Tag Archives: activity

40 Before 40: Challenge #3

26 Aug

Challenge Accepted. Challenge Completed!

My third challenge from my list is now completed. I have always wanted to go paragliding and for one reason or another I have never got around to it.

I began trying to complete this last year. During our trip to South America we tried and failed to arrange the excursion; first in Mendoza in Argentina with the Andes as a backdrop (but communication issues meant that we didn’t manage it) and then in Iquique in Chile with the landing spot on the beach (but the wind was too strong and we weren’t allowed to go).

Fast forward to yesterday and my third time lucky in Interlaken, Switzerland. Although it would have been a lot cheaper doing this activity on holiday in another country, we did have the added benefit or being able to choose a day to go when the weather was good to avoid being disappointed. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The skies were blue without a hint of a cloud and the sun was shining.

First of all we had to choose our pilot. When I found out that one of them was called Haydon, which is the same name as my nephew but spelt slightly differently, I knew that I had to fly with him. He was Australian as well, which meant a lot of banter and jokes during the flight.

Taking off was much easier that I thought it would be. You basically have to run as fast as you can until you take off and you run out of ground. I didn’t even have time to be nervous because it happened so fast. Plus the staff did a great job of making me feel completely at ease but perhaps not when someone mentioned, “We should be ok. I watched the Youtube video last night and I think I can work out how to do it.”

The feeling of being up in the air, hands and arms dangling free, was completely liberating. I genuinely felt completely safe throughout the whole flight. We were only up in the air for about 20 minutes, which went by very fast, but it worth it for the views.

Before landing you can do some rollercoaster tricks and loop-the-loops but I get sick just watching people on the teacup rides at fun fairs so I decided not to. I was more than happy to cruise down and enjoy the view instead.

Landing was almost as easy as taking-off. You have to start running a bit when you hit (not literally) the ground and after a few steps you are back on terra firma.

I am so glad that I made this one of my challenges and I have no idea why I left it for so long to do it. I would highly recommend anyone to try this, unless you have a fear of heights. I could have happily gone straight back up to do another flight as soon as I had landed.

My year in numbers

27 Dec

As the year is almost up, I thought it would be a good idea to make a review of the year using only numbers.

This was my 2017…

105 Number of blog posts (including this one)

1,809 Number of visitors to my blog

2,821 Number of views of my blog

29 Number of flights I have taken

13 Number of countries I have visited (England, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, France, Italy, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Singapore)

5 Number of countries I have visited for the first time (Norway, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Slovakia, Singapore)

62 Number of nights I have stayed in hotels

3 Number of weeks I have spent trying to immersing myself in German in a country other than Switzerland

37 Number of books I’ve read (I really tailed off towards the end of the year. Until July I was on track to read 52, or one a week!)

1 Number of challenges I have completed for my #40Before40 challenge

1 Number of scorpions I have eaten

26 Number of whole weekends I have spend at home in Zurich (Friday, Saturday, Sunday for the whole day)

60 Number of German lessons I have endured

60 Number of times I have said I’m not learning German anymore because it’s too hard and I will never be able to do it

1 Number of official German exams I have passed with flying colours

6 Number of Escape rooms I have done

4,332,026 Number of steps I have made according to my activity tracker

7 Number of vegetables I have grown in my garden (tomatoes, peppers, carrots, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, cucumber)

2 Number of houseplants I have killed this year (1 is hanging on for dear life as well)

3 Number of Physio appointments for my knee

7 Number of kilos I have lost this year and successfully kept off (16 pounds)

16 Number of late shifts at work

5 Number of years I have been living in Switzerland

200 (about) Number of times people have asked me what is going to happen with Brexit for no other reason than I am

I am a bit surprised by all of the numbers and what I have managed to achieve in 2017. It’s almost time to see what 2018 has in store…

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