The Adventure Series – Issue 1

Each Thursday I share a travel experience from the past. With 4 years of non-stop travel and 3 years of part time travel I have a lot to get through!

The Adventure Seriesย – Issue 1

By way of an introduction, I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie, which you will come to know. I think it all began when I was a child and my mum (and her friend with her son that was the same age) took me to Alton Towers (a UK theme park) every year and I developed a bit of a liking for the big, fast roller-coaster rides. The bigger the better. Even if my mum did come off one looking decisively green in the face – which at the time I thought was hilarious (and to be honest still do! Sorry mum!) and from then I have always loved a good adrenalin buzz. This lead me to many adventures but this week we’ll start with:

Paragliding off a Mountain in Courcheval, France!

RELATED: Courchevel is one of the best ski resorts in Europe – if you’re planning a ski holiday there, don’t forget to grab my free ski packing checklist to make sure you have everything you need.

Whilst working my third winter season in Courcheval, one third of the famous Thee Valley’s (Trois Vallee) Ski Resort in France, myself and a few members of staff used part of our season’s tips to pay to ski off a mountain. Sounds crazy I know, but oh my word, was it fun! You can see from my picture that I was pretty excited about the whole thing!

Throwback Thursday - Paragliding

We headed up the mountain to about 2000m above sea level and waited patiently at the “Parapent Station” for the professionals to show up. When they did they spent some time laying out the parachute sail across the snow, ready to be dragged by our body weight as we skied off the mountain, with the intention being that it would catch in the air, inflate and carry us out on our flying adventure. We all had our fingers crossed for that one. The alternative being, well, lets not mention the alternative.

Throwback Thursday - Paraglide

We were then each strapped into ‘the chair’ which hooked to the sail and in turn was attached to the professional – did I mention this was a tandem para-glide? I would love to be able to say I had the skills to do this myself, but no, I had a very helpful Frenchman to guide me on my way.

Throwback Thursday - Paraglide

The we lined up, ski’s pointed down the mountain, took a deep breath – if I was breathing at all – which I don’t remember! and down the hill we went.

Throwback Thursday - Paraglide

For those few seconds of skiing down a slope not designed for skiing – think rocks and grass etc – I felt a slight fear that this was all about to go horribly wrong. That I was going to ski off the snow, hit a ledge and fall down the side of a mountain strapped to a Frenchman I had only just met! But a few seconds later I was lifted from the ground as the sail filled with air and I was flying.

Throwback Thursday - Paraglide

What a feeling. Amazing. Exhilarating. Joyful. I just could not stop smiling. Words can barely due justice to the range of emotions you feel as you soar above the world below, suspended by wires. I flew high above the mountains for over 30 minutes, catching thermals to rise back up before floating back down. Pull left to turn left and right to turn right – I was even allowed to steer for a bit – but then I got distracted with the wonder of it all and my helpful Frenchman had to take over again!

Throwback Thursday

Our final descent also included ‘doing spirals’ to get down quicker which were both fun and dizzying at the same time. As we sank further towards an empty field at the bottom of the mountain I knew that landing would be interesting. I had been told to hug my knees to my chest and be prepared to land on my bum. And never a truer word was spoken. The ground raced towards us and the next thing I knew, my butt hit the floor and we slid a few meters, my helpful Frenchman unhooked, packed up his chute and shaking my hand disappeared across the field. His work for the day was done. And what a job. I can only imagine how great it would be to make a living out of skiing off a cliff with new willing victims every day.

Throwback Thursday - Flying

The picture above is my favorite from the day and evokes that feeling of flying every time I see it. Have I inspired you to ski off a cliff? I hope so!ย  Happy Travels ๐Ÿ™‚

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15 thoughts on “The Adventure Series – Issue 1

  1. Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject says:

    Wow Vicki – what an exciting thing to do. I don’t know that I’d be brave enough to ski off a cliff though ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Lyndall – it was such an incredible experience, you just have to trust the professionals that they know what they’re doing and not really think about the mechanics of it yourself. When you break it down to ‘skiing off a cliff strapped to someone you don’t know – with only a giant wind sail to help you fly’ its easy to tell yourself its not a good idea! Best to just think it will all be great!
      Happy Travels ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. mark says:

    WOW that looks amazing so amazing. I think i would like to that and what a setting. I must admit i would think the hardest part literally would be the landing. As they say no pain no gain maybe

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Mark! You guys are quite the adventurous family – I’m sure you would be first in the queue to ski off a cliff if the opportunity arose!
      Happy Travels ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ANda says:

    When I read about your adventures I feel really old. In fact, I don’t think I could do what you do even if I was 20 years old. It takes some courage to do paragliding off a mountain, but I’m sure it was fun.

  4. Samiya selim says:

    Am bit of an adrenaline junkie myself ๐Ÿ™‚ been bungee jumping and absolutely love Rollercoaster. Skydive next on the list! Been paragliding over the sea but never off a mountain! Looks like a lot of fun!

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Samiya, thanks for stopping by! Funny you should mention bungee jumping, as that’s going to be this weeks Throwback Thursday Feature! Paragliding over the sea sounds amazing – and skydiving is a whole new level of adrenalin! I hope you get to experience it soon!
      Happy Travels ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Rachel says:

    My boyfriend persuaded me to do this a few years ago, on my first ever ski trip! I had never even been on a chair lift before but I travelled to the very top of a mountain in Bansko, Bulgaria and skied off James Bond style… I was petrified but loved it!!

    • Vicki says:

      That’s awesome! Skiing can be quite daunting when you start out – but good on you for getting up to the top in the first place, that’s half the battle!

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