Bucket list item #63: Go bungee jumping
Just a little bit of a back story as to how I even got to the point of going bungee jumping. I was out bar hopping with some friends I had made in Queenstown, New Zealand, when one of the girls, Sofie, started talking about how she had gone bungee jumping. She went the day before and had loved it so much that she jumped twice! She just seemed so excited and happy talking about the experience that it somehow convinced me it would be a good idea to go for it. I'm not sure what got into me, but I was crazy enough to go along.
New Zealand is famous for it's bungee jumping sites, specifically that of AJ Hackett. He is known for being the first person to commercial bungee jumping, and just my luck, Kawarau Bridge, the first ever commercialised bungee jumping location, was just a few minutes outside of Queenstown. I thought it would be a good choice for my first time seeing as it wasn't as high as the one Sofie did - she jumped the Nevis, a whopping 134m high compared to the bridge which is only 43m high. Their office was conveniently located down the street from where I was staying. I went in, asked whether they had any open slots, quickly paid so I wouldn't change my mind, and that was it. I was going to jump.
I was lucky Sofie had agreed to go with me. When you're surrounded by a bunch of people that are as nervous as you are about jumping, it's good to have that one supportive friend that's all excited for you. Sofie pretty much did that, and all I could think about was the fact that she had done the Nevis, so there was no way in hell I was going to back down on a smaller one. People of all ages were jumping. The girl that went after me was only 14 years old. They even had a photo on one of their payment counters of their oldest customer, a 91 year old lady that jumped! How amazing is that!
My biggest tip would be: do not overthink it. The people that help prepare you for the leap will count you down. Trust me, jump when they say jump. The moment you hesitate, you're pretty much fucked. I saw a girl before me hesitate three times before she had leaned out too far and basically fell over. She didn't get hurt or anything like that, but I made sure when it was my turn to just go for it.
Another great tip is to make sure you don't look down! You'll end up psyching yourself out. They say the best thing to do is focus on something stable in the distance. Luckily there was another bridge near us, so I focused on that. The initial jump off the platform was probably the scariest part of the whole experience, but the rest of the way down was amazing! No regrets at all. I even took a little dip into the river down below!
Overall, it was such an adrenaline rush. I definitely have to say bungee jumping was one of the highlights of my New Zealand trip, and I would 100% recommend that everyone try it at least once. I'm not sure if I would do it again, but I'm also so easy to convince when it comes to travel and experiences, so I'll see how things go in the future. But for the rest of you out there, do it! Take the leap of faith! It's so worth it.