When we went punting in Cambridge, I took special note that our guide’s name was Derrick, as I’d had another guide by the same name on a previous trip.


OG Derrick was my jumping buddy when I went skydiving in Namibia, which remains number one in the top three most exciting near death experiences of my life.

1. Skydiving with Derrick in Namibia

2. Taking a “wrong exit” and “turning around” behind an old Wal*Mart after bar close in Atlanta with a bunch of Brazilian men we’d just met that invited us to another club that was open til 6am

3. That time that Don Lemon replied to my tweet about how sexxii he is

While camping our way through Namibia, our bus driver had mentioned that when we got to the coastal town of Swakopmund, we’d have to the opportunity to engage in some adventure sports and mentioned skydiving, which I was ALLLLLLL about.


My friend Kaley was also allll about it, and so was Ashley after I put her in the Walls of Jericho and forced her to write her name on the sign up sheet.


Unfortunately, only four of us could go up in the tiny, rickety plane at one time and that number included an instructor for each person. Since Kaley and I had gotten in a text-fight right before we left on the trip, she and Ashley paired up and I got to go up in the air with just myself and Derrick. Derrick was in a tight diving suit and attached the parachute to his body in such a way that he really accentuated his package, so that made for a very comfortable flight.


He didn’t speak to me for much of the flight, just enough to point out the hospital where Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was born, but he really didn’t need to. I was too busy surveying the incredible landscape with the Atlantic Ocean to my left and the vast Namib Desert to my right. I was trying my best to enjoy every second of the view, but it was a little hard to do sitting unprotected right by the open door of a little puddle-jumper. And when I say “open door,” I mean there was no door at all.

When Derrick told me it was time to jump, he flipped me around to attach himself to me. At that point, I was pretty certain Derrick’s possible boner was going to bump me right out the open door of that plane and I was going to plummet to my death as he watched from the comfort of the sky. At least our professor had us record goodbye videos to our parents in the event of our untimely deaths, and our insurance covered costs if our bodies had to be shipped back to America.

He sat me right on the edge, my feet dangling thousands of feet in the air and then we rocked ourselves right out the plane and I was indeed hurtling toward the earth. I had just put my precious life in the hands of Erection Derrick.

After about 15 seconds of free-falling, it occurred to me that not a peep had come out of my mouth. So, I did what any normal person would do, and started screaming my freaking brains out because it was possible that I was about to die.

Shortly thereafter, Derrick pulled the string and, to my delight, the chute opened and we continued in a much less dramatic float through the air. The exhilarating part was over, but at least my cheeks weren’t jiggling anymore and Derrick wasn’t in my ear instructing me to kick his ass while we glided back to the ground.


When we landed, I had Kaley and Ashley at my side with a video camera, catching my initial reaction. The interview went a lot like this:

It was GREAT. My hair was a hot mess and I could hardly walk, but I was dying to go up again and already feeling tinges of jealousy as I watched my friends come down.

If you ever have the chance to do something crazy in a foreign country, do it. If it seems sketchy, all the more reason to do it. I have such a strong urge to jump out of a plane again, but I doubt that experience can ever be topped here in Iowa!

P.S. Honestly Kayla now has a Facebook page so I suggest you go “Like” it!