A few days ago I was having coffee with a friend, who was talking about her obsession with bungee jumping. She was itching to go to New Zealand and take another plunge. Yikes, bungee jumping, I winced. I am nowhere near that adventurous.
Maybe, maybe, I could pull off skydiving since you’re strapped to an expert while you free-fall, but it’s highly unlikely that I’d ever make it out of the plane. At least with skydiving, you get to admire the scenery and maybe snap some GoPro videos. But bungee jumpers can’t possibly see a thing!
Even though I can’t totally understand, I have always admired travelers who have no qualms about jumping from high heaven, seemingly with outright joy. My older brother was that way, jumping from the highest diving boards and gleefully peer pressuring the rest of us.
On the other hand, I wonder if all that jumping and gliding makes adrenaline junkies bored with everyday adventures. They’re probably so unimpressed by planes, what with the seatbelts, life vests and emergency exits. Where’s the fun in that?
Instead my definition of “adventure” travel is meeting an elephant face-to-face, or hiking along a “ledge” that’s a few meters away, or even riding a mini bus in Hong Kong. I would like to think that I would ride in a hot air balloon, but even that is pushing it. I have a bad case of nerves, as they say, and anything too extreme scares the crap out of me.
It’s not that I haven’t had any adventures. Many were life-threatening, but none of them were planned. From getting stranded on a rough-and-tumble pier in Guatemala in the middle of the night, to crossing a makeshift bridge over a river in Panama, unknowingly riding a horse down a mountain (I don’t know how to ride horses) and, most recently, getting dropped off in the middle of nowhere to hike the Great Wall sans map or sneakers.
Maybe the reason I veer away from jumping off cliffs and free-falling from planes is because I’ve had enough excitement already. That’s what I’ll tell myself, at least. It’s better than admitting that I’m a wimp!