“Feel the fear and do it anyway!”
Thought of spine chilling, ice cold waters have always given me the shivers and looking down from a tall building makes me hold on to anything that’s around me. So, apart from mouse and spiders these are me fears. Or should I say,I’ve crossed 2 of them off my list. Thanks to the trip to Area 47, Tirol, Austria.
The meeting time outside the main building at Stuttgart was at 6:15am. Ready with a bag, and knowing absolutely no one there, I stood looking around and wondering if I had made the right choice to come. It was going to be a beautiful day, the weather had predicted. So I decided to go with that attitude and waited for the buses to arrive.
It took us 4 and half hours to reach the spot. And my god, as we entered Austria, it was a completely different feeling. I no longer worried of being alone for next 48 hours, thanks to the breathtaking beauty of Tirol,Austria.
We had the complete itinerary given to us a week before the trip and I noticed almost everyone had a copy printed. I entered the area, just a glimpse of Area 47, and things ahead gave me a jolt in my hungry stomach.
There were things that I had never seen and there were some that I had seen on some adventure series on TV. I was delighted. There was wonderful lunch awaiting us, and everyone seemed to know each other. I started to look around and realized that all these activities would be much more fun, only if I knew someone.
Decided to start talking, and getting to know my colleagues. It was all in my head – how would they react, would anyone talk back, what if I have to spend my time alone and all sorts of non sense thoughts that come to me when I’m really hungry.
So decided to first eat and on the way, started meeting people. One after another, they started asking which department I was from, which country and so on. It got better by the time I finished my lunch. Much better indeed. By now I had some people to start my activities with. I joined them and we all changed for the fun ahead.
I started with the sliding area, to test the waters and oh man, they were ice cold! Although, that couldn’t hinder the experience one bit. After that since ‘Blobbing’ , was too full I got a chance to try the new ‘Hydrospeed Slide’ which was absolutely embarrassing! This was my first time water surfing, and it took me 20 minutes just to get a hang on how to stand on it. Seems super cool in movies, this particular activity truly gave me a taste of cold water (again and again).
This was followed by the activity that I was soooo eagerly looking forward to – River rafting!!!
I had no experience of diving into rivers that flow out from peaks, not did I ever row a boat. Technically this was a raft, but nonetheless needed awesome amount of energy. We dressed into the suits (which apparently protects you from the ice water), walked around 1.5kms and a bus took us to some other place. From there we walked and reached where we could see the rafts. The training began for next half an hour and off we went, with teams carrying their rafts respectively, we walked and reached a river shore (if that’s a word).
Our trainers asked us to jump into the water and ‘get a feel’. Well, I cleverly (and foolishly) stayed outside and waited to sit in the raft. There is a particular way of sitting on the raft, else you fall. Simple. So, we sat and off we rowed. This was white water river and the view was just spectacular! High mountain ranges on one side, a natural path for walking on another. Some fishermen just standing and catching their dinner and some just relaxing by the river. It was wonderful until our trainer asked to jump off the raft backwards, one by one. When I see no end, white water with foam due to pressure, no I cannot do this.
First round was skipped by a nice smile and praying he doesn’t ask again. Water was starting to catch more speed and by now we were all soaked. There came small downfalls and some sudden little jerks (which moved all of us from one side to another). He asked us to jump once more, before the water got more dangerous ahead. This was just to practice that if we fall in high tides, what happens then and how to get back on raft (if you can spot it that is).
I had no choice this time. Without thinking, I jumped backwards and into the spine chilling waters of river Sanna. This was my first moment of truth. Never have I felt so free in my life, and as if I was the happiest person or rather the happiest I have ever been in a long long time. I started swimming with the tides when I heard the trainer asking me to get back on the raft. I didn’t want to leave this moment. Although I could feel parts of body starting to become numb as seconds passed, I wanted to just be there. I came swimming (or rather with force of water) back to raft and hold on to one of the ropes on the outer sides. I couldn’t push myself up though. I was pulled by my other team members and the journey continued.
That one jump was like a sudden exhilaration, which I truly needed at this time in my life.
After 1 hour and 45 minutes, we were back to shore, carrying the raft together and heading back to Area 47. Later I saw some spectacular views right outside my room, while heading to the enticing dinner that was awaiting.
There was a table with a girl and two guys. They seemed like students, and friendly too. With just a smile and seeing same wine glass with them as well, marks the beginning of a new friendship automatically. The scenery, the food, the fine wine and company of some absolutely wonderful people marked the end of my first day at Area 47, Tirol, Austria.
Looking forward to the next day, and thanking Vector Informatik GmbH with all my heart, I was dropped to my room by my new friends at 12:30am. Thus marking the first fear that I had overcome on the first day.