Flying High!

I never thought that I’d have the guts to actually jump off a mountain, but I’m very proud to say that it’s one of the fears that I have fiercely accomplished!
After driving 2 hours north out of Busan, we ended up at the base of a mountain, just outside of Daegu. It’s was amidst a small Korean farming community where adjumas (Korean women) were walking the streets in their mismatched flower print outfits, laying out peppers to dry in the spring heat. The sky was hazy, but the winds were just a tad less than too windy for paragliding.

Paragliding is a leisure sport that is not very popular, and can be quite expensive in North America to pursue since it’s equipment heavy. In Korea however, you can test your heights for a 100,000 won and  with someone who will control your flight. You get the security along with this wonderful experience of feeling like a bird, and seeing beautiful Korea in all its glory from the skies. It definitely was one of my most memorable experiences!
getting geared up

We were driven to the top with our hearts pounding. The pilots quickly strapped us in the harness and I was told to run down the mountain (this was the scary part). Before I could even comprehend what I really had to do, I was up in the air!

Once you float above the mountains, it’s a whole other world. You feel absolutely light and surreal, with a bird’s eye view of the countryside below you. After about 20 minutes of gliding through the sky where you are progressively flying lower, it’s time to land. You hear mixed things about having to land on your feet (the other scary part you can’t stop thinking about), but because you are strapped onto a harness that is completely protecting your bum it’s much easier to just fall right on it. The location of landing was also unclear (go figure, no one speaks any English!); the pilot just chose a spot that is closest to the road that is not concrete. In my case, it was dirt field and the landing was very soft and easy. The parachute landed right above us as well so it took some time to dig through it and get out. I got up and realized where I really was – by the cows in the middle of nowhere!

I was gleaming the whole time through; conquering my fear of heights AND being able to soar through the skies, making it out alive?! It was a fantastic day! 
Unfortunately though the skies were hazy and the winds started getting to be a bit too strong. Not everyone got to fly on this day as well and that’s the big flaw with a weather-dependent sport. After waiting for numerous hours for the wind to calm down, we had to head back to Busan, with the rest of the group having to fly at a later date totally disappointed.




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