Skydiving was something I had always wanted to do, but not necessarily something I thought would actually happen. Before I left for Italy, a friend told me that her biggest regret of studying abroad was that she didn’t skydive over the Swiss Alps. I immediately began looking into it, researching companies that offered it and thinking about when I would want to do it. I looked into how much it would cost including pictures and videos, and I started watching videos on the Skydive Swiss Alps website. Finally, I booked a trip to Interlaken, Switzerland a month before leaving to study abroad through Bus2Alps, where I would skydive.
To say that I wasn’t nervous at all would definitely be an understatement. The only thing I felt the entire week leading up to my skydive, including the 10 seconds before I jumped, was adrenaline and pure excitement. The lack of nerves were probably attributable to the combination of extreme adrenaline high and the fact that I’d watched countless videos of people doing exactly what I would be doing, replacing any potential nervousness with excitement.
I woke up the day of; a van picked me up at my hostel and took me to the runway/landing zone. The group went through a brief training of what to do at each part of the skydive in terms of positioning your body. If you do skydive, you need to get a video, because whoever you jump with has a GoPro and films every step of the way: interviews you right before getting on the plane, films the scenery from the plane, talks to you while you’re ascending, and then right before you jump as well as the whole way down. I love watching the video now because I literally had a smile on my face the entire time, and I was able to choose the songs to go on the video, so it takes me back almost instantly, which may sound corny but this was one of the best days ever. I’ve never felt so great in a way that isn’t comprehendible unless you’ve experience it: pure bliss.
The whole experience, regardless of how short it may have been, also made me realize how important it is to maintain a grateful and appreciative attitude no matter where you are in life. The rush of emotions and adrenaline I felt the whole day and week before my skydive are so vivid and memorable, as is the beautiful view of the Alps that I experienced. Even after I landed I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I had done something that I never really thought I’d have the chance to do and it felt incredible, physically and mentally.
I think an important part of life and life abroad especially is pushing boundaries and limits that you’ve maybe set for yourself and that you didn’t necessarily expect yourself to push. Experiencing new things despite certain fears or reservations you may have is so important because most of the time, if you end up trying something that you were a little bit skeptical about, you won’t regret it, you’ll just wonder why you were nervous or skeptical in the first place. I don’t even know now why I ever thought that skydiving was an unachievable, back burner goal.