As a single mom, I knew I couldn’t afford the expense of some of these adventures. But I had a plan. I called my dad, a television news editor, and asked him for help. This was before the days of YouTube influencers, but my idea was to barter videos in exchange for an experience. For example, if I couldn’t afford the price to skydive, I would offer to produce a professional-grade video for the company. They’d get marketing materials to draw in new customers, and I’d get to have an adventure for free.
The day of the jump, I nearly cancelled because I was paralyzed with fear. I imagined all the worst scenarios––what if my chute didn’t open? What if I landed wrong? And just who jumps out of a perfectly good plane, anyway? After hours of debating whether or not I should back out and a middle-of-the-night panic attack, I made myself drive out to meet the skydiving team. I told myself I could just show up and that I didn’t have to jump. And then I told myself I could just go into the building and take the lesson, and I still didn’t have to jump. Then I told myself to just get on board (without jumping). Pretty soon I had a nice gentleman strapped to my back, standing on the edge of the plane, looking down from 13,000 feet above the earth. I remember shouting, "WAIT!," but it was too late. He didn't let me hesitate. We were already falling through the air.
I remember that moment in slow motion. The rush of air filling my nostrils. The quiver of my cheeks as I hurled to the ground at 200 feet-per-second. “Ooooooh sh*#!” I suddenly remembered the poster on the wall in the building. “Don’t worry if you wet your pants, they’ll dry on the way down.”
That day. That jump. It changed my life on so many levels. The moment my feet touched the ground, I became a different person. Suddenly I could do anything! I would try anything! I remember thinking, “Man, other people have GOT to do this!” And that’s when I started my company, World Next Door. As Chief Adventure Officer, I knew that I had to create a place for all newbie bucket-listers and adventurers to get together. I knew there were other people that needed to feel alive like I did. But mostly, I decided to show others how to live fully––all while I was teaching myself. Suddenly, I wanted to do it all. So, after tackling white water rafting, hang gliding, zip-lining and tons of international travel, the next item on my bucket-list was to learn how to RV during COVID!