I’d often look up at the pilots soaring across the sky and wonder what it would feel like looking down at the world from up there and if it was worth it. I hadn’t gathered the courage to try it for myself, my fear of heights was holding me back, until that day in Queenstown. Queenstown is unbelievably gorgeous, as is the rest of New Zealand’s South Island. It prides itself as the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, so it would kind of be a shame to not let go of the fear. After all, if there is a place where you absolutely should paraglide, then Queenstown is it. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, I just signed up for a tandem flight and showed up to meet my instructor, Gav.
After hiking uphill for a good twenty minutes, we strapped on our gear. I pretended to understand the instructions he was giving me, while the two voices inside my head debated over whether I was actually going to go through with this. Before they came to a conclusion, we had jumped off the hill and were soaring like birds over Lake Wakatipu with the spectacular Mount Remarkables forming the perfect backdrop to the city. I was too awestruck and overwhelmed by it all to be afraid. Then for a long time, I was just smiling, my eyes fixed onto the dramatic landscape below. I’d never experienced anything like this before and I hadn’t even thought I would, but I was glad I had surprised myself.
It was unbelievably liberating to not feel fear anymore when looking down from so high up. The houses and buildings looked tiny from up there. It was the beginning of winter and I could see the first signs of snow on the mountain tops. Funnily, that made me think of whipped cream! Gav talked about how he’d been doing this all his life and how the views blew his mind every single day. I was envious, how amazing would it be to experience that every day of your life?! I cannot imagine a better workplace in the world. I didn’t realize how quickly the minutes passed by and it was time to land. I found myself wishing it could last just a little bit longer.