I was lucky enough (or unlucky) to be offered the chance to go skydiving and bungee jumping twice on my travels. Whilst you may think jumping out of a plane hands-down has got to be the most exhilarating thing you can do, think again. Bungee jumping was by far the most terrifying and pressurising activity I’ve ever been a part of… here are my reasons why Skydiving is nothing compared to Bungee jumping.
1. You can’t close your eyes and wait till the other side.
My first bungee jump in Cairns, Australia was a 50m drop. Whilst the guys who strap you up tell you you’re going to be fine, nothing can take the fear away of knowing that you have to jump yourself. Skydiving on the other hand, gives you that ‘safe option’ – you can close your eyes and freely fall knowing that you don’t have to do anything at all. Just relax and let the instructor fall off, there’s two of you in this, knowing you’re not alone. Bungee jumping is a one man operation, and requires your whole body to alter its mindset and decide with your brain that you’re going to jump and survive.
2. You don’t have to suffer the danger of whiplash halfway down.
After the first 30 seconds, when you’ve seen the parachute safety shoot and you’re gliding, you feel comfortable and relaxed. The complete opposite can be said for bungee jumping. I was in Ecuador when i braved my second bungee jump, this time it was off an old unsteady bridge operated by two Latino men who didn’t speak English. It took me 15 minutes to brave the jump, after tears, tantrums and wobbly legs. I was right to cause a fuss, as the landing almost snapped my neck in half and I had severe whiplash for days afterwards. I also sustained rope burn to my thighs. Not attractive.
3. You don’t feel pressurised to do fancy jumps and look like a failure when you don’t leap for it straight away
My skydive in Taupo, New Zealand, was led by a reassured professional. Although I did cause some embarrassment when I refused to let go of the plane door, nobody was looking down and laughing. The same cannot be said for Bungee jumping which makes it even more intimidating. When I refused to jump the first time on the bungee, it was whilst I was being filmed by two people below. I also caught the attend of a crowd who gathered underneath chanting me on. What’s worse, after you make your jump, the guy after you a double flip in the air and makes you look like an idiot as you practically belly-flopped your way down.
So? What do I think about skydiving? Yes everyone has to experience it at least once, but if you want to experience real fear, then do a bungee jump. It’s going to make you feel ridiculous, fearless, embarrassed but most of all takes a ton of courage!
- I recommend the Nevis Bungee in Queenstown, New Zealand, which is one of the world’s highest and you jump off a 134m platform.
Watch my first bungee jump here.