The term “bucket list” is one that is used worldwide, and it encompasses everything our little human hearts desire to do before we’re no longer of this Earth. While some of us may not call it this, we all have a mental list in our minds of the kinds of things we’ve put off and put off, to save for later. Why not now? What are you waiting for exactly? If there’s anything certain about life, it’s that it is finite – and we don’t know where our path will end or when, so it’s truly important to live in the moments we’re granted the first time around, and leave no regrets behind us.
Here lies a chance to check quite a few things off that list, starting with a holiday that is likely long overdue. A trip to South Africa costs much less than other beach-side destinations that are frequented by tourists, and is easily more beautiful in the many offerings you can get all in one place. While destinations like the Virgin Islands offer white sandy beaches, and umbrella drinks under a thatched roof bungalow, scantily clad bathers dotting the beaches and scores of children building sandcastles… there’s not much beyond doing that daily to offer. The same could be said for many of the other popular places people usually think of, but why not break away from the herd, and choose a place that is still one of the world’s best kept secrets? There are places in South Africa that will make you feel like you are the only person in the center of paradise itself. There’s no throngs of tourists, nor greedy pushy hawkers trying to ply their wares upon you, just kilometers upon kilometers of open land, ocean, wildlife, flora, and a plethora of activities just waiting for you.
Wilderness is one of those places. The Garden Route is known for their wineries, rich fynbos areas that hikers can spend entire days exploring, and certainly long stretches of white sandy beaches where you’re not arm to arm with other holiday makers. Taking a holiday trip to Wilderness means you’re saving money too because the exchange rate is generous. This equates to a lot more luxury for a fraction of the price, and places like Cinnamon House Guest Boutique are ready to pamper and please even the most finicky of travelers. This highly acclaimed guest house is situated in a prime location, close to many award winning restaurants and even an open market. The sheer amount of activities that are nearby is astounding for such a quiet area, but it means that every morning as you wake to a South African sunrise, you can plan out your day’s itinerary while listening to the sweet music of the songbirds just outside your window.
One of these activities is skydiving. If you’ve never been skydiving, but it’s on that list, then it too can be checked off! Skydive Mossel Bay says “Skydivers have more fun than people” which insinuates that once you’re up there, you transcend your own humanity, your mind is open, excited and ready to jump ahead to the next adventure. A video showing what you can expect can be found here: Of all the drop zones in all of South Africa, this one has been heralded as the very best in terms of raw scenic beauty.
If you still find yourself nervous and apprehensive at the thought of jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet, even though you’ll be going tandem, and even though you have a parachute… maybe listing some of the many benefits skydiving offers will help you to check that item off your list.
- Stress Relief: Psychologists report that inclination to try high risk activities is essential for the continuity of the human species. When you skydive, you focus on what you’re doing and nothing else. Your worries are forgotten, as well as the other distractions of life. The intense focus and adrenaline rush bring forth a mental and physical cleanse like you’ve never known.
- Physical Benefits: Skydiving builds upper arm strength in controlling the parachute as well as the large muscle groups in the lower body for landing. Carrying around the skydiving equipment also burns energy and helps tone muscle.
- Facing Fears: If you can skydive, you can do anything. Of all the extreme activities, skydiving probably ranks right at the top. It’s one of the easiest ways to help you see that you’re stronger than you think you are, and that your resilience knows no bounds. After skydiving, you will find that your other fears, no matter what they are, seem so insignificant in comparison.
- Challenging Yourself: Once you’ve gone ahead and done it, you’ll know that you’re capable of jumping into the next exciting big thing to come along, free of any anxiety or fears that might usually accompany it.
- Life Altering: When you’re up there, with naught but the wind to carry you and the vision of the world beneath you, seeing only as the birds do, you experience moments where your mind has never been quite so clear. You’ll realize you’ve taken something that seems inherently dangerous and conquered it, making all your future goals much easier to achieve.
- Creating Confidence: You’re going to change in big ways, you’ll have confidence enough to share. By successfully completing a jump, you have something worth crowing about, and with good cause! That confidence will be seen and felt by everyone around you, and it’s infectious. It will draw others to you naturally and you’ll see more good things come your way.
- Physical and Mental Rejuvenation: Adrenaline is a survival mechanism, and necessary for overall health. You begin to feel excited and full of energy as your body responds to the rush. Skydivers say this activity requires intense control over the mind, and you acquire an increased awareness of everything around you as you jump off the plane.
- Awareness of the Beauty of the World: After experiencing what is literally a life changing event, you begin to see the world in more vibrant ways, your perception of what makes something, or someone beautiful will forever be altered, having opened your mind completely, and you’ll never see in monochrome again.
Skydiving calls out to the dreamers in us all, those of us who want to transcend our human bodies and reach out to do things only the superheros do. We crave the thrill of the air, complexity of the sky, and that moment when you see all the microscopic things on land, that make you feel like a giant in comparison. Skydiving reveals the world for what it really is, a small part of a bigger picture, where anyone can be that giant, that superhero if they allow themselves to join situations where they can grow, shine, and become so much more. This article from Pacific Standard-The Science of Society offers a great insight into skydiving from a psychological stance.
A few points to end with, minors cannot skydive. A minimum of 18 years of age is necessary to try the activity, and it’s also important to note that you should weigh less than 105 kilos and are free from medical conditions like high blood pressure. If you’re taking any prescription medications, be sure to clear it with your doctor and get a note before skydiving. Weather-wise, skydiving doesn’t happen when there are thunderstorms. Barring all of that, the sky as they say… is the limit!