The first side trip I took while in India was to Goa. Goa is located on the west coast of India, along the Arabian Sea. It is known to be a popular tourist spot for its beautiful beaches.
The three of us interns went the weekend right before the Contextual Learning program began. Upon our flight landing, we drove to the apartment we rented for the weekend. One thing I loved about the Goa was the architecture of many of the buildings; they are all so colorful and bright!
After setting our luggages down, we headed to the beach. The beach we visited was called Arambol Beach which was lined with small shops selling bohemian clothing and restaurants serving many different types of food and drinks.
My favorite activity of the day was going paragliding! To get to the spot to jump off, we proceeded to hike upwards for 30 minutes. As each step became higher and harder to climb, my nervousness began to set in. I hadn’t realized how high I was going to have to jump off from. As the instructor’s equipment came into sight and the people on the beach became tiny, I realized it wouldn’t be long before I would be sailing into the sky! Upon reaching the top, the instructor picked up the harness and asked, “Who wants to go first?” The three of us interns looked at each other and no one said anything. Wanting to make the decision before my fear and doubts escalated, I volunteered. Before I knew it, I was strapped into the harness and given instructions for take off.
“Sit back like you’re in a chair. When I start counting, start walking quickly towards the edge, almost like you’re starting to run.”
I started to walk quickly towards the edge to the best of my abilities, praying for a safe flight.
Before I could even make sense of everything, the wind caught our canopy, lifting us higher and higher into the sky! Seeing Goa from a different perspective was amazing. Looking out into the sea with the wind gently brushing my face instantly washed away the fears from before. Strange how floating 3,000 feet in the sky made me much more calm than being on land.
After about ten minutes, I descended back to land with a huge smile plastered across my face, proud to have challenged myself that day.
Little did I know going paragliding was more than a last-minute activity in India, it helped prepare me for the more intense second half of the internship by teaching me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable in new situations.