I blame the wine.
A different glass came with each of our five midday courses at the gorgeous Amisfield Wine Company, where we were treated to a perfectly prepared leg of lamb (apologies to the sheep I’d stopped to take roadside pictures of moments before) and a decadent molten chocolate cake. As everyone began to loosen up, the group began to turn on me. One by one, they found the courage (liquid or otherwise) to try bungeeing.
“You won’t regret jumping,” my friend prodded. “You’ll only regret not jumping.”
Reluctantly, I knew she was right. After all, what good is telling your grandchildren about the time you almost bungee jumped?
I recognized a familiar feeling swelling inside me — the rock-like weight of dread as my stomach realizes my brain is about to go rogue. Sure enough, before I knew what was happening, I agreed to jump. My stomach started staging a revolt. Maybe the molten chocolate wasn’t such a good idea.
Here’s the thing about bungee jumping: Even people who have skydived say they wouldn’t bungee. That says something.
That’s what was going through my head as I registered at the AJ Hackett Ledge Bungy center and stepped into a harness. To calm myself, I timed other people’s jumps. The elapsed time, from the moment their feet left the platform until the slack of the bungee cord ran out, was three seconds. I’ve been miserable for much longer.
When my number was up, I walked -wobbly-legged to the edge, looking out at the Queenstown cityscape 1,300 feet below me. Right then and there, I fell in love with New Zealand — the place, the people and the adventurous spirit.
And then I fell.
Associate editor JESSICA JONES also owes an apology to her family, her boyfriend and Henry van Asch, the co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, to each of whom she swore she wouldn’t jump.