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The Highest Bungee Jump in the World @ Macau Tower (Macau)

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The highest… that means there’s nothing further, nothing more. It’s the final destination; the end of the journey where you can say “After I do this, I don’t need to do it anymore.” I’ve never been or done the _____est of anything, and on this warm winter day in Macau, I was going to add my name to a very short list.

How do you prepare for such an extreme experience? Visualization? No, my brain couldn’t fathom anything that high. Recalling my first bungee jump? Shit, that part of my memory is a complete fuzz. Watching other people do it? Man, those people are nuts! Out of ideas, I accepted my fate that I was going to creep onto that ledge a scared and witless human being. It wasn’t until when my friend said: “Dude, Anthony Bourdain did this. You got it.” that I felt my first hint of resolve.

59… 60… 61

*DING*

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“My, that’s quite a view”

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Things were starting to feel real now. The staff guided me through the paperwork, gave me a t-shirt, and told me to get ready. Was that apathy or pity in their eyes? I changed into what was possibly my death attire, emptied my pockets, and prepared to get strapped up.

“So you’re going to pull this red cord by your left knee once you rebound. This will release your ankle straps and bring you to a sitting position.”

Wait, what? I have instructions to follow? You expect me to be cognizant in the middle of plunging 764 feet?

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Tied up and strapped in, I shimmied over to the ledge.

“Just get a little closer to the edge… it’s going to feel a bit heavy”

What’s going to feel heavy…? OH FUCK! You mean this 500 feet of bungee cord that’s attached to my ankles is dangling in empty space beneath me?!

“Say hi to the camera!”

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Oh hey! What up! I’m not trying to get dragged to my death or anything…

“Ok, here we go! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Bye bye”

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It’s like that first breathless plunge off a steep rollercoaster drop. Your brain shuts down while your body tries its best to understand this incredibly unnatural feeling. It’s gonna stop any moment now. I’m going to stop falling, you think. But you don’t. There’s so much space left…

Somehow, for a reason unknown to me, this uncomfortable squeeze on my being suddenly dissipates. What was once a suffocating contraction now feels like clear expansion. I see the landing pad. I’m aware of my surroundings. I feel my body flying (or falling) through space. It was like breaking through cloud cover and seeing clear skies for the first time. I fell the rest of the way with a big goofy grin.

The rebound was unnerving. Launched back halfway up the length of the tower, I remembered my instructions and looked down (or up) towards my knee for the red cord. Pulling the cord just as I achieved momentary suspension 400 feet in the air, my body suddenly jolted back into right side up. FUCK! Where am I? And thus began another, completely different, fall.

Moments later, sitting in empty space with the bungee cord at full extension, I was lowered down. I had a last few seconds to savor the fact that I was the only person in the country hanging 200 feet in the air. It felt like a special, private, exclusive place. Gaining the ground was both a relief and a burden at the same time. It was like taking solace in the safety of my physical constraints. With that said however, my first few steps back on earth did feel a bit lighter, and the world around me did look a bit bigger. Something has definitely changed.

I want to go again.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert March 1, 2013 at 6:01 pm

I had the same feeling on my first of many skydives. The human body/mind is used to the feeling of falling for a few fleeting moments before it hits something. After those first few seconds are gone and you haven’t hit anything yet…it doesn’t really feel like falling at all. Skydiving I will do any hour of the day..but bungee..that scares the hell out of me. I’ve done it…but never again.

Awesome pics~~~

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siawnou March 4, 2013 at 12:51 am

great comment man! yea, i’d imagine skydiving to be quite a different experience with so much more time to register your surroundings. and you’re right, it didn’t really feel like falling at all.

my first bungee jump (about 30% the height as this) was a way different feeling. not nearly as “pleasant”. i think you’d dig this jump if you ever decide to bungee again. the height really makes a difference. and of course they strap you in like 5 different ways. the constriction is a weird assurance 🙂

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fiona March 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Crazeeeeeee…………

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siawnou March 4, 2013 at 12:57 am

never too crazy to try once, Fiona, especially for an adventurer like you. hope everything’s good back home and that you’re keeping up with the TKD! chamber, pivot, kick to the face!

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Chanel @ LaViajeraMorena March 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Brave brave soul my friend. One day I will return there and jump off too!

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siawnou March 13, 2013 at 2:26 am

didn’t know you’ve been to Macau! yes, please do the jump next time. i just hope they don’t (or do) keep making higher bungee towers…

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