I have a few fears but one of the biggest is definitely heights. I don’t know when it started or even why, because as a kid I was always climbing something – be it a tree or the kitchen worktop but these days I get queazy even climbing a few steps up a ladder…

It was a hot August morning and we were strolling down an empty beach in Ölüdeniz taking in the view and breathing in the fresh sea air. It was my first time to the area and there’s nothing I love more than exploring new places and trying new things. Above us paragliders soared all over the sky creating a pretty picture of multi-coloured parachutes. I knew Ölüdeniz was well-known for being a paragliding place and I have seen umpteen photos of the Blue lagoon from above which, obviously, is a lot more impressive than it is from below. I turned to my other half and declared ‘I need to do that!’…

Stuff my fear, I wanted to see it from the top! We spent a few hours taking photos, swimming and GoPro-ing until I could put it off no longer. As we walked towards the town I spent the entire way gearing myself up for what was to come. The guy we booked it through was really nice and made me feel at ease. Luckily for me he was a paragliding pilot and instructor and agreed to go with me. Before I knew it I was in a minibus with 5 other people ascending up Babadağ mountain. No one seemed that bothered and there I was in the back seat having a full on panic attack wearing ugly knee protectors and stupid shoes because I only had my flip flops with me and they wouldn’t let me go in those. To be honest the journey in the bus up the mountain was so hell raising and bumpy that by this point I was glad to jump off the mountain rather than drive back down it. At the top it was pretty busy, parachutes were laying all over the ground and it was all a bit messy. Panic. My instructor explained what we had to do and told me I needed to run until we get over the edge or we may crash. More panic.

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He strapped me up, shoved a GoPro in my face, told me to smile and then we were off. One minute I was running and the next we were on top of the World. I looked down and felt sick. The houses looked like they were made of Lego, they were so small and far away.

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I tried to stay calm and enjoy the rush of it all. And…then i started hyperventilating. I was a hot mess. My pilot then turned into a counselor trying to calm me down, telling me it was OK. Clearly it was not, the only thing keeping me from plummeting to the ground was a thin piece of material and I felt like I was going to pass out with fear. After a while my hyperventilating turned into steady breathing and I got lost in the beauty of it all.

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I started snapping away, wind in my hair taking in every angle and instructing my instructor which way I wanted to go. Every so often panic would rise inside of me but the captivating scenery below calmed me down again. Even though I managed to enjoy it, I have never been so happy as I was when my feet landed on the ground. It took a good couple of hours for the adrenaline to wear off and for a couple of days I couldn’t bare to relive it by watching the videos or checking the photos I took. When I look back on it now, i’m glad I faced my fear and got to experience something different but would I do it again? No way jose!

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