Having a fear of heights is a common fear and is a fear that I possess. However, Queenstown, New Zealand boasts an extensive range of activities that will push your fear of heights to the very limit. Queenstown is heaven for individuals seeking a rush of adrenaline, with numerous bungy jumping locations, skydiving opportunities, and so much more! When given the list of activities to choose from in Queenstown, I instantaneously chose a bridge bungy, the human catapult, and skydiving as my activities. My decisive decision left no time for hesitation or for time to scare myself out of partaking in these activities. On this trip, I was living with the mentality that I had to live each location I visited to the fullest and take advantage of the unique activities not easily available to me back home in the United States. So, I had signed my name on the non-refundable activities sheet and sealed my fate; I was going to conquer my fear of heights.
The first day in Queenstown I was scheduled for the Kawarau Bridge Bungy which is 141 feet high and later that day would be launched from the Nevis Human Catapult, which is a whopping 492 feet high. The bridge bungee was the perfect starting point, less than 1/3 of the height of the catapult and had water to break my fall instead of a jagged canyon rock. With the cheers of my friends, I waddled over to the edge with my feet bound together and mustered the courage to propel myself face forward. The bungee took more will-power than both the catapult and skydiving because you physically jump yourself, no machine or other person pushing you forward on your behalf. I fell just low enough on the bungy that the very tip of my head dipped into the water and I came back out grinning ear to ear!
Later that afternoon we traveled 40 minutes to the Nevis Canyon, and faced the human catapult. I trembled in fear as they harnessed me up and raised me up off the platform so my face was starring down at a canyon 492 feet high, with only sharp rocks and a tiny ravine below me. They proceeded to clip my cord and with a yelp I rocketed into the valley. In 1.5 seconds I had reached the speed of 62mph. After flying forward I dangled in my harness as they very slowly pulled me back up onto the platform. I was still shaking as I was hauled back onto solid ground, but felt a rush of pride knowing that not many people would have the confidence to catapult into the Nevis Canyon with a fear of heights.
Two days later I was off to conquer the highest activity yet, skydiving. I had initially signed up to jump from 12,000 feet, but as we cruised into a higher and higher altitude on the plane, my professional skydiving partner, Rudolph, reached out and grabbed oxygen masks to place over our faces. Oxygen masks are not needed at an altitude of 12,000 feet and I was perplexed. With little time to think further, I was soon pushed to the edge of the plane and hurtled out into the scenery below. One little fact I did not know about skydiving is during free fall, it is extremely hard to breathe! Instead of letting the feeling of suffocation take in, I calmed myself down, breathed in big gulps, and enjoyed the 60 seconds of free fall. Rudolph eventually pulled the parachute and we glided between large mountains and above crystal blue lakes. The view was breathtaking and in that moment I did not fear being up so high. There was no better way to take in the scenery of New Zealand. When we landed Rudolph told me that due to other planes in the area, we had to jump from 15,000 feet instead. I was shocked!
Though many of these activities left me feeling vulnerable and shaking leading up to the free falls, once I accomplished these three activities, I feel more self-assured that I will be able to persevere in life when I am placed into situations that take me out of my comfort zone. Study abroad tests the normalcy of your life by placing you in a school and country completely unfamiliar and away from friends and family, so why not continue to push the boundaries of normalcy and partake in activities that you would never have dared to participate in back home?
Student, UConn School of Business
Hello UConn! My name is Victoria Myers and I am a junior accounting major with a minor in economics. In my free time, I play on UConn’s club field hockey team, volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I am also a member of the UConn Consulting Group. A fun fact about myself is that I was born on Halloween; however, ironically, I am terrified of horror movies and the scary aspects of Halloween. View Posts