LA JOLLA, CA
THE CALIFORNIA CLIFFS
One of my favorite places that I have ever visited is La Jolla, California. I love California for its climate, varied landscape, and overall dedication to relaxation. Over the summer of 2018, I had the opportunity to check an item off my bucket list - go paragliding over the cliffs of California. Needless to say, it did not disappoint. See below for my journey from take off to landing throughout of my most exhilarating experiences.
Upon arriving, we walked up to the desk at Torrey Pines Glideport (the business that holds paragliding and hang gliding tours over the cliffs and Torrey Pines Golf Course) to sign some wavers and purchase a photo package that is taken of you and your instructor with Go Pros. Luckily, it was a clear day and was perfect for flying, as my instructor said after I arrived and got my helmet. Once you get your instructor, there is a little bit of a lesson on how to sit and how to run off the cliff to get into the air (yes you literally run off the cliff). It was a bit nerve-racking, as it is pretty counter intuitive to jump off a cliff. However, my instructor had been flying for over 25 years and assured me that it would all be worth it once I was in the air. So with that, I swallowed my fear and ran into the sky.
In the Air
Even though the beginning of jumping off the cliff is a bit terrifying, it was also really exiting and adrenaline-inducing. Before, I knew it, I was gliding peacefully over the cliffs and the ocean. In all honesty, I could have stayed up in the sky all day, ebbing and flowing with each gust of wind. While flying, I also got to see some stellar California mansions embedded in the cliffs and some people playing golf at Torrey Pines. Even with the photo package you buy, you can take your phone up in the air as you'll probably want to capture the incredible views like I did. I took the photo on the left with my iPhone, as they give you a strap to tie to your phone (but be careful!). Overall, if you have ever wanted to fly and experience literally a birds-eye view of a beautiful landscape, this is the way to do it.
After the Flight
As we came in for a landing, I was sad but also ready to be on the ground once again. To be transparent, I did feel a little woozy after the flight due to the rapid changes in altitude that I has experienced that day. However, I was prepared as my instructor had warned me that this might happen. But what better way to quell a dizzy feeling than with some fresh fish tacos! Some might think otherwise, but eating these delicious morsels (pictured here) while overlooking the ocean were just what I needed to feel re-energized and ready to continue with the rest of the day.
An Amazing Experience
Overall, I would HIGHLY recommend adding paragliding over the California cliffs to your bucket list. However, if you are afraid of heights and get motion sickness easily, then maybe reconsider. But, if you're up for a little adrenaline and a lot of adventure, I can think of no better way to see and experience the cliffs of California.