NEW BLOG POST!
Recently, at a conference I attended in California, I met Katie Wilks, a representative from the travel and ticketing resource company Mighty Mongoose. This company has developed a reputation for offering exciting and fun ways to explore major cities across America through a wide range of attractions, tours and events.
After being given the opportunity as a blogger to experience one of their tours, I set out to select something different — something that I wouldn’t ordinarily position myself to do. I could have picked any one of their great offerings — a Walking Italian Food Tour, The Botanic Gardens (I’ve never visited there) and several trolley and bus tours. Although these were all packaged nicely, the one that stood out was The Helicopter Tour of Downtown Chicago. It was as if neon lights encircled it.
I have wanted to do something daring for quite some time! When I was a child, I vowed that I would be a skydiver when I grew up. I was that kid who was always enamored with people who were mountain climbers or something that had an element of risk.
Photo: We (that’s me on the left) are in the cabin of the “copter”
Now, I must admit — I had to give taking advantage of this helicopter excursion a second thought. After all, when I first dreamed of skydiving, I was a kid. Now I’m a 50+ woman, who likes daring, but with caution. After I did due diligence, but more importantly after I thought about how I would feel if I didn’t go on the ride, I said yes!!! I’m at that stage in life where I don’t want to let fear hold me back — it’s now or never!
Mighty Mongoose was gracious enough to allow me to bring a guest along for this exciting opportunity, so I ran a “Can You Guess My Favorite American City Contest” on my This…I…Do…For…Me (TIDFM) Facebook Page!
Twanda Gates of Milwaukee, Wisconsin guessed correctly — San Francisco! Love that city! Twanda, like me, loves to travel, and even more ironic, she has a bucket list of things to experience and a helicopter ride was on it!
I just love when a plan comes together, especially when it involves playing a role in helping to bring someone’s dream to fruition.
Upon arrival at Chicago’s premier helicopter tour company Rotorzen, located at 1339 S. Wood Street, we were given an orientation by its professional staff. We were given an overview of the helicopter that we would ride in and the iconic Chicago sites we would see. We then met the man of the hour — our experienced pilot, Travis, who would guide us on this excursion! By the way, Rotorzen operates out of the largest heliport in North America.
As we took off on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at 2:30 p.m., I and Twanda took a deep breath, then relaxed long enough to enjoy a new experience.
It’s one thing to see The Willis Tower, Millennium Park, The Hancock Building, Museum Campus, Soilder Field, Navy Pier, Trump Tower and even Lincoln Park Zoo all on ground level, but to see these well known sites well above 1,000 feet, is awe-inspiring. All I could keep thinking was “I AM ACTUALLY DOING THIS!”
TIDFM contest winner Twanda Gates put it this way, “The helicopter ride was such an exhilarating experience. The pilot was personable and professional, and he was an excellent tour guide. Thanks to TIDFM and the excursion sponsor Mighty Mongoose for my first helicopter tour.”
As I reflect on this wonderful day, I can’t help but to feel encouraged by the fact that just because you’re 50+ years old, your dreams (both postponed or denied) can still manifest.
Too many times we look at situations and opportunities from the view point that we are way too old to try something new and daring. We feel it’s too late, so we over enmesh ourselves in other things and other people to compensate for our fear. This is not healthy. We want a balance between doing our thing and assisting others to do theirs.
Too many times we say we are going to do something after we lose some weight, or after the kids are off to college or some other moment in time. The time is now! Stop putting things off and LIVE!
Make a list of those things you want to do, do them, and add new items to the list on a regular basis. You will be amazed at yourself.
Thank you Mighty Mongoose and Rotorzen Tours for playing a role in me living my dreams.
All Photos Were Taken by Robin Tillotson and Twanda Gates