Today I jumped out of a perfectly good plane. Skydiving is something that has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I very nearly did it last year while on my Topdeck tour in Austria... but opted for paragliding instead! However getting to this point wasn't easy, thanks to this little thing called Covid-19.
I had always said I wanted to go skydiving when I was 30, but that year came and nearly went, so I booked a skydive on my birthday earlier this year only to have it (and everything else) cancelled indefinitely. Thankfully a few months later things are gradually returning to normal and starting to re-open, but for activities like skydiving that involve being close to other people and crammed into the small space of a plane, masks were a must!
The next hurdle on my way to the skydive was my extremely loving and caring mum, who is often scared for my safety when I go off adventuring. While she is usually pretty cool about things, that disappears when it comes to skydiving. She doesn't love small planes at the best of times, and the thought of jumping out of one has always been a hard no. In my mid-20s, when she realised this was an inevitable feat I was not going to miss, she more or less accepted it but with one important caveat. "Do NOT tell me you are going skydiving until you are safely back on the ground."
So with the slight-fib of "Hot Air Ballooning" and birthday money from my parents, here we are in Wollongong where I get to skydive from 15,000ft and land by the beach in Thomas Dalton Park. The experience itself was amazing, such a rush from the initial point of leaving the plane and free-falling at ~220km/h, however it was not nearly as scary as I had worked myself up to.
I guess you can put it down to the skill of my very experienced instructor/tandem-buddy Riss, but leaving the plane was smooth and to my surprise not at all disorienting. The free-fall was a lot of fun and the only thing that could wipe the smile off my face was the wind rushing past... and into my cheeks. 10/10 would do it again!
Oh, and then there's that one last thing: telling mum I went skydiving... and that she paid for it 🤙