Sometimes it takes 14,000 feet to try to gain a new perspective.
This past weekend I had my first weekend trip while abroad to Byron Bay! With a couple of missteps along the way, I think the experience turned out to be quite a positive one.
On our first day of travel, we rode a magic bus (which was oddly not that magical as it had no AC on a day when it was 95) down to Byron Bay. The ride included stops to Nimbin and a small swimming hole, only to be met by a Thunderstorm when arriving in Byron.
The weekend made a quick turnaround on Saturday where I finally went SKYDIVING!! Oddly enough, my Aussie adventure in 2009 with People to People did not seem enough at the time, so I planned my next adventure to be skydiving. Now I would like to think that in the last seven years I’ve had a bit of adventure, but I am happy to have finally achieved this goal I have held near and dear to my heart all these years. Usually when these types of dream are maintained for this long, hopes are typically higher than what reality can create. However, this adventure was better than I ever could have imagined!!
When we arrived at Byron Bay Skydive, it was cloudy and there was a chance of a storm. Although we were delayed an hour, my group and I were finally called to get suited up and ready to learn how to skydive. The view from the plane ride up alone was gorgeous, little did I know how much better the view becomes when you are free falling. The Byron Bay Skydive is the highest jump in Australia (sorry mom) with over 40 seconds of free falling before the parachute.
As I watched the first two of my friends jump out of the plane, my nerves finally started to kick in. However, once the first person jumps out, the rest move pretty quickly. Once my tandem partner and I started moving out of our seat, I did not have much time to process what was going on, and within a few seconds, I was spinning out of the plane. The initial fall was one of the oddest sensations I have ever felt, but once we were stabilized and I got adjusted to the feeling, it became incredible!! I don’t think my smile wiped off my face for the rest of the day.
This jump has meant a lot to me over the last seven years. There have been many ups and downs over the years, challenges that made jumping out of a plane sound easy. Particularly celebrating a special four year anniversary this week, I wanted to do this skydive to let go of those negative experiences. I am a huge believer in what doesn’t kill you indeed makes you stronger, and therefore I do not intend to forget the struggles my past is filled with. However, as I consistently challenge myself while in Australia and am working to shape myself for the future I want, I am gaining the strength to forgive those I have been reluctant to forgive, and no longer let my difficult experiences define who I am. I try to live a positive life and leave a positive impact on others, and in order to successful achieve these, I have realized I must focus my attention on the positive experiences of my life and try to see the silver lining in any event. During my free fall, I was the most present in the moment than I have ever been. I thought I would have all these different thoughts running through my head, but instead I was mindful of the experience.
Thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point so far, and supporting me as I continue to stretch outside my comfort zone and look towards a more positive future.