She, grew up in a grass-rooted family. When she was little, her parents always told her to be a good student. What about after being a good student? No one ever told her. In school she was asked to write about “My Dream”, she only knew teachers through the school so she wrote she wanted to be a teacher. She thought of being a Kindergarten Teacher when she was in Primary School, because she could play games with the kids. Then she thought she wanted to be a Primary School teacher when she went to Secondary School, because Primary School kids seemed to be more mature. She wasn’t interested in being a teacher anymore when she was in University, because she was majoring in Social Work. She thought being a Social Worker was like a paid volunteer, she could just take the service users of different age groups to do all kinds of fun things, just like having holidays all the time.
She grew up in Hong Kong, never thought of studying or living overseas. Her parents always said these were the things done by the rich people only. “We are poor” was what she got from their words. In 2007 Christmas, she received a present from the Christians on the street, it was a Youth Magazine and there was an advertisement inside,
Do you wanna live overseas? Do you wanna stay with a foreign host family, and to study in a foreign country? One year, to be a foreign exchange student, come and join us…..
After seeing the ad, she was so excited. She never heard of cultural exchange before, she couldn’t study abroad or move overseas, but she could join a cultural exchange program and be an exchange student. She took the magazine and showed the ad to her mom in excitement, however, her mom responded calmly, “Go and sign up then.” So she decided to apply, she was so excited that night she couldn’t sleep at all, it was like she had already got the offer to start her foreign exchange journey soon.
After submission of the forms, she was invited to attend an interview, at a school located in the HK Island. She could hardly remember what the details were like, some kinds of group interview, self-introduction in English, etc. She only remembered her English sucked, she didn’t even know what she was talking about. However, she got a notice from the Agency few weeks later, and she got the offer. She told her parents the good news, and she saw her mom was kinda shocked at that moment.
She started her 1 year journey to the US in Aug 1998. She remembered the HKCEE results were only out a few days before she left. All classmates were concerned about their grades, but not her, she already had a plan for her following year. She scored 12 in her HKCEE.
Aged 16, she went overseas by herself for the very first time in her life, and for one whole year. However, it changed her life, ever. She used to be a very quiet person, her English was bad, living overseas opened her horizons totally. How free it was to study overseas, photography and choir were formal classes, teachers allowed classmates to lie on the floor to read in the free time, there was an ECA called cheerleading when girls wore mini-skirts and danced and did pyramids.
After one year, she became an extrovert totally. She realized she couldn’t speak properly in the US cos of her poor English. In HK, she could speak fluently in Chinese so she should speak up more often. She also repeated F.5 in her old school, and retake HKCEE. Her English result jumped 2 grades, while her Chinese result jumped 3 grades. She continued her schooling in the same school afterwards. She kept on signing up different ECAs, volunteerings, exchange tours, meeting new friends. Although her HKAL results weren’t good, she managed to get into Social Work in University through recommendation of her Secondary School principal.
In the 3 years of her Uni. life, playing was always on higher priority than studying. She always went overseas in her long or short term-breaks, doing internships, volunteering, going for exchange tours. She met her Uni. career counselor in one occasion. He asked all classmates what their dreams and goals and plans were in the next 5 to 10 years, others answered earning certain amounts of money, getting to certain grades, working in certain big companies, etc. She, however, was not interested in any of those digits, she told the counselor she only wanted to be happy. She, however, was kinda hesitating in her heart if she was being too naïve to voice out that answer.
Last semester of her Uni. life, she had the chance to go to National University of Singapore to be a foreign exchange student. She found out there was a Scuba Diving club, she then went to get her scuba diving license. She found out there was a Cheerleading ECA, she joined to be a member.
Finally it was time to graduate, she started to feel lost in her future. One day she had a crazy thought, she could find a job in Singapore in order to continue joining the Cheerleading ECA. So she started job-hunting in Singapore, and she got an offer, as a social worker. However, the post required her to work on Wednesday night, and did shift on alternate Saturdays, which clashed totally with the time of cheerleading practices. Her cheerleading dream fell apart. One day, she saw an ad. on the newspaper of Middle Eastern Bellydancing, how beautiful it would be to dance in those colorful and gorgeous costumes, she found her new hobby.
After working as a Social Worker in Singapore for 2 years, she realized it wasn’t for her to have a stable social worker life. She found out the Airlines from the Middle East were doing recruitments in Singapore, she was attracted by their beautiful uniforms with shawls hanging down from the hats, and thought how nice it would be to work in the Middle East where she could learn the real Middle Eastern Bellydance. She started to attend all the walk-ins of different airlines, and finally got into Gulf Air, based in Bahrain.
After moving to Bahrain, she then realized Bellydancing was considered a sexy dance than an artform in the Middle East. It was only performed in Cruises or Night Clubs. She couldn’t find any group classes either, only 1-1 class. Her Bellydancing dream was broken again. On the other hand, during the cabin crew training she realized it was a very boring job to be a cabin crew. Just repeating all the checks, boardings, distributing meals, her brain was useless and would rust very soon. Moreover, life in Bahrain was boring, all the rich people did in their lives were shopping in the malls, having high tea in hotels, sunbathing and swimming in resorts, she could never live a life that way. She found a new hobby instead, kept on traveling overseas with her discounted flight tickets.
After working in the airline for 2 years, she had a new thought again, she wanted to tour around the world. She realized in her short travels all the other backpackers had no job commitments. They could travel for months, and followed their hearts when visiting places, rather than covering all the sightseeings in a limited time. She also realized some life skills were a must to learn, like driving a car, her life was terrible without a car in Bahrain. She made up her mind to go back to HK to learn driving, and to spend a year to travel afterwards.
However, she found out getting a driving license was a very complicated matter in HK, lots of time spent on written exam, practicing driving, and taking the road exam. So she thought why not trying job hunting in HK, and see how the Social Welfare Industry was like at that time. She could also practice her interview skills. However, she got quite a few offers as a result.
She never heard of Outward Bound in her life, she thought there were only youth hostels in HK. First time seeing the OB website, she thought it was a job tailormade for her, as it combined both Social Work and Outdoor Trainings, it was her dream job. So she worked as an OB Instructor for 4 years, how fulfilling those days were.
Time flew in 4 years, as more than half of the time was spent with the participants. However, she helped the participants to discover their potentials, she stopped growing on her own. She knew it was time for her to continue her own journey. During those 4 years, she never went backpacking on her own, she knew she only wanted to start a journey with no commitments and no time limit.
On the Valentines’ Day of 2014, she started her journey. “If not now, when?!” She knew deep in her heart, she must finished her goal before her next goal will appear.
To look back her life experiences with the learning model in Outward Bound, all she wanted in her life was to live happily. Enjoy every single day, appreciate every single matter happened, and person encountered. And, to live out her life morals, let it be, be happy, here and now, regretless life.
She never forgot her trainings in Social Work, to her it is a lifestyle to help people to help themselves, she is just doing it in a different way.
Traveling, is my dream
No more job commitment
The real Gap Year
Going to different places
Meeting all kinds of people
Write down their life stories
Share with the whole world
is the dream I wanna achieve this year
She found a little Chinese gift at home, she wanted to bring it with her in her journey, and used it to start exchanging gifts with the other dreams pursuers. So she could receive a lot of gifts, at the same time, giving out a lot of gifts.
夢想專訪0 – 香港女生的快樂夢
與不同的人相遇 相知 相交
與不同的人相遇 相知 相交