Be Afraid and Do It Anyway

Skydiving in Argentina

About this image: I always wondered what people meant by “cloud nine”… until I plunged right through it. Sixty-five miles south of Buenos Aires, free-falling over the infinite green of Las Pampas. And yes, a cloud to two.

Parisian André-Jacques Garnerin carried out the first ever parachute descent from a balloon as early as 1797 to an awestruck audience. In the 19th century it was women’s turn to take to the sport with Katharina “Käthe” Paulus amongst the most famous, credited with inventing the folding (knapsack) parachute. The ripcord parachute used in modern skydiving was invented in 1908 by Leo Stevens, but didn’t come into use until 1920.

Both Albert Berry and Grant Morton claim their place in history as the first ever skydiver. Grant Morton jumped over Venice Beach, California in 1911, his safe landing assured by an “automatic” silk parachute. Albert Berry took the plunge in 1912, but since he had dropped 500 feet before the parachute opened, argued that the title must be his.

Skydiving became a recreational sport after World War II, when a plethora of parachutes were decommissioned and former paratroopers turned skydivers. I don’t blame them. Once you get that adrenaline shot, nothing quite compares. 

My travel style? Just take the plunge and see what happens.

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer

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38 thoughts on “Be Afraid and Do It Anyway

  1. Ohhh man. We really do have many travelling similarities. Before I went to South America, I was in East/South Africa for around two and a half months and I went on my first sky dive in Namibia…

    And never again Vic. Never again. Though I don’t know how much of that had to do with me being hungover. I know. Such a dick.

    Also, I’m not sure why but I am no longer following you? I know you kind of disappeared for a bit though in Feb. I came back once and it was still that ‘we are experiencing technical problems pic’… or am I making that up?

    • I think there is a technical glitch with WP, because yesterday I realised that I’d un-followed an awesome Aussie blogger and I know that wasn’t the case.
      Regarding my spell of absence, you’re quite right. I was away for a few weeks and wasn’t sure when I’d be back hence the cryptic message.

      Namibia! I’m very jealous. I’ve always wanted to go. The views must have been to die for. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the skydive. I’d give it another try if I were you. I’m certain it was the hangover 🙂

      • Also, forgive me, but you said something in your reply to our other exchange on travelling. I think it was about how quickly we change back, when we’re in familair surroundings?

        Anyway, if that was it, you’re so right man. But sometimes you just can’t help it, you know?

    • I was so high on adrenaline by the time I had to jump off the ledge that I could hardly contain my excitement. I can see how fear of height might get in the way and I have to admit that while we were making the ascent I did question the sanity of jumping off a plane that was in perfectly good working order 😉

      • Haha! Thank you. I’ve done my fare share of daredevil impressions jumping off things in this lifetime. People keep telling me that eventually fear does settle in. Will let you know when it does. If it does 😀

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  5. Interesting facts about skydiving. I used to want to do this….until the loss of a friend. Then I developed a phobia of flying. I think that started when I decided to take flight lessons and the instructor had me work on stalls and spins the first time out. (I worked for a Cessna dealer, and the instructors were my “friends” ha! Idiot) Anyway, I have to medicate just to fly, and I couldn’t imagine jumping out of a plane now. I admire your travel style.

    • I am sorry for your loss. Most people believe that phobias develop only in childhood, but as your example illustrates (and I know from many a friend’s stories) experiences in later life can trigger them as well. Thank you, April.

  6. Your theory should be applied to travel and to life in general. During an interview I did a month ago I was asked, “What should everyone do at at least once?” I’ve been thinking about it a lot since and if I could answer all over again I’d say that we all need to do something we’re terrified of at least once

    • That would be an axiom to live by. Thank you, Zoe. I do try to apply it to everything I do, although as life would have it, at times with more success than at others.

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