This is a somewhat scary guest post for those who are afraid of height (like me!) by one of my favorite bloggers,Joe, from RetireBy40. He is a very brave man! Read on and find out why… If you ever thought about an early retirement, you must head over to Joe’s website where he is chronicling his journey to retirement by… 40.
See Joe jump here!
In 2006, I flew to New Zealand to meet up with my parents. We planned to caravan around the North Island for 10 days before going to visit my Aunt in Melbourne. I guess it might sound strange for a 32 year-old guy to be going on vacation with his parents, but I haven’t seen them for a few years and I wanted to drive them around and show them a good time. The Mrs. was still in college at the time and she went to Oaxaca for a class at the same time so we had separate vacations that year.
New Zealand was just awesome. The country side was lush, green, and beautiful, it really reminded me of hobbit country. The people were very friendly and relaxed, this was my kind of place. Auckland felt like any city, but outside of that many places had that small town feel. Anyway, I had always wanted to try bungy jumping and what better place to do it than the home of bungy – New Zealand. I researched before I left and found a good spot at Taupo bungy. This jump is off the cliff above the beautiful emerald Waikato River and you have the option to touch the water!
One of our stops was Lake Taupo, but my mom really didn’t want me to bungy. I guess I could see it from her point of view, who would want to see their kid jump off a 150 foot tall cliff? So I thought to myself, I’ll do it another day when the parental unit is not around. We checked out the gypsy/carnival caravan, explored the town, hung out near the lake, and had a relaxing time in general. On our way out of town, I figured – let’s stop and see what the jump looks like.
We got there and it didn’t look that scary from the parking lot. The viewing area was level with the cantilever jumping platform so you only saw people jumping off and not how high the drop was. Then I saw a couple of girls doing a tandem jump and I thought to myself, “COME ON, girls are doing this!” So I told my mom, hey look everybody is fine, no problem!
That’s how I found myself at the plank looking down 150 feet to the river. Oh yeah! I elected to touch the water. They told me to be stiff and fall forward like a board. But I tell ya, when you’re looking down that far, your body won’t edge forward like that. I only hesitated a second and then bent my knee and down I went. I saw the platform falling away and it was a perfect ZEN moment for me. My mind went completely blank and it was a great feeling.
So what did I learn from this experience other than bungy jumping is awesome? I learned that if you want something, just keep moving toward it. Even if you don’t get it right away, keep edging that way and someday you’ll get there. Once you’re at the edge, just do it and don’t put it off. Tenuous? Maybe, but I’m sticking with it.