We have been contemplating doing something totally bizarre, adventurous, and adrenaline pumping for a few years now. It all began around Yang's 30th birthday. We started mustering our courage to jump off a plane (AKA skydive) as we began dreaming about the sport and visualizing the free fall. Somehow we kept the thoughts in our dreams and didn't materialize our plans in 2013. Once Yang's milestone birthday passed, we made many excuses to save the experience for a different time (#chickens). Of course, most people only do these crazies once in a lifetime and it had to be an experience worth remembering.
This year when I turned 30, opportunity once again came knocking at our door. Think about it...we would have to wait a whole decade for another milestone birthday...lol! Yang gifted the experience to 'us' and it was the best thing ever! I'm sure you can tell how excited we are from our expressions:)
We decided to skydive in the Finger Lakes area (*because we are obsessed with the Finger Lakes like that!). We have so many memories in this region and this was one more to add to our list. We chose to jump with Skydive Fingerlakes and we are so glad we did. Justin Baker from Skydive Fingerlakes was easy to communicate with and prompt (*prompt and good communication makes Yin super happy...hee hee). He shared our excitement about our blog and milestone birthday celebration. Double brownie points:)
We set off on a cloudy and windy morning to make our dreams a reality. Of course good weather is always on our side (NOT- #Alaska photo shoot reference..sigh!). I must mention what a true trooper Yang was. He set aside his fear of heights and flying to jump off a plane with me...just because I am a little crazy like that! That's when you know you have a true keeper. Partners in crime always?
We got to the air base and signed our lives away (so dramatic...but what's life without a little drama!). Our training was brief but sufficient with the essentials that we needed to know for our safety. I know some other places offer a more thorough orientation, but I don't think I would have registered much more information in my excitement and our joint anxiety...lol!
Our plane was a tiny 'bush' plane. It had floor seating and just enough place for us, our instructors, and our pilot. We took off from the runway and gradually ascended over the beautiful and serene Lake Seneca for about 20 mins. Multiple thoughts ran through our minds as we sat locked in the little space. I was personally very excited about the whole thing and not really afraid of the experience. I guess I hadn't processed the metrics of jumping from 10,000 ft. and falling at the speed of 120 miles per hour. Yang on the contrary has a better sense of numbers and had long processed what we were in for!
We sat scrunched in a tight space...smiling...screeching...enjoying the views...and watching the altitude meter nervously. After 20 mins. of a smooth ascent, it was time! The meter read 10,000 ft and it was indeed time to take the leap of faith! Jeez...there was no turning back now! Yang was seated closer to the door and he jumped first. I watched him put his foot on the step of the plane as he sat nervously on an open door aircraft. And the next minute, he was gone...gone like a little plastic bag...flying away at the mercy of the wind!
When you jump off an aircraft and do your free fall stunt, it lasts for about 30 seconds. I remember feeling nervous at the start...closing my eyes for a few seconds...and then telling myself.."Oh my God Oh my God...this is it...process...process...you are flying...woo!". Before I knew it, my arms were stretched out, my spirit felt so free, and I was flying like a bird! Woohooo (Take us back please!). When we got to 5000 ft., our instructors opened our parachutes. You feel a little yank at first and then you sail through the skies, soaring in different directions, sailing with the winds, just enjoying the pure divinity around you! Don't miss Yang's reaction in his video when his parachute finally opens...ha ha!
What an experience of a lifetime! What a memorable 30th birthday! I conveniently censored the part where I felt super nauseous and thought I was going to throw up mid air....but we can save that tale for a different time no? (#forgot about my motion sickness).
We had an amazing experience. Our instructors from Skydive Fingerlakes were friendly, easy going, and made us feel super comfortable. They were obviously very experienced and managed to get us down in one piece even though the winds were acting up that morning. Would definitely recommend them to anyone considering a tandem jump in the Finger lakes area with dreamy views.
Would we do it again...? Hell yeah. Don't forget to check out our videos below:)