Back in the day, I had a 40×40 list, a list of 40 things to do before I was 40. Well I turned 40, and upgraded the list. One of the things on that new list was – finish the old list! One of the things on that list? Go Indoor Skydiving.
It is funny how some things come about. Some involve months of intense planning and some are just spur of the moment, happy, random occurrences. It was one of these random occurrences that saw me tick of # 27 on my 40 x 40: Go indoor skydiving. While it is a ‘late’ completion, it is a completion none the less.
#27 Go Indoor Skydiving
So where is Milton Keynes, anyway?
There are a few sites in the UK that offer indoor skydiving, and I had been signed up to their email list for a while, after being told one was due to open near me in Bristol. As it was the closest sites were in Manchester, Basingstoke and Milton Keynes, places that may as well have been thousands of miles away to someone one with no transport. But April 2018 saw a change in my fortunes.
My youngest daughter, Hannah, had been desperate to book tickets to watch Dan & Phil (for the benefit of fellow oldies, they are Youtubers; don’t ask me what they do!) but they seemed to be sold out as soon as she got on the site.
She was sat there at the P.C. poised, when the tickets went on sale: Cardiff – sold out, Birmingham – sold out “Mum is Glasgow too far away?” “YES” – she stopped asking where places were because they were all too far to go for a 2 hour show and she knew I would just keep saying no… which is how she managed getting her two tickets … in Milton Keynes. I got the map out, turns out it is Buckinghamshire.
It also turns out it was not the most accessible of places by public transport, but that was fine, her Dad and I would book the day off work and make a day of it… only Paul’s workplace isn’t as flexible as mine ( the joys of working in retail!). Brain wave! We would go down on Sunday, stay the night in an Airbnb, the girls would go see Pan & Dill, whatever they’re called, I would chill and Paul could come get us Tuesday morning, when he was off work.
I am literally a genius – I duly booked the accommodation.
The thing with Airbnb…
The thing I forgot was Han and her mate Jade had never stayed in an Airbnb before. I consider myself a veteran having utilised them when I was in Japan and having had “interesting” experiences in both of the places I stayed, I felt I could take anything Milton Keynes had to throw at me. The girls were not as convinced.
As a bonus Paul was suddenly able to take the day off (the joys of working in retail!) and suddenly we had to decide if we forgo the nights away, and just drive down on the Monday morning, or if we try to contact our host and book an extra person.
As luck would have it, despite contacting him, our host did not return my text asking if we had to pay extra so we saved ourselves some money. Well, not really, as we had to pop to Ikea to buy bedding as one quilt between 4 was not going to work; adding my 6 foot husband into the mix meant an extra duvet was definitely in order!
Bucket List Ticks
What our Airbnb lacked in bedding and general comfort it more than made up for in location. Had it been any closer to the theatre Stan & Gil were performing in we would have been staying in the car park! We went for a ‘reccie’ on Sunday afternoon and were amazed, not just by how close it was, but by all the shops, restaurants and activities in the locale. I was particularly excited to see that iFly was there – I couldn’t possibly be this close to one of my Bucket List dreams and NOT try I out – so we signed up for Monday afternoon.
I had already managed to tick off a few items from the list just by getting to Milton Keynes – I stopped off in a few counties AND go to drink some coffees, and now I was going to tick indoor skydiving off! After wandering around the extensive shopping mall I also came across a new addition to the list, which is a story for another post, but suffice to say, Milton Keynes was really providing the goods in terms of getting my Bucket List items completed ( has said no one else EVER!)
As we were ‘flying’ off-peak we were able to use the Kickstarter package for £39.99 each.
This covered :
1) The hire of the stunning flight suit and other equipment ( earplugs are a must!)
2) A safety video and explanation of hand signals
3) Two separate flights ( we paid a bit extra for the free fall spinny experience, which you really need to see as I can’t explain it, so go look at my vlog about my trip)
4) A Certificate to say how clever you are.
While the whole experience only lasts an hour or two it was huge fun. I have never felt the urge to throw myself out of an airplane from a great height, but the feeling of weightlessness that comes from indoor skydiving is something that you need to try to fully appreciate. You can actually watch the whole thing here.
So all in all Milton Keynes is worth a visit – we want to return to have a go in the Snozone and do some more flying. It is also home to possibly the greatest – and most reasonably priced – cakes I have ever eaten.
With regard the 40 x 40:
So my challenge was to find try out indoor skydiving – which I did – even have a certificate to prove it. So this challenge is…