I like to think of myself as the adventurous sort. Open-minded. Courageous when it comes to trying something new.
Given that fact, there are certain things I’ve tried that have landed on my One-and-Done List. As in there’s no way in hell I’m repeating those experiences. Ever.
Helicopter rides hold a special place on The List due to the simple fact that it’s the only Two-and-Done item on there.
I took my first helicopter ride when BrightSide and I vacationed on Maui. I’d never been up in one before, BrightSide thought it would be cool, and I was game.
It was awful.
Not that it necessarily would be for you! But me? I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat, so flying in an aircraft the size of a walk in closet wasn’t the best idea I’d ever gone along with…sure, I survived, but it wasn’t pretty.
The real shocker is that BrightSide convinced me to try it a second time.
We’d gone to Hawaii again, this time to the island of Kauai. We were traveling with some friends who, coincidentally, had never flown in a helicopter. The fact that they wanted to give it a try combined with our guide book’s assertion that Kauai is really the only island worth seeing from the air was enough for BrightSide – he was all in. I didn’t have quite the same reaction.
I wasn’t thrilled at the thought of going up again, and the idea of paying someone to torture me midair wasn’t exactly convincing me to jump on board. But in the end BrightSide’s arguments swayed me – the beautiful scenery, views you can only see from the air, the magnificent Napali coast – blah, blah, blah. I must have been missing my backbone that week because a few days later I found myself back at the airport, waiting to board our whirlybird to tour Kauai.
It was the longest sixty minutes of my life. Again.
My stomach was swooshy every moment of that flight, a feeling that intensified unpleasantly when the pilot would swoop downward and rotate the craft so we could get a panoramic view of some waterfall. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a good waterfall. But I couldn’t tell you what a single one of them looked like from that day.) Flying in a helicopter is like standing in the street without any pants on – it’s impossible to forget what’s happening while you’re enduring the experience.
You wouldn’t think it could get any worse, right? Sixty minutes of nausea combined with a fierce headache and the barely stifled panic of a claustrophobic who’s been sandwiched into a flying sardine can.
Oh, but you’d be wrong.
You see, one of our friends was also having an extremely unpleasant experience. I was a bit too focused on my own discomfort to fully grasp the odd shade of green she was turning, but I got a little concerned when she started white knuckling the airsick bag. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that even mid-flight she had good aim.
It was after this experience – my second voluntary ride in a vomit inducing aircraft – that I realized the definition of insanity certainly applied in this case. Only a moron would pay that much money again to be nauseous for an hour.
Which is how helicopters landed permanently on my One-and-Done List.