I vividly remember how I felt on my first zip lining experience. We drove up to Tahoe over the summer of 2011 after one of my girlfriends randomly suggested we all zip line together for the first time. And the funniest thing was that she was the tree hugger out of all of us. Each time she’d land on one of the platforms, she’d go straight for the tree that was holding all of us up on this tiny wooden (and shaky) platform.
Besides those funny moments of trying to peel her off the tree, I remember the first time I had to step off that ledge off. The platform didn’t even seem that high off the ground. But I had to trust the cords, the harnesses, the clips, each little screw and moving part, along with the guides to keep me off the ground while I zipped across to the next platform, which wasn’t even that far away. That first step… moving my feet closer to the edge, almost half off, and taking that courageous first step off that platform. It was so nerve-racking. All I could hear in my head was “Omg, omg, omg, omg. Ahhhhh!”
But once my body trusted that I wouldn’t fall to my death to the absolutely solid dirt ground below with rocks and broken branches, I WAS HOOKED!
The whole course went by so quickly, I wanted to go through it again. So ever since then, if I traveled somewhere new and found that there’s zip lining available, I’d rally my friends to go do it with me. My memorable ones were going upside down in New Zealand, saw brown bears and her cute cubs in Alaska, and zipped across waterfalls in Hawaii. And I am so proud to add to that list of the unforgettable zip line experiences:
- Jebel Jais mountain ranges at Ras al-Khaimai, which has THE longest zip line in the world — 1.76 miles long, an average speed of 75–94mph, and took about 3 mins. I did this first.
- Dubai Marina, which has the longest URBAN zip line in the world — 1 km (.6 miles) long, an average speed of 50 mph, and took about a min or so. And this the next day.
Oh, man. I’ve been completely spoiled and no other zip line can compete. Plus, I got to do both of them nearly back to back — one day after another. And both were amazing for their very own reasons. In all the times I’ve zip lined, this was the first time I’ve actually done them lying face down.
Since the Jebel Jais one was really, really, really long, I got very securely strapped in this super heavy orange apron-like thing and then later awkwardly hooked onto the zip line at nearly 45 degrees downwards… before they just released the latch as I just went flyyyyyyyyyying across the mountain range. It was windy, so that created some slight resistance, which slowed me down, and I had to stay very, very still, so I wouldn’t waver back and forth minimizing the speed either. C’mon, I definitely wanted to go as fast as I could. If I could’ve strapped rockets behind me, I would totally do it.
Even so, I was moving so rapidly across the stuffy, dry, hot air that I couldn’t even hear myself screaming “WOOOOHOOOOOOO!!” There wasn’t much scenery to look at, unfortunately, but it was glorious as I felt an eagle soaring through the mountains. I encountered the platform on the other side of the mountain range with a sudden jolt to remind me of how fast I was going. But I didn’t care. I was grinning ear to ear with this massive smile. Even thinking about it now, I have a satisfied smile on my face.
After that, I figured why not the longest urban zip line in the world, especially since it was so close to where I was staying. That felt like a luxury VIP experience as I lied down comfortably horizontally flat on this elevated bed that slowly retracted downwards after I was hooked onto the zip line. The view was stunning all around on this gorgeous sunny day. I was then gently released, and soared across between high rise buildings, boats sailing, people walking around below, and the sun glistening off of the clear blue water. It was serene and liberating.
And I am absolutely grateful for that first time… stepping off that ledge regardless of all the fears and worries running through my head. My body almost refusing to move because it was something I’ve never done before—stepping off an elevated, shaky platform to take that leap of faith, not exactly knowing how it would feel next.
And it was that exact leap of faith that has led me on so many more adventures being at unimaginable places of heights, which I’ll share more later as I reveal more outrageous desires I’ve crossed off. Actually, stay tuned for tomorrow as who knows which adventure I’d share with you next.