a confused daze. They explained it's because your brain is trying to figure out what's happening. The actual getting out of the plane wasn't so bad. I think because I was so focused on Evan's instructions on where and how to place my legs and head that it distracted me from my fears. The free fall was my favourite part. There's no feeling of falling like what you would get on a roller coaster. Maybe because of the speed you're falling at, but the whole experience was incredible. The views were amazing, and that feeling of excitement coursing through you just makes you smile the whole way down. The landing was pretty simple as well. The whole experience was just... unbelievable.

Would I do it again? Fuck yes! If I could have gone again right there and then, I would have. It was just such a thrill, I actually ended up trying to convince some of the people I met on my trip to go. I'll definitely have to research other places I can go sky diving, and I'll look into maybe going a little higher. Definitely one of the most unforgettable moments I've ever experienced.

Look at that smile! Best. Day. Ever!