It’s always been interesting to me to watch the mass migration of skydivers heading to all corners of the Earth to continue their “adventures” as soon as the weather back home goes to shit. Most places I’ve worked for in the States could have been year-round operations, but they usually shut down for the winter months because jumping just isn’t worth the trouble. I, like pretty much everyone else I’ve worked with, have had to find a DZ in a more favorable climate to make money—‘cause let’s face it, most of us jumpers are shit at saving our hard earnings (especially when they are as meager as they are in our sport).
I’ve been pretty lucky all in all, able to work in places like Fiji and New Zealand. Even though I was in those amazing places, I was still working—sometimes a fuckload harder than I did back home. Well this offseason I was faced with a similar dilemma, but was for the first time able to make a drastically different choice.
Where I’m working these days isn’t too cold to jump this time of year, it’s just too stinking hot. It’ll regularly hit 125 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius for the other 90 percent of the world), and it’s simply not comfortable or even safe, so, I along with all my coworkers, have found myself with an entire summer I have to fill. Of course my first thought was all the different DZs around the world where I might be able to get a bit of work done and turn a profit, but after much thought and deep consideration, I decided to fuck off to Bali for the entire summer and forget about anything that happens more than 20 feet above sea level. It’s from there that I sit writing this article.
Across from me, David “Junior” Ludvik has opted to spend the first 16 days of his summer bumming around the island with me, learning to surf, bouncing around a few of the more party-oriented islands, and just upping his level of “Fuck it” a touch before he heads off to the U.S. boogie circuit and the wonderful madness that is America’s season in full swing. With events like Summerfest coming up, he’s got a lot of great things on his plate, (as well as traveling around Norway for Extreme Week). Although he’ only halfway through his Bali time I can already tell it’s gonna be a hell of an effort for him to board the plane.
Tandem instructor and camera flyer Olga is back in Greece at her home DZ working the first part of her vacation so she can spend the last of it pursuing her goal of becoming a competition swooper. Naomi (“Nomers” or “Nom Nom”) will be bouncing around the U.S. load organizing (at Summerfest, so get on her loads!), traveling around middle America in a van, and perfecting her abilities as a professional gypsy. We have packers who have gone off to other busy operations to continue their personal affairs with string and nylon, instructors instructing, and a few who’ve just headed home to enjoy a little time to themselves.
The only thing that feels different about it all from my point of view is the time … For the first time in 21 years I intend to spend the entire summer learning to surf, improving my yoga skills, raising my personal level of “Fuck it” to 110 percent and thinking as little as possible about anything to do with an airplane. I’ve got to tell you: a week into it, and it’s already fucking GLORIOUS!
The best part about having three months to fuck around in paradise? When it’s finally time to go home, I’ll once again find myself thrilled with the prospect of flying my ass off, jumping (for fun) as much as I can, and once again diving headfirst into our world for what I’m sure will be another great season surrounded with my favorite kind of people: YOU!
So from the beach in Bali, with no fucks at all being given, I wish each and every one of you an incredible summer filled with thrills and happiness, safety, as few broken or twisted bones as possible, and nothing but blue skies!
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