LET ME BREAK IT DOWN TO YOU, DESPITE WHAT VIDEOS IN YOUTUBE SHOWS, JUMPING FROM A VERY HIGH ALTITUDE IS ONEROUS AND THE STRUGGLE TO KEEP YOUR SOUL IN YOUR BODY IS REAL. BEFORE MAKING THE JUMP, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED. ONE CAN DEHYDRATE ONESELF THROUGH MERE SWEATING.

Like many out there, I have always wondered what it would be like to fly. Watching superheroes flying in television shows during my childhood always intrigued me to fantasise about living as free as a bird. To materialise my fascination for flying, like all other kids, I used to pretend that I was an aeroplane, a bird, anything that flew through the air. I ran through the yard with my arms spread out like an aeroplane, simulating weird engine noises whenever I would make a turn or go into a steep dive. Well, last December I got to fly for the first time. Not precisely flying, it was falling with style. I gathered enough courage to jump out of an aircraft. Yes! I did Skydiving for the first time in my life.

It may sound outrageous, but jumping out of a plane, willingly, has moments which are nothing shorter than magic itself. However, it goes without saying that, the entire ordeal takes more than courage in oneself. Let me break it down to you, despite what videos in YouTube shows, jumping from a very high altitude is onerous and the struggle to keep your soul in your body is real. Before making the jump, make sure you keep yourself hydrated. One can dehydrate oneself through mere sweating.

Being an introvert all my life, I was always led to believe that extreme sports would never be a “my kind” of thing. However, I figured if 350,000 people make about 3 million jumps in a typical year and still be alive, why wouldn’t it be the same for me? Therefore, I decided to throw myself out of moving plane 13,000 feet high in the air while wearing a Punjabi in Dubai. Yes. You read it right. I jumped while my Punjabi was tucked in. Was I the first guy ever to jump off a plane with tucked in Punjabi? I don’t know. Go figure.

I tell you how it went; the entire activity was kind of easy, hear me out, if you can let go of your fear, it will be one of the most amazing or maybe a life-defining moment in your existence. When they tied me to my instructor, they told me to relax. If only I had a penny every time I heard that. Like how could I? When they opened the door of that plane, all I could feel was roaring of the wind howling by me. To rub salt in my wound, the instructors do not and will not let you freeze in fear. As super friendly they are, they don’t hold back pushing you off the plane. After a few seconds, I discovered myself free-falling from the sky. Imagine this — unknown, unseen place, air hitting your face faster than you ever thought it possibly could.

All you see is the bleak blue sky and a weird image of what you know as the land we love so dearly. At that moment, it almost felt like I was hanging in there. “Almost” being the keyword here. I could feel I was falling. If not anything else, my heart made sure I understood that I was plunging towards the ground. In that mere moment, I wasn’t only at the mercy of nature; I was intertwined with life. I was right in between heaven and earth. I was playing catch me if you can with the gravity itself. The longer my free-fall went, the tighter the sky was hugging me. What I have always been looking up at during my happy, sad and confused moments, I was in it.

The rush of warm blood flowing through my body after a safe landing probably was the second best part of this whole adventure. I was looking up above again, this time with gratitude, for that sky taught me something very precious. If you ever make yourself go through this experience, you will have several phases of fear. But, once you hit the last wall of panic and manage to break through it, you will meet your true self in that instance. The moment can be defined as both rare and straightforward. It is anything but mundane. I guess that is what called Happiness. And, I am going to have this memory with me forever.

Tip for the adventurous ones: once landed safely make sure you have plenty of water. The free-falling will make your heart work overtime, and some fluids will help you at that moment.

There was something else that hit me probably even harder and left a far stronger mark in my mind once I got back on my feet after the significant “fall” of my life. I noticed something. I can still remember when

BangladeshTravelBD.com launched their new venture platform SharedTrip.com, I was fortunate enough to win the Dhaka-Sharjah-Dhaka round ticket. I was thinking about how close Dubai was from Sharjah. The famous tourist attraction. But those mere moments of joy got me thinking of the land that I belong to. I tried to fathom why I was so excited about this tour. What Dubai or Sharjah have that my Bangladesh doesn’t?

I knew UAE and Bangladesh are about the same age, we got our independence on 16th December 1971, and UAE emerged on the world map on 2nd December 1971. We are just 14 days apart. Don’t get me wrong now, guys. Bangladesh is doing great, making a significant impact on the global economy. But we still don’t have our unique signature on anything specifically. UAE knew they have oil, and they also knew they need to outlive their fossil reserves to meet their ambitions.

If they can focus and invest fully on developing their infrastructures to maintain their common trading market, what held us back for so many years? We may not have oil, but we do have our super productive lands with arguably one of the most magnificent landscape ever in a very naturally secured location. We are about to become a role model for many countries. But will we be there when people will yearn for just a glimpse of my country? Well, that was me and my mind. Bangladesh is moving forward. But I hope we get to a place where people from the farthest corner from the world would feel all the same emotions that I felt, thinking about their tour to Bangladesh someday. I do believe we are capable of going there.