Welcome to another great example of a good day. June, 2014, was a crazy month filled with ups and downs. This is perfectly visible in the Monthly Happiness Report. I was on a road trip across the South Island of new Zealand, and got hit by a nasty disease right at the start. I luckily got back on my feet, right on time, as I was going to skydive above the Fox Glacier! It’s the highest skydive on the southern hemisphere at 18.000 feet, and it was absolutely amazing!
“It’s the highest skydive on the southern hemisphere at 18.000 feet”
This post is going to include a lot of pictures. I hope you like the pictures as much as I (still!) do.
Let’s dive (pun intended) straight into the data that I tracked!
Below is the data that I entered in my personal happiness tracking journal. This is how I rated my happiness on this day.
|Date||June 12th, 2014|
|Comment||(I wrote this the day after the 12th of June, 2014, at 08:45 AM)|
So I skydived yesterday!
Holy shit, that was awesome. The weather was PERFECT. Not a single cloud to be seen. This country is truly beautiful, and it is even more beautiful from 18.000 feet in the air. The ocean, glaciers, mountain tops, rivers, forests…. Jesus.
And than you’re suddenly expected to jump out of a freaking plane. It was amazing. The butterflies weren’t too bad, but it was still very intense. 200 kilometers per hour, they said. Absolutely crazy. The free fall lasted longer than a minute! Once the chute was deployed, I even got to steer the thing as well. Super cool. Pulling one cord makes you enter some half loop, which definitely got my adrenaline going. What an experience!
I am now in a hostel in Haast. A very small, tiny (almost deserted) village. I’ve got no signal as well, so I just paid $5,00 for an hour of WIFI to at least talk to my girlfriend. Greedy bastards. I also paid $18,00 for a fish ‘n chips. LOL. The rest is okay though.
I am now watching the FIFA World Cup. They luckily broadcast it over here. Brasil is opening against Croatia, and they’re tied 1-1. The Netherlands is playing their first match against Spain tommorow. It’s going to be pretty nerve wrecking, I guess…
We are going to continue to Wanaka today. We weren’t able to continue yesterday, because the Mountain pass was closed… We also hiked along Matheson Lake yesterday. It’s a beautiful mirror lake, with Mount Cook as a backdrop view. A beautiful sight, and the weather was perfect as well. So yesterday was a brilliant day. I’m now going to continue watching the soccer and then it’s off to Wanaka. Bye!
|Positive factors||Skydiving, Traveling|
As you can read in my happiness tracking comment, I was pretty happy on this day. I had a nasty disease only 5 days before the Fox Glacier skydive, but I luckily recovered in time. My happiness rating was a 9,0! It doesn’t get much better than this!
I was also extremely lucky with the weather. It was a perfectly clear day. We were already well into the New Zealand winter, but this day felt like a beautiful spring day. The picture below probably helps explain the weather situation.
We arrived at the little airstrip somewhere in the afternoon, and saw that our plane was already waiting for us. We booked our tandem jump with Skydive Franz. After arriving at the airstrip, we got a short safety introduction. It was all pretty straightforward and uneventfull. I was mostly just looking forward to what was going to happen. We all had to sign a form, which basically said that nobody could sue these guys if my parachute were to not open. This is a standard procedure, so it didn’t do too much to my nerves. After signing the form, we quickly put on our jumpsuits, and entered the plane!
The views from the plane were stunning. We flew above the massive Southern Alps of the South Island. It was incredible, and I will never forget the beauty that I got to see.
The plane climbed to an altitude of 12.000 feet, before two other tandem jumpers exited. I remember that I didn’t even notice they had already jumped, because I was so amazed by the scenery. The plane continued to climb to >18.000 feet, before I had to prepare for the skydive. Exciting! I also had to put on an oxygen mask, to help with the breathing. Oxygen can get sparse at these altitudes.
I remember my skydive instructor pointing to the massive Fox Glacier. Having seen this giant from the ground as a tiny human being was already pretty impressive. But seeing it from above was something else. The contrast was huge. Isn’t nature just beautiful?
“The plane continued to climb to >18.000 feet”
Before I knew it, my skydive instructor opened the door of the plane again. It was my turn to jump. I must admit, I definitely felt some butterflies at this point. Was I ready for this?
There was only one way to find out… (Like I had a choice). My instructor was not going to let me stay on this plane. We slowly crawled our way to the opening, and I was suddenly sitting on the very edge. My feet were dangling from the edge. The adrenaline rush was enormous at this point. I was ready to do this. Let’s skydive.
I can still accurately remember the entire free fall. It was bizarre.
The first few seconds were truly amazing. I fell down to the surface of the earth, while accelerating with 9,81 meters per second per second. After only 3 seconds, I was falling at a speed of nearly 30 meters per second! Already more than 100 kilometers per hour! These seconds are actually the wildest, since the sense of falling is the biggest. The force of drag from the atmosphere will get bigger as your falling velocity increases. I reached the terminal velocity once the force of drag was equally as big as the gravitational force. I have quickly calculated the terminal velocity, and it was approximately 51 meters per second. We reached this velocity after approximately 10 seconds.
“The first few seconds were truly amazing”
The total free fall lasted 70 seconds, so you could imagine that the final 60 seconds were pretty smooth actually. We didn’t accelerate anymore, so the sense of falling was pretty much gone. I took advantage of this time by just taking in the experience. I loved every second of it.
After 70 seconds, the instructor opened the parachute. The free fall was over.
I was still in a giant adrenaline rush, and could not stop smiling. The views were still stunning. The sunlight reflecting on the water was especially beautiful.
The landing was pretty comfortable. The instructor did all the work, I only enjoyed the ride!
The entire experience had an amazing effect on my happiness. I couldn’t get rid of the smile on my face. It was almost permanent.
“I couldn’t get rid of the smile on my face”
I haven’t skydived ever since, but I’m really looking forward to the next opportunity like this. The weather, area and height were absolutely perfect, and I could not have wished for a better experience. I would gladly do it all again!
I you are ever near the Fox or Franz Josef Glacier, please do yourself a favour and experience this incredible sensation. You will not regret it.
This post has been more of a picture slideshow, I know. I hope you don’t hate it. I just think that this experience needed a lot more pictures over words. Anyway, I hope this post helps you understand how I have been tracking my happiness. If this inspires or interests you in any way, feel free to comment or get involved in this series.
Good days: In the ‘Good days’ post series, I will highlight some of the best days of my life. Not just any days, but the days where I tracked the highest happiness ratings. I will detail some of the journal entries and happiness ratings on specific above-average days. The goal of this series is to show you how exactly I am tracking my happiness. In a best case scenario, it inspires you to determine the added value of tracking happiness and therefore start for yourself.