It’s no secret that I have many fears. Despite my love for travel I am terrified of flying and am also very scared of heights. I am that person who can’t stand on the edge of a building without nearly passing out from the fear. So when I decided to visit Switzerland I thought it would be a great idea to challenge myself. To overcome fear and to push through it. I decided to go paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Despite the fear I felt in the weeks leading up to the flight, I was determined to go through with the paragliding flight. Not only is Switzerland one of my favourite countries, Interlaken is truly beautiful and surrounded by two different lakes. This made it the perfect place to experience paragliding for the first time.
Who to fly with?
After much research I decided to go with Paragliding Interlaken. They have operated in the area for the past 26 years and have an excellent safety record (which as a terrified first timer it was very important). After checking in at the Interlaken main office, the group was transported about 20 minutes up to Beatenburg where the flight would commence.
The Lead Up
During the van ride, we were introduced to the instructors, run through safety announcements and any questions were answered. The relaxed nature and friendliness of the instructors of Paragliding Interlaken helped put my mind at ease. Once we arrived at the jump location by road, it was a couple of minute walk through the forest to the actual spot where we would run off the mountain.
The paragliding gear was laid out, I was fitted to my instructor in the harass, checked and double checked and then we were ready to go. Timo (the instructor) told me to run and run I did. The most terrifying moment for me came as soon as my feet lifted from the ground and we were up in the air. I had thought the worst part for me would be running off the mountain, surprisingly this part was incredibly easy.
When we were airborne, I was truly terrified. Lucky Timo was strapped to me and talked me through the experience. His advice, don’t look down, look at the horizon. I can’t thank him enough for those words. I was so terrified I could barely breathe.