The Forgotten Tale of My Paragliding Experience.

As you can tell by this posts title, I forgot to share about one of my very favorite experiences so far in Europe; PARAGLIDING. If you do not know what paragliding is, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ybNxW-CRU

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life thus far. I am learning on this trip one very important lesson, among the many, and that is, that taking reasonable risks is positive, and those risks can have some of the most rewarding outcomes in the end. When my group began our stay at the castle in Millstatt, Austria, my professor Peggy’s husband Jay presented us the opportunity to go paragliding. When Jay came to us with this I was like… “HA, HA, HA… No, I would rather not die in Europe, thanks though.” But, I signed my name on the list to go anyways… What was I thinking? A few days later, Jay said he had talked to Gearhart (No idea how to spell his name…). Gearhart had taken some kids from the last group of people to go on this trip that I am on which occurred two years ago, the trip I am on happens every other year. So Gearhart informed Jay that he was in Italy and could take people from our group, 4 or 5 at a time the following week when he was back in Austria. The following week rolled around and I was like, oh boy… I don’t know about this. So, I didn’t  volunteer to go in the first group but instead waited. Then, the day before we were supposed to leave Austria and the beloved castle, Gearhart showed up to take a few people and I somehow became one of them and then the next thing I knew I was in a van with three other girls and this German man headed up a mountain…

This mountain to be exact.

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It was such a beautiful day for paragliding, sun was out, clouds were minimal and the breeze was nonexistent.

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The wonderful hilarious Gearhart.

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So, the other three girls went paragliding first,  each of us went up the mountain separately so the rest of us could watch from the bottom, Kel went, then Billie, and then Cat… and then my time came.  And, I did it… There I am just floating through the air with “Yurek” I think his name was, one of Gearhart’s first students he taught how to fly years and years ago. He brought each of us girls down the mountain safely!

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It was so beautiful floating above these mountains and above the clouds even! I can’t even explain how it feels, sometimes there are things that make you feel incredibly small in comparison… Like, the ocean or a ginormous cathedral but this made me feel on top of the world.

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While I was up there I was laughing and screaming and reacting like any loud American would and my Austrian guide kept asking, Are you okay? Is this okay? Do we need to land?… I was fine but he didn’t understand.

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When we landed, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I was filled with joy.

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I was laughing and giggling and thanking the Lord for making sure I didn’t die.. I was overwhelmed.

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Yurek making sure I wasn’t dying…

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From left to right: Cat, Billie, Kel, Myself, Yurek.

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Such an amazing day.

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So, there it was… my short but sweet tale of paragliding off of an Austria mountain. We all made it down safely and had a blast spending our last full day in Austria doing this.

Anyways, I will hopefully be updating this blog very frequently so that I can stay on top of them because I will be traveling so much within the next (last) 20 days of my trip. I leave for Milan tomorrow for a day, then it’s off to Paris for four days, then Zermatt and Geneva, Switzerland, then Florence, then Rome and then HOME. Hope you enjoy the mass amounts of blog posts I will be writing within the next twoish weeks! Thanks for reading.

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