With the time and with gathering more and more travels under your belt, you discover not just the world, but also yourself and your wishes, desires. You find out that the location becomes less important, but the way you feel there, the people you meet and most of all: the memories you make, those are that you will always attach to the spot.
My whole Portugal trip was based on the idea of going with the flow: booked my accomodation last minute, decided where to go the day before, did what I felt when I did feel it. I had one single plan: to do skydiving in Algarve. I booked it quite in advance and I knew that is going to be the highlight of my trip. I was enjoying and making the most of every single day spent in this wonderful country and I didn’t focus much on my only plan, but when that Saturday was approaching I felt the excitement more and more intensely. So intensely that I didn’t even realize that on that specific morning outside was raining so badly that there was no chance of jumping out of a plane if you are sane. Obviously you can’t be completely sane, however, to do such a thing in the perfect weather conditions either, but in rain no chance. Weather is one thing you definitely can’t control, you have no choice than to accept and live with it. Still the positive me calls the people from Skydive Algarve, who are extremely friendly by the way, and we postpone the big event for the next day. Sunday: I start the day with the usual jog on the seaside, some me time on the shore while waiting for the sunrise and the best breakfast at the nearby cafe. The day looks promising if we ignore the strong wind, which we can’t put aside since it has a vital role today: if it’s calm enough I can go ahead with my plan, if he continues showing his power I got all the chances to be literally blown away. At this stage he, the wind, is messing with me and my hair, proving that he’s the boss and might not be a good idea trying to confront him.
Again I talk with the skydive staff, considering that it’s my last day in the Algarve, we discuss the details of the refund, but before hanging up the phone I say: ” You know what? Let’s not do the refund just yet…Tomorrow I need to leave to Lisbon since the day after, early morning I’m flying home from there, but if by any chance the weather miraculously changes I could still squeeze in a little skydiving before I leave.” We agreed on that, but on one side I though: well, it’s just not meant to happen this time in this spot, on the other hand: tomorrow is the last try – anything can happen. That being said, my day went on great and in the morning I woke up as usual, before the sunrise, ’cause that I watched from the shore, of course. The jog, the sunrise watching, the breakfast at the cafe – all of them were happening for the last time… I was expecting a sad day with hard moments because I had to go and say goodbye to all the wonderful people I met in Lagos, people that made me feel truly at home and people that I shared beautiful conversations with at dinners, at drinks or just while passing by next each on the corridors of the hostels.
While watching the sunrise I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the most mesmerizing sunrise I experienced in Lagos, like a last gift from the universe for me.
It filled my heart with so much happiness that I smile now when I remember how I felt back then. It was simply beautiful. Just after I realized how calm it is: no wind, not even a single raindrop… My hopes were realistic than ever and in that moment I received the email from Skydive Algarve confirming me that the jumping is likely and I should get to the aerodrome Portimao as soon as possible, the weather can change any moment unexpectedly. I call them, we are all happy, I quickly say goodbye to everyone, even have a short hairdresser session and off I go.
As I mentioned you earlier, the staff from Skydive Algarve is very friendly, absolutely amazing. As I get there I am welcomed by honest smiles and joy, they express their positive emotions as if we were all friends there. It feels good and I believe it’s quite important also in building up the trust level. Luckily that happens instantly, my instructor, Bruno is funny but in the same time transmits seriousity and jumping out of the plane attached to him doesn’t seem as crazy as it is actually. What did I just say? Hahaha! It is absolutely insane what I’m doing but I totally enjoy it!
We do the preparations on the ground, I try to understand all the instructions Bruno explains me, they all sound like pervert scenarios from another story, but you need to know the right position if you expect a positive experience. I look like I’m dressed up for an amateur trip to the Mars, to my outfit being attached also a very not good looking cap, which has a benefic role though. At least for the health of my ears, can’t guarantee for my companions because since my ears are basically plugged I talk much louder than usually and they don’t have a cap on.
If you believe ( I believed at that point too) that I’m prepared, just have a look later. You are actually never completely prepared and that’s the whole magic. You need to feel the fear, the excitement, the adrenalin, the trust and all of them in the same time at a very high level. As confusing as it may seem, it’s the greatest feeling ever and it touches the highest peak at the moment when you are just about to jump out.
That’s when you realize what you are doing but there’s no way back even if you wanted to, you just go ahead and enjoy the ride. You smile but it’s not your real smile and it’s frozen on your face, but somehow it did freeze because the extreme feelings you experience are in a way positive even if we deal with fear as well. I mean, come on!, of course you are freaked out, you are just about to jump out of a plane! Bizarre, no? At that point there was no time to think so much though, in a second I just felt that I’m flying, the wind is strongly hitting my face but I love it and all my fear is transformed into pure joy experienced on a very intense level.
It’s happening very fast, it will make you feel the both extremes of fear and joy, you will land and get back to your normal rhythm, but you will never forget your first skydive experience!