Settling down for the summer

Skydiving, or the best feeling in the world
Skydiving, or the best feeling in the world

After being on the road for the last few years without getting paid for most of the work I did, yay volunteering, it was getting time for me to get an actual paying job.

I had loved my first skydiving experience so much, I wanted to stay in that field. While I was housesitting a lovely blind dog in London and catching up with some friends, I had applied for jobs in a few skydiving centres in Canada. After chatting with two of them, they both offered me a summer job.

I had to decide on which location and team seemed more fitting, and I finally decided that Gatineau would be a good option. It’s close enough from Quebec  City that I can see my family and friends, but it’s also an area of Canada I really don’t know anything about.  I knew I could double up working and discovering a new area.

Addicted to change and freedom

I have now been working there for 3 weeks, and like any other new adventure, after a few weeks, the novelty effect starts wearing off. And it makes me uncertain. I always go through the same mental process when it stops moving. I know for most people it’s when things change that it makes them uncomfortable, but with me, it’s the opposite. It makes me anxious when I can expect what’s next.

I tend to feel trapped when I have the feeling that I know exactly what I’ll be doing in a month or a year from now. My body and mind crave the freedom I’ve been calling my life since 2013, excluding my attempt at coming back to a normal life 3 years ago.

Not quite like the white sand beach of Kenya, but still very pretty!
Not quite like the white sand beach of Kenya, but still very pretty!

The more I travel the more I realize I am addicted to freedom. Just like any addiction, when it comes times to stop, you experience withdrawal symptoms. Now, of course, it’s not like I’m physically addicted to drugs, but I do have cravings. I have moments when all I can think about is packing my bag and hitting the road again. And I have to stop and remind myself that in order to be able to keep traveling the world, I need to replenish my bank account.

The job and the team at Go Skydive are actually quite good. My colleagues are great, positive, encouraging and everyone is super supportive. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such an environment where everyone seems to be aware of how hard everyone else is working. The best part of my job so far is to keep learning about skydiving and also getting to talk to people before their first tandem and seeing the pure bliss on their faces afterwards. Half of them are really anxious and excited, and the other half are either super relaxed because they are adrenaline junkies or because they have not yet realized what they are about to do. And since I’ve always liked jobs that are super busy, I feel in my element, especially during the weekends.

Becoming Canadian again

I keep thinking that everyone sounds funny when they speak because I haven’t heard the Canadian accent in so long. And although I’ve been told I now sound Scottish, I know my inner Canadian will resurface soon. I’ve already had a few Tim Hortons’ coffees so my reinsertion as a fully fledged Canadian is well on the way.

One of my new neighbours
One of my new neighbours

Since arriving back and settling in Gatineau, we’ve had a few evening of bonfires. I got the chance to see some pale Northern Lights, and the mosquitos found me again. I’m definitely adjusting to being Canadian again. I don’t think I’ll get into the whole hockey thing though, that would be pushing it.

But before you know it, I’ll be the one sounding funny, hey.

Always far from some of my friends

Being back in Canada also means that I get to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in a long time. And since I got a new job, I’m also making new friends in the process. But it doesn’t make it any easier to be away from the people I love that are spread all over the world. This is one of the major downsides of my lifestyle. I’m always far away from some of the people I care about the most since they are all in different countries. I’ve never been so thankful in my life for technology, mainly WhatsApp, and Messenger!

Learning to be patient

I’ve had death and sickness in my friend circle lately, and although it was not unexpected, it makes you rethink your priorities in life. I do not want to be the one to have regrets if I don’t make it to 50 years old. I’d much prefer living my life right now, pushing my limits and settling and relaxing when I’m older.

First landing, a bit far from the dropzone, but I managed to avoid all obstacles; the parachute landing in the tree after I touched the ground.
First landing, a bit far from the dropzone, but I managed to avoid all obstacles; the parachute landing in the tree after I touched the ground.

That being said, I also seem to have to learn to be patient, and not stress about things not happening quickly enough for my liking. I am working on that aspect in my life right now: learning to be patient and trying to enjoy having some routine and not having to rethink my entire life every few weeks. But to say that this comes easily would be lying.  Like anything else we learn in life, with baby steps we’ll get there!

Finding a new goal

After reaching my seventh and final continent, I knew I needed a new goal. Living a life without really knowing what I am trying to achieve doesn’t really appeal to me. I need a focus to direct my effort and energy towards. I had liked my tandem jump so much, that I had decided to apply for jobs in skydiving centers. I knew it would be a great opportunity to get my solo course done, learn a lot from other people’s experience, and hopefully get to experience the awesome feeling I had during my jump in Kenya.

I have now started working towards getting my solo license. I’ve completed my ground school and went for some fun time in the wind tunnel. And thanks to my passionate and understanding bosses, I’ve even managed to get my first three jumps done in the week after my ground course. All while working!

It made me realize that this is definitely something I want to do. I find the whole skydiving experience to be truly relaxing. I know most people find it frightening, but to me, it has a calming effect. From the time in the small plane going up to standing by the door looking down, there is nothing else like it. The feeling of falling towards the earth, opening the parachute and having fun under the canopy, all of it is truly amazing.

For the remaining of the season, I will be working at GO Skydive in Gatineau, so if you happen to be in the area, feel free to come say hello, and maybe get your first tandem in! You never know, you might even discover your new passion!

Getting ready for my first front flip out of a plane!
Getting ready for my first front flip out of a plane!

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