Fly, You Fools: Making Gandalf Proud

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“And 3, 2, 1… seeee yaaa….” *imagine a calm and nonchalant Kiwi tone*

“Go?!” *1 second hesitation before jumping*

It wasn't THAT high. :)
It wasn’t THAT high. 🙂

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And that was how I flew in the air like a bird, for a whole two seconds before I was dunked into the turquoise waters of the Kawarau River in Queenstown.

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Bungee (“bungy” as Kiwis spell it) jumping was the one thing I’ve always wanted to do – my whole life. I’ve always considered myself an adrenaline junkie – someone who always liked living on the edge, not conforming to normality or standards. If someone warned me not to do something, I’d say IDGAF and do it anyway (and that’s becoming more of the case the longer I travel). I get extreme pleasure out of heights and anything involving a death waiver (here’s to you, Jenn – you and I live by the same mantra!).

I purposely chose the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungee for my jump since it was the birthplace of the first ever commercial bungee jump. Yeah, bungee jumping was invented by a Kiwi. How cool is that?! Daredevil peeps for sure.

Oh yeah, and the views were spectacular. “STUNNING,” as our tour guide would say. The Nevis bungee is actually the highest in Australasia, but after seeing photos, I didn’t want to do my first jump into high cliffs of the desert (basically what it seemed like). The others in my tour group who jumped the Nevis got a longer 12-second freefall, but since I’m a sucker for photography and the chance to get dunked upside down, I opted for the baby bungee.

If there’s one thing that New Zealand isn’t slow at, it’s herding people as efficiently as possible to get through adrenaline activities. It took less than 5 minutes total to get strapped in, wait for the couple before me to jump tandem, and then *BAM*, I was already hopping out to the edge of the platform. I barely had time to think, and I wasn’t even that nervous… imagine anyone who was scared off their pants?!

My heart started beating pretty quickly when the guy had me jump to the very tip of the platform. I looked down and saw how beautiful the river looked below me… but at the same time, everything was so damn surreal.

THIS was the pinnacle point for me – I was in New Zealand, I had traveled to South Island, I was in Queenstown, adventure capital of the world – AND I was finally getting to bungee jump. Hell yeah.

And then I flew. Well, I jumped out and then flew, my hands instinctively outstretched like a bird, as if that would make me more balanced while in the air. I attempted to yell, “I LOVE NEW ZEALAND,” while leaping, but instead, it came out more, “ILAAAAAAAAOMGAAAAAAAHHHHH –” cut off by my inability to scream once I realized I was floating in the air.

I almost forgot I was attached to the chord. Everything went white – either things were flashing by too quickly when I leaped, or I had closed my eyes when I first jumped. Whatever the case, two seconds later I felt water rush up my nose and mid-level around my body. It was over in the blink of an eye.

The weirdest part was dangling upside down while having water plugged up in my nose. I could feel my blood flowing down toward my head, still shaking from excitement.

It was crazy. It was bliss. It made ME feel infinite. This was the start of my infinite bliss.

Jumping off a platform is something I hope everyone gets to experience in their life, REGARDLESS of age. And for anyone afraid of heights, the best way to conquer the fear is to do it.

Don’t hold back. The only thing you’ll regret in life is NOT going for the things you know you secretly yearn to do!

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*Title of this post thanks to Traci Jaye Hernandez 🙂