I’d just finished uni. Originally I was looking at going to Europe and then I remembered that it’s actually cold over there so decided I’d head somewhere a bit warmer. I started off in Egypt – so I spent two weeks travelling around Egypt and then headed down to Zambia from Malawi, where I was starting my safari As part of the tour group you go along as they offer you extra activities at each different location. That was one that popped up and I thought, “Why not?” Not everyone was, er, quite game enough to jump. Fourteen of them did it successfully and then lucky me was last. I was fine until I stood up and actually looked over the edge, and they have you standing there and the camera man comes over and he’s like “Right, have you got any last words?” and then when you sort of, your brain sort of flicks and you go
“Hang on, what if something does go wrong?” You remember that a hundred four
people had come up before me and you see their faces. It looks like they had an amazing time, so I wasn’t really worried, maybe a little bit nervous. As you go off you see this blur of green and blue in the background ’cause you’re going really quickly, and that’s when I came to a sudden stop in the air. That was my safety harness, which actually snapped and then I just remember opening my eyes underwater, seeing all this murky brown bubbly stuff. So you can’t really see anything. It’s like being in a washing machine. You don’t know which way’s up, which way’s down. Blew bubbles so I was like “The bubbles are going this way. Follow the bubbles.” And I got to about a metre below the surface and then the cord got stuck. As you run out of oxygen you know your lungs are on fire and you start to get that tunnel vision. The edges of your vision start to go black. I could see the surface but I just couldn’t get there – the rope was stuck. Lying there and going “Nup, that’s it. I want to get out of this. I don’t want to die today.” and I actually had to turn myself back
around, swim down under the water and yank on the rope until it came free. After I was air lifted from Zimbabwe to
South Africa I got a call, I was like, “Who would be calling me from Canberra?” so it turns out, yeah the consulate in Canberra had found out through me registering with Smartraveller just before I went, and worked out that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be and I think made the call that way. Register with Smartraveller so they know where you are and what you’re doing, and the other would be take out full travel insurance, something that going to cover you for no matter what – unlimited medical expenses – so that you’re going to be looked after if you ever, if something does happen.