Soaring the Skies with Langkawi Gliders
After a week in the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, we were perfectly content lounging on the beach, soaking up the sunshine and staring out at the vast turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. We had no intentions of moving from our beach chairs, at least not before we witnessed a magnificent Langkawi sunset. As we lay there daydreaming in paradise, we looked up and caught sight of a paramotor soaring the skies directly over us. As soon as I saw it, I held my breath. I knew it was coming…
“It’s a siiiiiign. We HAVE to do it!”
I know him too well. We’d seen this paramotor contraption the day before. We had spent the day cruising around on a motorbike and just before we completed a full circle of the island, Charlie hit the brakes and pulled off the road. My stomach tightened.
He’s going to make me do this. I just know it.
I could see his face just light up. There was a crowd of 10-15 people standing around to witness the paramotor take off and sail up into the sky. We made it just in time for the viewing. He hadn’t even said the words yet, but I was nervous. It was coming, there was no doubt about that.
Charlie started making friends with the staff, asking more questions than a lead investigator of a murder case. But as the sun started to set, I knew that time was running out and I was off the hook. They told us they would be there the next day, depending on the wind and weather, and Charlie left with his mind set that we would be returning.
Fast forward almost 24 hours and I thought he’d either forgotten about it completely or had chickened out himself. Either way, I was content because I knew it was about two hours until sunset and he hadn’t said a word about it. It was our last day on the island and I would be keeping my feet safely on the ground. But then, I felt a tinge of disappointment. After all, conquering my fear of heights has been something I’ve been working at. In 2013, Charlie managed to get me on the ziplines in Chiang Mai. In 2014, I climbed the steps of the Eiffel Tower, and I played Indiana Jones at the Captain Ziplines Aerial Adventure Park in Colorado. And while I was scared at the time, those are some of my fondest memories.
And then I saw that paramotor as we lay there staring up at the sky and he said those words.
It was now or never. We had two hours before sunset. We quickly packed up our stuff and frantically ran to find a taxi. We no longer had the motorbike and the landing strip was located a bit outside of town heading towards the airport. We got completely scammed by the taxi driver and paid at least double what we should have but we (aka Charlie) were determined and we made it there just in the time.
I was still unsure whether I was going to go through with it. Charlie was signing his papers when another car load of people showed up. They told me I should sign up now if I was going otherwise I would be pushed to the back of queue. I signed my name and barely set my pen down when they started suiting me up.
“Wait….I’m going FIRST?!?”
Yep, I did. And at some point between strapping myself in and the take off, my nerves completely subsided. The flight. The views. The freedom. It was spectacular.
Charlie of course followed. But it should be known by all that I, Brittany, was the brave soul (aka guinea pig) that took the first flight 😉
And then we proceeded to hitchhike back to our hotel. Yep, our first time hitchhiking. Our taxi driver told us he was coming back for us, but that didn’t happen. We weren’t really surprised. Charlie waved down the first car we saw. We got in assuming it was local woman only to find out she was actually a Chinese woman that was just coming from the airport. And that is how we said goodbye to 2014. A day I’m sure we will always remember.
If you ever find yourself in Langkawi, we can’t recommend Langkawi Gliders enough. Our pilot was fantastic and made us completely at ease. Thanks for a memorable flight!
WAIT! Don’t forget the best part…of course we got it all on video!