I wish that I could fly, Into the sky
So very high, Just like a dragonfly
I'd fly above the trees, Over the seas
In all degrees, To anywhere I please
Yeah! I grew up murmuring those lyrics from Lenny Kravitz’s song ‘Fly Away’. Dreaming about the feeling of flying high in the sky, over the seas and above the trees. As a child, I thought that it was impossible for humans to fly in the sky. As a child, I underestimated the power of man-made technologies. It was only when I grew up, that I came across the sport called skydiving. And there it was! It was the sport which let you fly! It was the sport which satisfied the adrenaline rush in you. Of course, I was immediately attracted to it and I added it to my bucket list. I am sure this must be on your bucket list too.Yes! I want to fly like a bird! I want to Skydive!
I started researching about skydiving, the success rate of the sport, fatal incidents, watching videos and reading experiences of peers who had already attempted it. However, the more I read about it, the more difficult it was to gather the courage to do the feat. Finally, when I came to Europe with my spouse for a short-term stay, we decided to give this adventure sport a try. Seeing him confident, I was also able to take the plunge. And thus the decision was made! We were going to skydive! The very thought of skydiving was enough to keep me excited for a couple of weeks.
Once we’d decided that we wanted to skydive, I was too excited to pin down the details. Questions like “Where? When? How?” started running in my mind and I began planning and preparing for the adventure. Now, one of the most important considerations before you skydive is the view and the height. Depending on the region you are in and your preferences, you can choose a spot which gives you the best view. Some might like the view of the man-made wonders in Dubai, while others might like the mountain view of Everest, and others might like the view of the beautiful villages and lush green fields, spread across the European land. For us, we were already staying in the Netherlands and we choose Prague – The France of Eastern Europe – in order to skydive.
Skydiving can be done from various heights. Not to mention, the more the height, the more adventurous the experience. We did the feat from 4200m and it was a delight! Weather is also very important for skydiving. The weather has to be clear, or else the session might be canceled. So before picking a location and time, do check the weather forecast to see if the weather will be clear. For us, we got lucky. It was a bright sunny day in July in Prague and a perfect one for skydiving.
The cost of the adventure is also variable from country to country. While skydiving in Dubai may cost you up to 700 USD, skydiving in Europe can be done for around 400 USD or lower. You will also see that each service provider offers different packages. A basic package for tandem skydiving without pictures and another package with pictures and videos of the entire experience. Well, even if the photos and videos appear expensive, they are worth every penny. For this is once in a lifetime experience and you will definitely cherish the memories, years later.
Sky Service Prague It Is
Choosing the service provider is another major thing you need to finalize, for you will be trusting them to provide you with good quality safety gear and experienced instructors who will open the parachute at the right time and ensure you land safely. Most likely when you skydive for the first time, you will do tandem skydiving. In this type of skydiving, there is an experienced instructor with you who dives with you and does most of the work, while you relax and enjoy the thrill of free falling from the plane, and also enjoy the view below once the parachute is open. We chose Sky Service Prague, as it had very good reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook. They also have a very good track record of no accidents and are fairly priced. Having skydived with them, I definitely recommend them for their friendly staff and trained instructors.
The Day Arrives
After lots of planning, finally the day our skydiving was scheduled arrived. We went to the office, where we were waiting along with 10 other participants to be taken to skydiving base camp. In our case, the camp was an hour and a half long drive from old town Prague, however, the view there was scenic. We enjoyed every moment of the drive.
Tip: Don't eat anything before you skydive. If you do, there is a high chance you might throw up once you are done.
After the long drive, it was time for safety induction. We were taught about the different positions we needed to use while skydiving and how to land safely. Then we were provided with jumpsuits, safety harnesses and a couple of minutes to take quick pictures.
We were ready with all the safety gear on. The group before us was back and it was our turn now. We met our instructors and photographers and took our places on the plane.
Meet your instructor nicely, for he is the man who is going to save your life by opening the parachute at the right time and ensuring a safe landing. You will remember him for a lifetime.
We were a total of 12 people in the plane. Once we had taken our positions, the plane boarded and we began our climb up. The view was scenic. While the participants were nervous, the instructors and photographers were very chilled out and tried their best to make everyone laugh. After a good 25 min climb, we finally reached the point from where we were going to jump.
It's My Turn
We were very close to the clouds when one of the members opened the windows. It was time to jump off the plane. This was the scariest part of skydiving. I was seated right in the front and was the first to jump off the plane. My instructor took the lead, asked me to put my neck backward, and we jumped off from 4200m! I can still recall the whistling sound of the wind, the feeling of flying in the air through the clouds, the feeling of free falling towards the earth! Such thrilling moments! After the first 60 seconds of freefall, instructor finally opened the parachute. I heaved a sigh of relief and enjoyed the view of the beautiful city of Prague from the air. It felt surreal. After admiring the splendid beauty of the city of Prague, we finally landed and thankfully it was a smooth landing.
Post Landing Celebration
Once you are done, you might feel that your ears are blocked or occasionally you might feel a little giddy. In my case, I felt a little giddy for a couple of minutes. Once I was back to normal, it was time for a group picture, followed by collecting certificates. I remember how proud I felt while collecting my first skydiving certificate. Then we were taken back to the office in the old town of Prague, from where we headed to our hotel, had some food and rested. Then the remainder of the day was all ours and we spent it exploring Prague – one of the most romantic cities in Europe.
Some things we do in life leave a huge impact on us. For me, skydiving was definitely one of those things. It gave me a lot of important life lessons. First and foremost, it taught us to face our fears and live life to the fullest. When we jumped from 4200m, we faced our fear and when we had a free fall, we overcame our fear and started enjoying the brilliant view beneath us. It also taught us the importance of preparation and trust. We jumped with our instructor who had prepared his bag well for the jump and we trusted him to open the parachute on time and to ensure a smooth landing. During that short time, we trusted him to save our lives and help us skydive successfully.
Skydiving is something you might do only once in your lifetime, however, the lessons you learn from it and the beautiful memories shall stay with you forever.