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12

TANDEM PARAGLIDING IN THE AUSTRIAN ALPS


We’ve all been asked this question at some point or another: ‘If you had one superpower, what would it be?’. When I was a kid I didn’t want to be invisible, or to be able to read people's minds, or even shoot laser beams from my eyeballs. I simply wanted to fly. Fly everywhere!

The moment I booked my Topdeck trip, my heart started to race. I was finally going to live out that childhood dream – and where better to do it than the Austrian Alps!

Fast forward to the big day, when I realised that my group was going to be the first to jump off the mountain that morning (casual Monday morning antics). I started to question whether I was truly ready for this moment. Maybe flying just wasn’t for me. Maybe I should wait and do it some other time.

‘Feel the fear and do it anyway, Jess,” I repeated to myself as we took the second chair lift 1,604 metres into the clouds. When we reached the peak of the mountain, I took out my phone, opened up the Spotify app and blasted some feel good music to swap out the fear for sheer excitement!

The moment had come to get strapped up and ready to run down the slope, but to be honest, it was a complete blur. I could feel the adrenaline as it began to pump through my body, but in the blink of an eye, my feet were whisked off the soft green grass below. I was up. Up in the sky. Feet dangling below and fresh breeze in my face.

As we slowly came through the clouds, I could never have imagined the breathtaking view that would start to appear in front of my eyes. There they were, the Austrian Alps in all of their untouched glory. This was what it felt like to fly.

It is a moment in time that I will never forget. The Austrian Alps are completely mesmerizing when you are looking up at them from the ground. Now imagine looking down at them from the sky, seeing the world from a completely new perspective. I may or may not have shed a little tear or two (I tried to convince myself it was just the wind in my eyes, but let’s be real).

As Buzz Lightyear would say, you’re not flying, you’re just ‘falling, with style’, and before I knew it, I found myself gliding towards the earth once again. Although a little light headed and completely stunned by what I had just experienced, I placed my feet firmly onto the ground and said, ‘Can we do it again?!’.

By @The_GapYear_Guru

Jess Glynn is an Irish Photographer, Vlogger and a self-professed social media addict. She's always on the prowl for a pop of colour and positivity in the world, and has recently packed up her bags to embark on a one year trip around the world - her second gap year in the past five years. She classifies her camera as an extra body part, so you definitely won’t find her without it as she documents her colour-filled adventures over on her YouTube channel and Instagram channel (@The_GapYear_Guru).


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