• Jessica Kunamalla


Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Cairns, Australia

For as long as I can remember, I had my mind made up that I was going to skydive once I turned 18. When that day came, I didn't really want my experience to be in Naperville, IL. I told myself I would go somewhere cool to skydive - like Australia.

We were apart of the first group to gear up! I preferred it this way, because we were able to relax for a bit after landing, instead of boarding the bus right away. They don't allow you to bring any gear so if you want photos or videos, there's an extra charge and the experienced skydiver will handle all of that for you. As we were paired with an experienced skydiver, they put all the gear on us and went over some important info about hand positions and landing. Then we boarded the plane! As we sat in close quarters, the instructor attached himself to the back of my harness. It got much colder the higher we went, so I would recommend wearing long sleeves and pants. When we reached the right altitude, the experienced divers jumped out themselves. Drew was the first tandem sky diver to go, and I was up right after him. There wasn't a count down or anything! Once I sat on the ledge and the instructor was positioned correctly, he jumped off. It was probably better this way, because I didn't really have a chance to feel afraid. The free fall was maybe about 1 minute long and absolutely amazing. It was such a thrill seeing the clouds and scenery. It wasn't the most attractive lol my ears and cheeks were flopping all over the place. They tell you to scream and cheer, and you're so exhilarated that you won't think twice about it.

Tip: Take some motion sickness pills with you. I had mine about 20 minutes before we went on the plane. My instructor said that a lot of people throw up. I never felt like I was going to be sick, but being up so high, your vision is a little warped. Plus, when they're trying to land, you go back and forth, sometimes spinning for a bit. I was told its pretty common to throw up!

Once they pull the parachute, you're able to catch your breath and take in the scenery. Initially, we had signed up for a beach landing, but due to weather conditions and visibility, we weren't able to do that. Either way, it was such an amazing experience. Surprisingly, I wasn't very nervous or scared. I always felt like the professionals were knowledgeable, triple checked all our gear, and kept us safe. Honestly, everything happened so fast that we were just going through the motions until we were like "holy crap...just jumped off a plane!!" I would encourage everyone to experience the thrill at least once - it'll be one of the craziest memories of your life!

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