The Increase in Paragliding and Skydiving
So it seems like the last decade was characterised by a huge boost into the paragliding and skydiving activities. This is because of its marketing and lack of risk in modern societies. You can find examples all over social media, showing, promoting and encouraging you to do it.
This increase in paragliding and skydiving seems to be a reflection of the huge interest and increase in adventure travel in the 21st century. (If you want to read about the increasing trend into adventure tourism, check out my post about risk taking and adventure tourism)
Most of the popular holiday destinations offer the flying human experience for affordable value. Also a number of celebrities, including Will Smith influence to go out of your comfort zone and just jump into the air.
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So what is it all about and why you should do it?
The Mental Freedom And The Power Of Now
It seems like the less risk and danger we have in our developed societies, the more we want to experience thrill and fear.
What also seems to have increased in our developed societies is the numbers of people suffering from anxiety and depression.
This is because the more disposable time we have, the more we think. Our societies programmed us to be always thinking of the future and the past. So from very young age we are asked to get ready for all this adult and grown up mess.
Our brains work like the lottery machine, spinning and pining with numbers, thoughts, worries and ideas. We seem to always either live in the past or the future.
The beauty of adventure, adrenaline and thrilling activities is allowing us to focus on the present moment. Give you freedom from your thoughts, allowing you to fully enjoy the feelings, views, breathing, wind and excitement. Working on all of your senses.
Paragliding is the ultimate cure for anxiety and depression. It is the ultimate tool to make you feel as present as you possibly can feel. It allows you to feel the power of focusing on now.
On this note, I would also recommend you the 'Power of Now' book if you want to get a bigger understanding of this concept.
Flying Like A Bird
Paragliding is the closest experience we can get to flying like a bird.
Why? Because it needs no engine, no fuel, just wind and you to make it work.
Since ancient times we have observed flying birds with jelousy and after many attempts and failures we can finally do it.
Paragliding would really make you feel amazing, it is way better and more intense than being stuck in a plane.
So what does it feel like to hop off a mountain?
To me, beyond the incredible bird view landscapes that I enjoyed I felt free. This experience felt like walking on the air.
This was not just a physical experience, but mental as well. It felt so energetic, fulfilling and incredible. It really boosted my confidence.
I had many people waving to me and shouting, which made me feel like I was doing something big. It was a step forward, something not everyone has the guts to do.
It is something many people dream of doing, but never do. And I was doing it, very spontaneously.
How did I decide to do it?
That day, this morning I had no idea I was going to be doing such a big thing. I had no idea I was going to jump off more than 6000 feet.
I decided to do it in strange circumstances. I was skiing with my friends, who told me that they were booked onto paragliding later on in the day and asked me if I wanted to come and watch.
It turned out when we got there that I wanted to do it too, I thought there will never be a better opportunity. I was there with them.
I wanted to do it but I did feel a bit nervous and scared.
So funnily enough, I was the last one to join this venture and the first one to jump. It felt great. I really needed to go first, I was excited and did not want to wait and potentially change my mind.
As soon as I was in the air, I felt very safe, secure and free.
Tip - It adds a lot of fun when you make it acrobatic, doing 360’s is insane and so amazing. Also try not to fall on your ass when taking off. This happened to me and scared me and the instructor a bit.
So How Much Does it Cost?
I got pretty lucky with the deal I had. This is because, when I did the jump I was actually working in the French Alps. So I was a seasonaire, and sort of someone that could potentially bring some more clients to the business.
When you work in holiday resorts, very often you get to experience a lot of activities either free of charge or with a good discount. Simply because if you do it, you can then tell your customers about it and you know the ins and outs.
So the deal I got was around 80 euros, which was a bargain to be fair. Usually however if you are on a holiday the price doesn't break the bank. It is usually around 160-250 euros.
It is probably not the cheapest thing you could do in a ski resort, but then again it's not really crazy expensive. Pretty much everyone can do it.
There is always a lot of different operators that do it, so shop around. Try to also check the price of the pictures and videos if you do not have your own GoPro.
This is because some companies will charge you a lot for that. The guy I did it with charged like 20 euros for the memory card with the pictures and movies on it. So this was a good deal, he was self employed person, and did not work for the big companies that offer paragliding. These are usually more expensive.
I have seen companies charging up to 80 euros for videos and photos. Also some companies charge for allowing you to use your own GoPro too, so just check what you getting into.
So Should You Do It?
The experience is amazing for your mental wellbeing. It is something you will be proud of and something that you will never forger.
If you want to find out more about adventure tourism, click here.
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