Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Little Adventures #21: March 2024 – THE SKYDIVE.

It’s not often that I get excited when I hit a goal. Usually, I’m already focusing on the next one. Stupid, I know. But this one was a little different. It was a long time coming.

I first heard about skydiving when I was a kid. Instantly, I knew that one day, I’d do it. Heights don’t particularly bother me, and I’ve always had a bit of a thirst for the unknown. Jumping out of a plane was a big tick off my list of Things To Do.

Then, of course, life happened. I had to put my individual goals to the side to focus on bringing up my children and giving them the best start in life I could. Being a single parent to 4 kids is a busy life.

(To be fair, I sneaked in a little bit of travel, with the whole family going to Bali and Thailand, and David15 and I having a quickk junket to Singapore the first Christmas he didn’t stay with the kids’ father. I sent the music kids to the US when they were in secondary school, as well as the trips the school made to The Red Centre and Tassie. I wanted the travel bug to get them.)

Now – it’s finally MY TIME.

I achieved Financial Independence three years ago and retired. I have no ties other than the dogs, as my kids are all independent. I’m so lucky that Georgia29 still lives at home and is likely to stay here for the next 3 years while she finishes her course.

I have 3 years to travel. Georgia29 looks after the dogs and the garden when I’m gone, which saves me thousands of dollars. I’m free to explore.

But not every goal is travel, unless you count jumping from a plane and plummeting to Earth as travel. I asked the kids to club together for my birthday and get me something I really want. Something that wouldn’t clutter up the place and just be forgotten.

I wanted to skydive for my 60th.

Here I am with all the gear on. We’d just finished watching a safety video and I had to race to take my rings off and put them in the locker with my bag. These rings are precious to me… I bought the emerald in Phuket and the sapphires were a 21st present from my parents. Imagine if they whipped off and fell away during the dive? I’d be crying, “Nooooooo!”

People were asking if I was nervous. I can honestly say that there wasn’t an ounce of nervousness in me. I was calm. I was going to do this and I knew I’d enjoy it. I wasn’t excited or jumping around. I was still and certain. I didn’t start to get a bubble of excitement in my stomach until we were driving into the airport.

We drove from Elwood to Moorabbin airport. I’ve driven past here probably thousands of times and never been inside before. We all got into an impossibly small plane and the instructors strapped themselves to us. There were 7 of us doing the jump.

Then up we flew. Up, up, past the clouds and over the top. We were high. Melbourne and the bay were stretched out below us. Then, the instructor closest to the door swung it open, nodded to his passenger and then they almost rolled out the door.

The other couples closest to the door shuffled along and Out! Out! Out!

It was so quick. They definitely don’t give people time to chicken out.

The plane swung around to regain its position. Then it was our turn. I smiled and shuffled toward the open door. I grabbed hold of the loops in front of the harness, as we were told to do.

Then we were out.

And flying.

I couldn’t keep the goofy grin from my face while we were freefalling.

We had around a minute of freefall.

That minute lasted a long time. It was beautiful up there.

The was a peace and serenity that I can’t describe. The wind was whipping past us, but along with the sound of the wind was a high note, just at the edge of my hearing.

The city and the bay were below and there we were, arms outstretched and flying so free. It was only a minute but I feel that it changed something inside me. There’s a pocket of peace and happiness in me that wasn’t there before.

Then there was a tap on my shoulder to tell me to grasp the loops at the front again. Then with a whoosh, we went upwards as the parachute was opened.

The instructor operated the parachute so we whirled and swooped, allowing us to see everything as we slowly descended.

Down there, my friend Alice from work was in her backyard filming one of us coming down. Of course, we’re convinced it was me that she caught!

I was so happy up there. It’s the best feeling.

Then, sadly, we were heading into land on Elwood foreshore. Look at my expression. I wanted it to last for longer, even though it lasted far longer than I expected.

I’ll carry this experience in a small part of me forever.

Look at me with my feet held firmly out. We’re told to land on our bum, and not to lower our ankles or they could be broken. I’m going to Canada and Alaska in 6 weeks. No way I was going to risk ruining that trip!

Deana from England gave me some pink socks and I told her they’d be jumping out of a plane today. Here they are, gracefully making their way back to earth.

The landing.

Hair bedraggled from the wind but so happy – there I was. I’m not sure I have a Bucket List, but if I do, this was one important item ticked off.

If I hadn’t achieved Financial Independence, I would’ve been in a classroom, looking out of the window when the kids were working and dreaming of where else I could be. Most days of my retirement are mundane and contented, just ambling along doing the day-to-day tasks that I need or want to get done. Just days of simple little things.

And then there are days like this.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. Maureen Carreau Martuscello

    What an amazing experience!Wow!

  2. Debbie

    How amazing!! Well done!

  3. sandyg61

    Well done on achieving your dream.

  4. Josie

    What a wonderful adventure!! The joy on your face!
    If you are in Dubai in the next 5 years, you can zip line from the 52 floor of a building down to the bay. It’s one where you are in “Superman” pose on your stomach. I did it because my friend challenged me. I was very nervous, but so glad I did it! Many places apparently have an age cut off and this year was mine.

    • FrogdancerJones

      So many things to do! (Before the age cut-off.)

  5. chasingfiredownunder

    Amazing! Sky diving has been on my bucket list for ages as well, but unlike you I *am* afraid of falling! So haven’t got around to it yet. My other bucket list item of scuba diving was recently ticked off though, so making progress on things that scare me!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Just take the leap and jump out of a plane. Everyone was smiling at the end!

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