There are moments in our lives when we find ourselves at crossroads, maybe afraid, confused, without a roadmap. The choices we make in those moments can define the way we spend our days. They really do.
Of course, faced with the unknown, most of the people I know would prefer to turn around and go back. But sometimes, people push on to something better and follow their dreams. So did I. So did Martine, my great travel buddy.
We travelled through New Zealand on a bus tour. Thanks to camping (and to Shannon and Tommy – our incredible guides) we were able to visit both islands in 27 days and it was amazing.
We were in New Zealand, 18,692.53 kms far away from home. When Christmas Eve arrived, it might have been the first time since the beginning of our trip that Martine and I really realized that we were spending Christmas without our families… for the first time. It was weird, but exciting.
After having spent 3 months on the road, it was about time to do something different besides enjoying every second of our trip. We wanted to go beyond what is familiar and safe and turn this Christmas Eve into a special one.
New Zealand! Queenstown! We couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend Christmas. We really couldn’t!
Before this big adventure had started, I was looking so much forward to discovering both islands. The Southern Island was stunning and Queenstown was definitely an highlight. Well no, not really… To be honest, Queenstown only meant to be a great opportunity to finally ‘skydive’ and make a dream come true in the city of adrenaline. And ‘skydiving’ was the real highlight in my adventure around our beautiful planet.
The sun was shining. First winter for me (who am 100% European) without rain, snow, wind or anything else that makes you freeze. No! No winter in December! Instead, a great day of summer approaching 30 degrees!
One of my biggest dreams was to skydive… Skydive in New Zealand. Don’t ask me why I wanted to do this in New Zealand so much! I can’t answer! But the fact is that I had always told my Mom: ‘Someday I will jump out of a plane in New Zealand’. And so I did.
Martine also wanted to skydive. We got the chance to do this together on the same day, Christmas Eve.
At 4 p.m. it was time to get into the plane. Martine and I (and Christy – another girl we met during our tour) were calm. People could have thought that we were on drugs. Well, we were not! We were chilled out, not worried at all. Once in the plane, at 13,000 feet altitude, the first courageous guy jumped with his tandem master (I swear I can still hear him scream whenever I think about that day). A few minutes later we were at 15,000 feet altitude… It was my turn.
60 seconds of free fall at 200 kilometres per hour. I still believe that it was the most amazing, crazy and terrifying minute of my life!
Eventually the parachute opened. The landscape was breathtaking. I enjoyed every single second while flying around Queenstown. I could stay up there forever and observe this magnificent piece of nature in New Zealand.
When safely back to the campsite, I could only think of telling my mother that I had accomplished this big dream of mine, so I sent her a message: ‘Mom, I know I’m no angel, but I have just fell from the sky! I did it! I’m fine. Please, don’t worry! Merry Christmas!’.
So basically, if you feel lonely on a special day like Christmas, which you technically spend with family or friends, and if you are on the other side of the world travelling by yourself, don’t worry! There are tons of activities planned for you. You just have to make the best out of your adventure! Believe me, it’s the best anti-depressant and… Christmas will still be Christmas!
Photos: @ Jessica Gaspar