It started with a dare. My boyfriend proposed we go parachuting in Empuriabrava, a little town close to Barcelona.
I had my doubts. I said I would think about it and call him.
Strangely enough — the next day I found he had already made reservations for both of us to do a tandem skydive at Skydive Empuriabrava.
At $250 a fall, there was no going back.
On Friday we headed to the tiny village of Empuriabrava in the Costa Brava, which just happens to be Europe’s top skydiving centre.
There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars, but I was so worried I just went to bed.
On Saturday morning I looked out of the window and saw at least 10 people falling from the sky and thought, “How hard can it be?”
At the centre, I met Verónica who told us we were going to take a 15-minute flight to about 4,000 metres then jump out (securely attached to a tandem instructor) and experience a 50-second freefall before the parachute would open and we glide for another five minutes before landing.
Allen, my Belgian tandem instructor who has 20 years experience was professional and confident.
He helped strap me in, and still everything was oddly casual.
Then we got on the plane with seven other people and took off.
At first I took in the view of the Costa Brava then, suddenly, someone opened the door and my boyfriend was gone — jumping from 4,000 metres.
And it was right then where the fear kicked in.
It really hit me to see how far up we were and how quickly he disappeared from view. I started thinking, no, not me, I can’t do this.
Turns out I didn’t have a choice as, one second later, thanks to the lovely Allen, I was in the air.
I was dropping, filled with pure adrenaline, left to stare into the abyss as I felt my heart pumping and the wind melting my cheeks, dropping at a cool 200 km per hour.
Then the parachute released and we were pulled upwards for a spilt second before floating effortlessly for five minutes over Empuriabrava and the breathtaking Bay of Roses.
The feeling was like nothing I have ever experienced, and on landing, I was overwhelmed by total relief that I was alive and an incredible desire to do it again.
The tandem skydive is not for the faint-hearted, it’s aimed at adrenaline junkies.
But jumping out of a plane at 4,000 metres is an immense personal challenge. Letting go of your inhibitions and embracing the fear can make this a lifetime experience.