Archive | July, 2012

Aiming for the moon… and for the sunrise

22 Jul

“Aiming for the moon and missing it is better than aiming for the ditch and hitting it” -Unknown

That’s what I told myself when I decided to register for a 40km adventure night race in Hong Kong. The first time I heard about the MoonTrekker event, I was chilling on a junk boat with friends while working on my tan. Living the glamorous HK life! I had recently moved to the city and was enjoying my new life in Asia with style.  I still didn’t know about all the hiking opportunities that Hong Kong presented and I was definitely unaware that the city hosted such adventurous racing events.

MoonTrekker immediately intrigued me… I liked the name (slightly mystical) and I was attracted by the idea of racing through the mountainous trails of Lantau island under the moonlight. Starting in Mui Wo and finishing at Cheung Sha Beach, the objective of the race was to reach the end before sunrise. How exciting it must be! That same night, I tried to register for MoonTrekker. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for me since I had not done any training), the organizers weren’t accepting any more participants, as it was too close to the event’s date.  My registration attempt and hopes were shattered. Instead of being discouraged, I was determined to register for the 2012 edition. And that’s what I did at the beginning of May this year, along with three other highly motivated girlfriends. Team Moonshine was born and the training begun…

Preparing for this kind of adventure race is such a great way to explore the many trails the region has to offer. During our training sessions, Hong Kong’s abundance of lush green valleys and the limitless blue ocean often blow me away. This island is truly stunning but tourists and visitors don’t often get a chance to see this.

View from Dragon's Back, a famous hike in Hong Kong

View from Dragon’s Back trail, a famous hike in Hong Kong

As it will be our first time participating in an event of this magnitude, we don’t want to put too much pressure on our shoulders. We just want to finish. There are some hardcore athletes racing in this event every year and as I looked at the results from 2011, I momentarily second guessed my decision to participate. But then I decided not to stress about it. We are four fit, enthusiastic girls and we will train hard. We will aim for the moon. And try to make it to the end before sunrise.

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My Hong Kong: Beyond the concrete jungle

16 Jul

Originally from Quebec City in Canada, I now call myself a Hongkonger since June of  2011. Hong Kong being my fifth international address in less than 10 years, I am hopeful that it will also be my last, or at least a very long-term one… It seems that I have finally reached the “I want to settle down” phase, much to my mother’s relief.

 The thing is… I really like this place. I have liked it since the beginning and for many reasons. The main one is definitely this cute little Chinese guy I moved to Hong Kong for. But there is also so much to do here and I too often get myself overwhelmed (in a good way).

I have a day job in Business Development, and it always makes me sad to hear international customers describing HK as nothing more than a concrete jungle full of shopping malls and skyscrapers, with lots of people, pollution and noise. Ok, I’ll admit that they are not completely in the wrong… But it is obvious that they also ignore what the rest of the city has to offer, which is the part of Hong Kong I prefer. I am referring to the easy access to mountains and ocean, and to so many other small things and quirky places that make this Special Administrative Region of China so fun to live in.

To resume it all, this blog is basically bits and pieces of my journey as an expat in HK, as I am discovering the city (and probably some other parts of Asia, everything being so close). It is about the side of Hong Kong that tourists and business travellers often don’t really know about, that side that I call my Hong Kong.

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