A mother and daughter from Scotland enjoyed an unforgettable ‘bucket list’ hot air balloon ride when they took to the skies over Perth.
Anne and her daughter Angela booked their sky-high adventure after Anne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
They were lucky enough to fly on their very first booking, taking off from The North Inch park in Perth city centre on a fresh April morning.
Anne had always wanted to enjoy a hot air balloon ride but had been thinking about it more and more since she was diagnosed last year. When she mentioned it to her daughter, Angela knew she just had to make it happen for her mum.
“After mum was diagnosed with Parkinson’s last year, she was worried that life wouldn’t be as fun and her activities would be very limited in future,” said Angela.
“She was talking about things she wished she’d had the chance to do and would still like to do, one of which was a hot air balloon ride.
“She’d always been keen on adventure and the minute she mentioned it, I knew we should just go for it – life’s too short.”
Feeling Your Cares Melt Away
Anne said the experience was so wonderful that it made her forget she had any health problems.
“The air was so fresh and pure. It reminded me of when I used to go hill walking: being on the top of a mountain made the stress, frustrations and trivia of life pale into insignificance,” she said of being up in the air.
“I forgot I had health problems because I was so enjoying being in the moment!
“Most memorable was seeing the shadow of the balloon travelling across the hillside and also simply the exhilaration of going higher and higher.”
Regarding her medical condition, Anne said having Parkinson’s disease did not hamper her hot air balloon ride experience in any way.
“I did run the idea past my GP, physiotherapist and Parkinson’s nurse prior to Angela booking the flight. The Parkinson’s nurse was very enthusiastic and she did not envisage any problems,” she added.
“I liked the little seat and the padding on the inside of the basket, which I especially appreciated during landing!”
Pilot Kate and her crew were also on hand to help Anne if she needed it, removing the padded seat from the basket after landing for her to sit on while the other passengers got stuck in helping to pack away the balloon.
Bucket List Hot Air Balloon Ride
Despite inheriting her mum’s love of adventure, daughter Angela wasn’t initially too keen on a hot air balloon ride herself as she doesn’t like heights.
But knowing how much her mum would want to share her bucket list hot air balloon ride with someone – “I was just thinking about mum enjoying herself” – she faced her fears and hopped on board, thoroughly enjoying the experience.
“For a brief moment when we first lifted I felt nervous but after that I felt completely relaxed,” she said.
“It was a very peaceful and beautiful experience. It was great seeing both Perth and the countryside to see the contrasts.
“I don’t think there was one particularly memorable moment. I loved the fact you came down lower and then could gracefully soar up again.
“Like mum said, I liked seeing the shadow of the balloon on the landscape and being able to escape busy, hectic life for a wee while. I’d have happily stayed up all morning!”
The wind even took them in the direction of Angela’s home town of Loch Leven, where they would see right across the Dundee where she worked.
“It’s been amazing driving along the motorway to work since the flight, as I’m aware of so many other sights that I was unaware of on the commute in a car. I feel like I’m seeing the journey from a new perspective,” she added.
First Time Lucky
Anne and Angela had been hoping they would fly first time, given the progressive nature of Anne’s condition and were thrilled when it actually happened.
“I was desperately hoping that we would fly first time,” said Angela.
“I was a bit concerned that if it was put off too many times then mum might not be well enough to manage it. I really wasn’t expecting to go first time but was delighted when we did.”
As the charity Parkinson’s UK explains on its website, everyone’s Parkinson’s is different and it’s important to get the right advice and support for your own experience of the condition.
But as Anne has demonstrated, having a medical condition doesn’t have to stop you from aiming to #TakeLifeHigher and if a hot air balloon ride is on your list of adventures, we’d love to help you experience it if we can.
Find out all you need to know about our balloon flights and how you can book on our website here or call our team on 01952 212750.
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