The small round light turned from red to green, the plane decreased speed to the point of hover (or so it seemed), and the bottom of the large side door began its slow, creaky, ominous rise. Strapped into handsome jumpmaster as snuggly as I would allow without a marriage proposal, there was no turning back now.
Everyone knows travel writer’s “numerous” benefits: 5-star luxurious resorts, 7-course gourmet meals, 2-hour spa treatments. But for me, it’s the glicken – the over-the-top experiences that tickle the fancy of this adrenaline junkie that keep me in this business.
And the ultimate glicken for my sort of intrepid traveler is skydiving. So while in Hawaii in June on a photojournalist gig covering a 50th Aikido celebration – a Japanese martial art performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack with various throws or joint locks – I made the arrangements. If I was going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane, you can be sure it was going to be in a place where the view was guaranteed to be spectacular!
Our group of seven arrived at Dillingham airfield on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii at 9:30 a.m. During the one hour ride, I had persuaded all but one to do a jump. I’m just one of those people who can’t stop my enthusiasm from spilling out. Not that I’ve ever really tried.
Guy, the charming French owner of Pacific Skydiving was thrilled – not just at the prospect of a favorable story to be written about his business, but five additional paying patrons to boot. He began regaling me with all kinds of discounts 50% off for le group, wait, another 5% because of so many, oh and mais oui 50% for la travel writer. At this point I think he actually owed me money. I didn’t push it. I know when I’m ahead.
Read about skydiving in Oahu, Hawaii in the August 2013 edition of The Barefoot Writer
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