The first time I tried to jump, I got all the way up to the top of the A.J. Hackett Macau Tower. I saw people suiting up. I saw the line of nervous individuals surely rethinking their decision as they sat there staring straight ahead, wondering if they could back out. If this was refundable. Well, it’s not. Future jumpers, take note: you’ll need to do the deed or lose $474 with speed, and all you’ll go home with is a bruised ego and a craving to try it again.
After I chickened out in 2010, I knew there would be another chance. I was right. This summer, as I flew to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, there was a knot in my stomach that wouldn’t ease up. The closer we flew to Hong Kong, the more intense the knot became. I knew what it was. Anxiety was sure enough setting in. An hour ferry ride was the only thing between me and Macau Tower where the world’s highest commercial bungee jump stood in all its glory.
I was only in Hong Kong for the day before traveling on to Bali, so I knew this was my chance. I had to do it fast before logic came into play. That, or before my dad called. After checking into the hotel, I did some research on the bungee jump. Note: watching YouTube videos of people jumping off the Macau Tower is not how you should spend your time before doing it yourself. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I spent many minutes meticulously counting each second that passed between the point where jumpers’ toes left the platform to the bungee’s lowest point near ground level. Ten seconds. I could do anything for 10 seconds…
I took the MTR (transit railway system) to the ferry with my passport (necessary to gain entry into Macau). I bought the ferry ticket (~$25) and waited for boarding to begin. As I looked out the window, I began to think about what was ahead while I watched the weather come in. Oh hello, clouds. Are those sprinkles? Is that rain? A call to the A.J. Hackett Macau Tower affirmed that they were “still allowing jumpers,” so I pushed on, wishing, hoping, thinking, and praying. For what? I don’t know. My anxiety wanted a natural disaster to happen to rid me of any chance of building leaps today. “Hong Kong to Macau #283 BOARDING” flashed up on the screen. Cue everyone and their dog jumping (pun intended) out of their seats and through the open doors to the ferry. As for me, I stayed seated. It’s like my brain couldn’t connect with my legs. HELLO. WE ARE BOARDING, LEGS. LET’S MOVE. Nothing. I sat for another minute or two before getting up and turning away from the boarding doors.
“Today is not the day to jump off buildings,” I thought to myself.
Okay. So I blamed it on the weather. It was a good excuse since I don’t believe people on the ground could’ve been able to see jumpers above them and vice versa. It’s all about the photos, people, and these would not have turned out well. I knew there’d be a next time.
Not only was there a next time, but the stars aligned to make this the most perfect jump of all. I was scheduled to give Hong Kong a proper visit a few weeks after that one dreadful day before departing for Bali. A few days before I arrived in Hong Kong again, I was contacted by a company who wanted my participation in a campaign they were running. The campaign name? Fearless to the core. What was it all about? Helping women face their fears, and it was launching on the day that I was back in Hong Kong. I knew what had to be done.
To help other women face their fears, I had to face my own first. I suppose both could be done at the same time, summed up into one leap off of the world’s highest bungee jump. So I did what had been done before. I made my way to the ferry terminal, I bought another ticket and I waited for boarding to begin. With a campaign attached to me and many viewers tuning in LIVE via Periscope, there was no backing out now. I was going to swan dive Pocahontas style off of a building, even if the staff at A.J. Hackett had to push me.
No push necessary. As I rode in a taxi to the tower, I was oddly at ease. This was going to be a ton of fun, even if I was all alone. After a few initial Periscope videos at the bottom, I made my way towards the elevator. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t exactly at ease. I was getting anxious, but once at the top, the staff calmed my nerves. What I loved about this establishment was that every single employee has jumped off the tower. It’s a pre-req to being hired and a brilliant idea so that at each step of the way, there’s a staff member telling you how much fun you’re going to have, and how badly you’re going to want to do it again. Ehhhhh. “We’ll see,” I said.
As I desperately tried to get service 764 ft. above ground to stream the jump live, I was very distracted – which was the best thing that could’ve happened. As soon as I realized service was never going to come, I walked the plank and stood before all of Macau. I put my arms up in Pocahontas fashion and heard the yelling of “5, 4, 3, 2, 1!” I was off the platform and free falling toward the bounce-around creation below – as if that was going to catch my fall 😉
The first half (4-5 seconds) felt terrible. All I remember is that stomach pain of free falling, like when I rode the Tower of Terror at Disney World, or when planes catch an air pocket and turbulence sends you a few feet off flight path. The second half, however, completely made up for how bad the first half was. Reality kicked in and a signal was sent to my brain, saying “Hey! We made it! We’re alive. That was fun!” And ahhhh, it really was.
Third times a charm.
Ready to see me in action? Check out the jump on my YouTube Channel! Get excited for many more crazy videos to come.
Bungee Jump Full Package – US$474 (includes t-shirt, eCertificate, membership card, photos, HD video and GoPro video on USB. Plus bragging rights)
The A.J. Hackett Macau Tower has never had an accident. On average they’ll see around 40 jumpers a day but can do upwards of 100. Book beforehand. Night jumps are even offered – do you dare?
The Road Les Traveled was welcomed to the tower as a guest, however my opinions are as always, my own.