A good adrenaline rush will cure that!
This week, I have to admit it to myself: I’m bored. In the first three and a half months I lived here, I perfected the art of perpetual vacationing. I found things to do and see, filling my days – and even easier, my nights – with activities, be it solo or with company. I took a few great trips, saw the Sydney sights and read engrossing books (yes, I’ve officially joined the I Love Vampires club).
Enter the Sydney Film Festival. Two straight weeks of being surrounded by people, hectic work and a final product to be proud of. Sure, there were times I wanted to throw in the towel and return to relaxing. But after I got over the hump and into a groove, man, it felt great.
And then, suddenly, it was over. The first few days afterwards I was too busy catching up on sleep to notice anything. But then came the “come-down” and now I’m having trouble pulling myself out of this spectacularly lazy state. What is there to do?
Of course, the first thing I did to battle the boredom was costly and a bit drastic: I booked a trip to New Zealand for next week. But it’s a quick visit, and with a singular purpose that’s quite important to me.
To quote a wise, classic film: “I do not regret the things I have done, but those I did not do.” Okay, I’m sure Empire Records got it from elsewhere – I believe Mark Twain said something similar – but that’s where I remember it from, and I couldn’t agree more. When I was here for my semester abroad, I returned home with only one regret: on spring break in New Zealand, I did not bungy jump (or bungee jump as we know it in the U.S.).
I never had much of a desire to bungy jump. I mostly thought it looked uncomfortable. And why jump off the ground attached to a rope when you can jump out of an airplane from much higher and float to the ground? I’ve been skydiving a handful of times in the last six years and love it. Bungy jumping never appealed much to me.
But then I watched my friend Ashley leap from the highest bungy jump in Queenstown, New Zealand, the birthplace of the “sport,” and it dawned on me: this is so much scarier than sky diving. So, naturally, I must conquer it.
I couldn’t sign up last minute back on spring break ’05 because I didn’t have the cash – or the right footwear – to change my mind on the spot. But I promised myself I would return before I got too old to chicken out. Now, four years later, despite dwindling funds and no available travel companions (aka support group), I’m taking the plunge myself.
The AJ Hackett Nevis Bungy Jump is no joke. Nor, as the website declares, is it for the nervous. First of all, it’s not your typical bridge or cliff jump. You have to take a gondola out to the Bungy Pod – I like to call it a space station – which floats over an enormous canyon. The Nevis River is nothing more than a snake slithering along the distant bottom. On your turn, you make your way to the edge of the platform and jump 134 meters – that’s 440 feet – toward the ground, including 8.5 seconds of falling. My heart is racing just thinking about it now.
It’s seriously a single-purpose trip: I arrive in Christchurch Monday afternoon, drive straight to Queenstown, fulfill my daredevil destiny first thing Tuesday morning, bask in the adrenaline rush for the afternoon, drive back to Christchurch Wednesday (it’s about seven hours), and fly out at 6 a.m. Thursday morning.
I realize it may sound slightly unhinged to be flying 2,638 miles for only two and a half days just to jump off a perfectly good space station to look death in the face and laugh (albeit a nervous and/or hysterical laughter). But I’m erasing a four year old regret. I’m overcoming a fear. And I certainly cured my boredom … at least for now.
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