New Zealand. Home to Lord of the Rings and countless sheep, it's quickly becoming a popular short-term home to many gap year students. Not only is it the most stunning country I have ever encountered, but is also has the most friendly and welcoming inhabitants. My sister and I joined the “backpacker society”, making our way around the North and South Islands.
Along our travels, we arrived in a lovely little city by a lake surrounded by mountains. At the information centre, we asked for the must-do activities.
Being on the other side of the world definitely persuades you to be braver and crazier than normal, so I went skydiving! Sorry, Mum! Changing into a bright orange jumpsuit, I began to question the whole idea. The image of jumping out of a perfectly safe, working aeroplane suddenly seemed a weird thing to do. Yet before I knew it, my tandem jumper already had a GoPro in his hands, and was asking me if I had anything to say before entering the airplane. It felt like an opportunity for last words. There was no going back.
Being on the other side of the world definitely persuades you to be braver and crazier than normal, so I went skydiving!
The grid was pulled down and the aeroplane made its way to 12,000 feet. On our way up, my tandem jumper tied our straps together true to their motto 'Strap yourself to a beautiful stranger'. The only way out of this aeroplane was to jump. Before I even realized what had happened, the grid had been opened, and the person next to me fell into nothingness. I was next. I was told to “make the banana”: legs around the aeroplane, crossed arms, head back. Then I fell.
The first few seconds are just vague memories of tumbling around until we found our balance. In that moment, I owned the world. I was actually flying! There was nothing around, just me floating in the limitless sky overviewing the whole world. I looked around and felt nothing but euphoria. After 30 seconds of free fall my 'beautiful stranger' opened the parachute and after some more spins we landed in the drop zone. I lost all sense of time. I felt freedom.
It was a paragon of perfection. Skydiving is like nothing I´ve ever experienced.