One morning during our one-week summer stay in Switzerland, my trampanion (travel companion) asked if I happened to want to go skydiving over the Alps that evening. I was surprised that she, a gardening girl from West Palm Beach Florida, wanted to rocket out of a plane at 12,000 ft, free falling at terminal velocity. And at first I was a little hesitant to drop $400 on a 15 minute experience, but in the end decided it was worth it and went along with the plan. It was a spur of the moment decision, but so what! It was going to be an adventure. That was the mantra of our two-month exploration through 17 countries in Europe. We made some calls, ate some delicious traditional Swiss pretzels and chocolate in preparation, and in no time we were zipping ourselves up into giant blue onesies and synching down our tandem straps.
After a short flight from the hangar involving fist bumps, puppyish grins, and giddy faces pressed to the plane windows, we were waving "ta-ta!" to each other. And suddenly my handsome Swiss tandem guide tapped my chin up and bumped me out of the plane into 12,000 feet of empty space. I squeezed my eyes shut for a split second as vertigo overwhelmed my senses and then forced them open to take in the breathtaking view of the Alps glowing vibrantly in the light of the setting sun. The feeling of cold mountain air rippling over my free-falling flesh was so refreshing and all I wanted was for the moment to never end.