I look down and see the clear teal water surrounded by rocks. You miss, you die. Nothing is in my head. Not my friends, not my college, not my grades, not the tons of other cities I was planning to visit. I just jumped.
Sometimes, spending 17 hours on a plane and travelling halfway across the globe is when you realize that just eating and sightseeing in a new place isn’t enough. You want to do so much more – and be more daring.
Santorini. The signature blue and white of Greece is visible from every nook and cranny of the island, straight from your bathroom window to the shuttle you take to Oia (the nearest village). Here, you don’t have to visit a designated tourist spot for posting your Instagram update. Every spot is beautiful and every view, a perfect shot.
After a wholesome European breakfast of breads, egg and cheese accompanied by with a steaming cup of their strongest Greek coffee, my landlady sits beside me. “You remind me of my daughter”, she says. “She’s far away from me”. The Greeks have a knack of turning even the most mundane experiences into a tale worthy of a camp bonfire.You could not get enough of their stories.
“My daughter loved adventure, I have a feeling you will too.” An old lady of 60, she waits for me to finish breakfast and then guides me downhill to a secluded bay. Pointing to a massive cliff in the distance, she looks at me and says one word, “JUMP”.
Getting into the freezing Aegean Sea with waters not above 10°C in April took an enormous amount of willpower, but it was just preparing me for the bigger jump ahead. The water felt like I was being baptized. It was calm, cold and perfect and it took me under five minutes to swim to the cliff. There were no stairs to the top, the rocks were sharp and I’m pretty sure I would’ve stained quite a few with my blood.
On the way to the top was the smallest church I’ve ever seen, nothing more than a cross carved into the rock. Looking towards the shore, I see her waving madly. I also see a couple of Americans getting ready to dive in and follow me.
I look down and see the clear teal water surrounded by rocks. You miss, you die. But there was nothing to it, no second thoughts and more importantly, no way out. I’m standing there, shivering madly, and nothing is in my head. Not my friends, not my college, not my grades, not the tons of other cities on my itinerary. “Jump, baby girl!” the Americans are yelling. And I did. It was the most freeing and exhilarating three seconds, till I landed on my behind and felt it burn with the sharp slap of the water.
Pro tip : keep your body straight while cliff jumping. This time the adrenaline didn’t let my mind register the temperature of the water, it felt as normal as getting into a jacuzzi. The Americans were cheering and she was standing by the shore, two Souvlakis in hand. I hugged her, “I’m ravenous!” I said. She laughed, “She always was. Let’s go home.”
~ This story was written by Sakshi Arora