There are some things I would never ever consider doing…. namely skydiving, bungy jumping and yep, paragliding. Pretty much anything that involves being high in the air or strapped in a harness.I am petrified of heights!
To this day, I don’t know what came over me or what it was exactly that made me feel like doing it. But I can say, I am so glad I did. I blame it on a tiny little stroke of spontaneous adrenaline that was exactly what I needed to almost conquer my fear of heights!
Or maybe it was the fact I was staying in Tyrol, Austria, home to thrill laden adventures as well as just being a very outdoorsy bunch. The day I arrived it was a stifling (for me anyway) 10 or so degrees and as I peeked up at the alps nervously, I could see snow nestled over the mountain tops. Such a stunning and cloudless day it was, I was sure to have a picture perfect view whilst gliding down the alps!
This is what I should have been thinking, meanwhile sitting in the cramped little mini bus with sweaty palms and butterflies stirring in my tummy. We soon enough reached our destination, just in time to spot other fellow paragliders gliding off the mountain down to the soft grassy landing that awaited them. A short while later, it was our turn to trek the mini bus up the steep mountains, curving around the tights bends and up the skinny dirt tracks until we reached the point where there was no further. And WOW, what a stunningly beautiful view! There was no doubt I had a pretty special view of Tyrol from all the way up here and that is was about to get 100 times better.
After a very brief and quick introduction from my paraglide instructor, I was strapped in and running my heart out over bits of sloppy snow, mud and grass until my legs were no longer acquainted to the ground…my fear, anxiety and sweat quickly subsided as I realised this wasn’t at all scary, it was in fact the opposite; it was exhilarating, breathtaking and exciting! I cannot justify in words the breathtaking views of Austria from high above in the skies or the drifting like bird sensation though the air – it felt unreal. Before I knew it, I was landing on the soft green grass with the biggest grin on my face and a new memory to last a lifetime.
And would I do it again? Yes absolutely! It may not be the cheapest of experiences (compared to your casual bike tour) but sometimes you gotta pay a little extra for experiences and this is definitely one of them. It comes at a cost but worth the pennies!!