As you may or may not know, I have just returned from an entire year of travelling, visiting 6 countries and 45 cities, flying 46,925km, driving 2071km, as well as numerous treks, swims and boat trips! There had to be some way to go out with a bang, to finish this trip of a lifetime, and to say goodbye to a country which had become my second home…So what better way than to spend my last day in Australia jumping out of a plane into the clouds?
Although I’m not usually much of an adrenaline junkie (I hate rollercoasters and would never do a bungee jump), there’s always been something about skydiving which has appealed to me. Maybe it’s because you’re strapped onto a professional so don’t have to do anything yourself, it’s all a breeze and you just get to marvel at the amazing views below you…right?
It was all fun and games booking it all, and even the days leading up to it. But the first time it actually hit me that I was about to physically jump out of a plane wasn’t till I was in the plane itself, watching the lights go from ‘3 MINUTES’ to ‘1 MINUTE’ to ‘EXIT’. Then there I was, legs dangling over the edge of the plane, the cold air suddenly blasting into the plane and the clouds looming below, like a big white blanket waiting to be landed on! The next minute or so went by more quickly than you can imagine, my arms crossed and clinging to the harness as if my life depended on it and my eyes screwed so tightly shut I didn’t even realise we had been somersaulting through the air (my brilliant idea) until I watched the video back that evening! Then just when I thought the worst part was over, the parachute went up and we rocketed back up into the air, before swinging down through the sky like a pendulum until we finally landed. I’ve honestly never felt happier to be back on solid ground – although I don’t look that happy to have the GoPro being thrusted in my face and high fiving my instructor, as at this point I was trying really hard not to throw up.
Don’t get me wrong – despite all this I LOVED it – and the feeling I had afterwards and for the rest of the day was like not one I’ve ever had before. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, but that’s just it. I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. Ever. In my lifetime.
Who I did the skydive with: Tandem Skydive Cairns
Who I booked it with: Happy Travels – but you can book it at most backpacker travel agencies, or directly with the company over the phone or online.
Cost: $320 including the jump, photos & video package and 15,000ft upgrade. (There is also the option to do a beach landing for an extra $30, which I booked but couldn’t due to windy weather restrictions).