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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 158 > A leap of faith

A leap of faith

Leanne Bracey travels to the island of Madeira to experience new heights, daring descents and to overcome her fears

Standing on the edge of a waterfall in Ribeira das Cales, deep in the verdant mountains of Madeira, I contemplate my first canyoning jump into the cold depths of the water below. I’ve hung back from the group, feeling out of my comfort zone. This is a girl who’s tried abseiling on the Isle of Man, paragliding in Switzerland and caving in the Ardèche (zipwire in a pitch-black cave). Over the past few years, I’ve pushed my limits when it comes to conquering my fears, both in my personal life and my chosen experiences.

However, I remain petrified of being in open water, so resolve to combat this. Madeira isn’t just for the cruise posse and weekend warriors in search of winter sun. Extreme sports-seekers get sucked into the mountains and surrounding waters in search of a natural high; a three-hour plane journey, the promise of good food and interesting activities is all it takes to convince me.

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