I went paragliding the other day! Luckily, it was me who was the amateur and not the person I was flying with.
I don’t have any deep reasons for doing it. I just wanted to do it. It was either paragliding or skydiving, and paragliding was much cheaper (about $100 cheaper), so I chose to jump off a hill instead of out of a plane. My friend Tatiana was more than happy to join me, so she went first and then took pictures of me when I started to go up.
It felt kind of like I was dangling from a roller coaster. The pilot and I got along (we’re both chatty) and we were able to get up about 3,000 feet above ground. It’s kind of crazy when you’re just floating in the air like that. We floated alongside a hill to catch a breeze that would carry us up above even higher and I wondered if I could stretch out my toes and brush my feet against the scrub. I couldn’t – perspective gets really weird and suddenly everyone’s tiny – but it was never too scary, just fun.
At one point my pilot asked me, “Do you like roller coasters?”
“Well, I do like roller coasters, but they give me motion sickness,” I said.
“I have barf bags right here if you need them,” he said, pointing to a bag right next to my thigh. “You only need to get barfed on once to learn that they’re a good idea.”
I felt fine so far, and later – this is going to sound incredibly entitled, given that I’m FLOATING IN THE AIR – I was starting to get bored. The wind was freezing, I was freezing, and I’d seen the fantastic view of the valley from all angles. I was getting so entitled that I might as well have worn a monocle and pulled out my timepiece and yawned loudly.
So my pilot asked, “Do you wanna have some fun?”
“Yeah, sure!” I said.
He started twisting and turning and we started looping around and our harness was almost upside-down. I really felt like I was on a roller coaster now, and as we were spiraling down and I was screaming with delight, I said, “I think I’m gonna throw up.”
So he stopped. We began our descent and I still felt like I was going to throw up. I don’t know what’s worse: feeling like you’re going to throw up and never throwing up, or just plain puking. We landed, my pilot took all the gear off of me, and I was feeling a little wobbly in the legs.
I took pictures with Tatiana, and I think the adrenaline was telling me to just get OUT OF THERE and so we ran to the car and I drove us back home.
Definitely worth it.