Written by: Amber’Jade Friend, Au Pair Participant
What is Tree Top Gliding?
Treetop gliding is human natures way of flying like a bird. Free until you reach the end of the line and your feet fight to find stability. Many times I ended the glide with sand in my pants because my feet failed me!
“I was like a swan- sort of gliding on the top but my legs were paddling underneath me.”
A very vivid quote by Lea Westwood which would describe the feeling of soaring through and above those trees. It felt like I would have imagined flying to feel like. I truly enjoyed it, in the moments I wasn’t screaming my self-blue in the face!
Here I am, going on about the beauties of it, however, I forgot to mention that I am EXTREMELY afraid of heights! Soul crunchingly afraid of heights to be exact.
Before I did any zip line, my nine-year-old host child had to go before me. (Let’s just pretend that it was her idea and imagine me as at least 10% of bravery and only 90% of utter hopeless fear!)
With most zip line courses you need to get through a series of obstacles that are high above in the trees before you reach the end, the zip line.
Many of these obstacles, when Ally ad a moment of nervousness I would tell her it was nothing, she would be fine.
However, when I got to my turn to take the jump or crawl through an unstable tunnel 40M off the ground, all of my own encouraging words failed me and I was coaxed by Ally, once again.
There was one that made a huge impact on me, ‘The Tarzan Swing’. Now if you grew up watching Tarzan as a child then, like me you would have had many moments in play time wondering what it would feel like to swing from tree to tree. Just like Tarzan! Well, my
Dream of wanting to swing like Tarzan quickly disappeared when I realised that it was a part of the course. It took me twenty minutes of constant shouting from my host mom to be brave and do the jump.
And from Ally on the other end of the jump, I was getting: “You can do this!” “It’s not that scary.” “Be brave Amber!”
By the time I reached the other end I felt like I could conquer anything, and then Ally told me that we had to climb a wooden ladder that went up another 2M before zip lining back down again. I thought I was going to drop dead right there!
…So there we were, thirty minutes later and posing for a victory photo after surviving the scariest ordeal of my entire life!
It’s no surprise that all thought it was the most exciting thing she had ever done. Although, I don’t know what was more exciting for her, seeing me pale-faced and screaming through the courses or doing the courses themselves!!
What an absolutely incredible adventure it was.
Amber’Jade Friend, a South African Au Pair from Au Pair China Programme, is placed in Beijing for 6 months.
To find out more about Au Pair China Program, please click ‘Au Pair China Program‘.
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