Eight-legged freaks and terrifying leaps
I took one of the best trips of my life after the Aussie Millions. I stayed in Australia for several weeks afterwards and traveled up the east coast with one of my close friends. We started off in Byron Bay, which is a gorgeous little beach town with a hippie vibe, full of surfers, artists and other travelling folk.
As we arrived at our hotel we instantly learned a lesson about Australia's colorful animal life. I generally adore bugs and insects, but as with most things in Australia, you shouldn't mess around with them. You can therefore imagine that pulling open the curtains to find the biggest spider you've ever seen launch itself into your freshly opened suitcase wasn't the nicest of surprises. After an embarrassingly girly scream, I fetched a glass mixing bowl (the usual cup and newspaper trick wasn't going to hold this monster) and started flinging out clothes until the spider was out on the floor and ready for battle. At this point my friend took over and deftly trapped Simon (as we came to know him), allowing for a quick photoshoot before releasing him outside.
Arachnid suitcase dwellers aside, Byron Bay was heaven. We learned to surf, partied and absorbed all of the laid-back culture that epitomises the town. On our last day there, it was suggested to do a skydive. I've always been into adventure sports, but this was the one thing I'd yet to do, and quite intentionally so. The finality of a parachute failing to open had always been too much of a deterrent, and I'd made the decision to do it at some later point in life when I'd lived a LOT longer. Long story short, I didn't want to do it. At all.
"Oh come on. Don't be such a nit!" my friend cajoled. "You try everything. Why would you be scared of skydiving?"
So came the inevitable googling of sky diving death rate statistics, which turned out to be 1 in 100,000. Even my irrationality couldn't argue with those numbers, and before I got chance to reconsider, the jump was booked.
Getting the airstrip that morning was nerve-wracking, but I had seemingly made my peace with my impending death, and the adrenaline was starting to flow as we began the tutorial in the aircraft hangar. Then suddenly, our tutor disappeared talked to his colleague, and came back solemn faced. The conditions had deteriorated and had become too windy for us to jump that day. We wouldn't even be able to reschedule as we had to leave the next morning for the Whitsunday Islands.
Emotional swings, to say the least! I'd gone from irrational but terrified resistance, to detached acceptance to bubbling excitement to a surge of relief and then creeping disappointment. Still, I'm satisfied to know I would've gone through with it. I definitely would have. Right? Ahem.
Liv Boeree is a member of Team PokerStars Pro