I am sure that most of you have been listing things to do in this lifetime, popularly known as a Bucket List. I have mine and almost every now and then I always add items in the list.
In my original bucket list, I have placed climbing the top of the Eiffel Tower, riding a gondola in Venice, hiking and take a photo at the edge of Trolltunga, visiting Liberty Island and even as simple as munching on a pizza in Italy. I have done all of these (at least the one I mentioned), also most of the items in my bucket list are all travel related and not something very extreme.
I didn’t dream of jumping from a cliff and bungee, riding the fastest roller coaster in the world (although I have done this in Ferrari World) or even jumping from a plane and skydive. I can say that I am not really afraid of these.I just don’t see the sense why I have to do it.
As I started traveling the world, I came to a realization that life is too short not try things (if given an opportunity) even the extreme ones. The first thing that popped in my head is SKYDIVE!
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the day that I will be able to skydive. Good thing, Dubai is known to be one of the best skydiving spots in the world. With this said, it is also the reason why it is hard to get a booking. You will need at least a month ahead to reserve in order to get the slot (meaning more time to prepare your mind haha).
Earlier this year, along with four of my friends we decided to finally jump. We even created a Facebook message group for this. We’ve been checking out Skydive Dubai’s website almost everyday to know if they will start opening their bookings for the month of September (almost all of us were traveling last June – late August, so September is the perfect month for us to do it). When the portal opened, my friend Ed messaged me, and without hesitating our jump was booked. From five, only the two of us were left standing (because the other two will be traveling and one got married so their priorities changed..tsk tsk LOL).
Fast forward one month after —- THE DAY OF THE JUMP CAME!
Whenever my friends asked me what do I feel, I don’t normally know what to say. Yes I felt scared but excited as well. Maybe because I have been anticipating this moment for quite some time now, I just want it to be done and experience what it feels like jumping out of the plane.
A lot of them thought that I was crazy, some thought I was brave and also people were reacting how expensive skydive costs. It is pretty expensive —- so I was really hoping that it is worth every dirham.
How should one prepare when he will be jumping out of the plane? What I did is sleep early and pray. I can’t back out now (I keep on telling myself), plus I don’t want to back out. IT IS NOW OR NOW!
In my confirmation email I received the following regulations from Skydive Dubai:
- Age:You must be at least 18 years of age (by Gregorian Calendar), please come with a valid ID to confirm your age. IF YOU ARE AGED 60 OR MORE, YOU MUST OBTAIN THE DOCTORS CERTIFICATE BEFORE PARACHUTING
- Clothes: Wear athletic and comfortable clothes with lace up sneakers or sport shoes for the skydive. You cannot wear sandals, boots, or heels. Please do not wear low cut tops or vests, shirts with a collar or short shorts. Please wear a T-shirt with sleeves (short or long sleeves).
- Weight: You must be within the listed weight and BMI limits
- Time: Your booking time is your arrival time. Please plan to spend at least 3 hours for your experience.
- Weather: Skydiving is sensitive to weather, so if the conditions are not perfect, your experience may take a little longer.
- Personal belongings: Customers and Visitors are responsible for all personal belongings. Please remove jewelry and accessories and empty your pockets prior to Tandem Skydiving.
Absolutely NO alcohol and/or drugs in your system 24 hours before making a tandem skydive.
NO SCUBA DIVING 24 hours prior the jump.
At the reception, I was also given a six page document just letting me know that I am jumping at my own risk. I looked at Ed and told him, well, I guess we are still signing up right? hahaha….and we did. All pages initialed and signed and we were all set.
The time of our booking was at 7am which will include all preparations such as signing the waiver, interviews (for the video) and a short briefing with your tandem partner. When we arrived, we saw that those who were scheduled at 6 am haven’t been briefed and interviewed yet (so it means, more torture time). It took us around two hours to finally gear up and proceed to the plane (they did warn us that to spare at least 3 hours for the whole experience).
After my jump, a lot of people asked me if I got scared. I always tell them that the scary part was when the plane door opened and everyone was starting to walk out of the plane (at this point, there really was no turning back).
What I love about the Skydive Dubai team is that, they kept the vibe inside our plane fun and lively. At some point I was just silent and thinking about the jump ahead, but got a little distracted focusing on this whenever we laughed at some of their jokes and also we had a chance to sing Do Re Mi (ala Sound of Music) just break the ice. Believe me it helped!
TIME TO FLY!
What can I say, it was one of the craziest thing I have ever done. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, this is the activity that you should sign up for. Once I stepped out of the plane, all fears were replaced by the overwhelming feeling of surrender. During our briefing they repeatedly told us to smile for the camera, I completely forgot about this. I was just shouting yahoooooooooooooooooo all the time (so most of my photos I have my mouth opened in an glamorous ‘O’ shape).
It was funny how my skin seems like it wants to leave my body haha.. A testament that I really need to tone my muscles! So if you ask my now how someone should prepare before skydiving, my answer will be GO TO THE GYM!
Seeing Dubai from this perspective was truly amazing. I remember one conversation I had with my tandem partner while we were on parachute and just gliding around:
Me: So this is the view from your office everyday!
Lynette: (proudly answered) YES! Not bad right?
It took us around 10 to 15 minutes until we finally have our feet on the ground. We landed safely (yey!). The moment we landed, I was asked if I will do it again, my answer was a BIG YES!!!!