A journey of self-discovery and adventure has taken Mojie to some of the most beautiful places around the world. She has participated in a lot of extreme sports in her life, including skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving. On March 30th, 2018, she enrolled in Outward Bound Hong Kong’s offshore sailing journey “Sail To Taiwan”, making her the oldest female participant who has sailed (800 nautical miles) with Outward Bound Hong Kong’s record.
“I somehow find retirement a bit boring but luckily I am a very active person, I cannot stop trying new things in my life. I’ve covered many sports - scuba diving, bungee jumping, sailing - you name it. I have seen many beautiful landscapes out there and the nature always amazes me,” she said.
Just a year ago, Mojie was like other white collars, working inside the office with air conditioning 5 days a week. She just started her retirement last year and has been travelling everywhere with her husband. When asked if she would encounter emotional fears such as loss of professional status and self-image, change and concern over how to spend extra time, she said, “The best way to overcome it is to stay positive and keep herself busy.”
“My transition to retirement was not smooth at the beginning but I overcame it step by step. I don’t need to work anymore and I have more time to relax and do things that I haven’t tried before,” she said.
Mojie sees retirement as a way to enjoy life. Instead of being worried about retirement, she embraced it and planned accordingly.
The offshore 15-day round-trip sailing journey from Hong Kong to Taiwan has given a sparkling energy to her life.
“I was really worried before the course. Not because of the safety issue but the rejection of the enrolment! This sailing journey had been in my bucket list since I was a teenager,” she exclaimed.
Outward Bound programmes are designed for all walks of life and ages, from 9 to 65. Mojie was worried that she was too old and not qualified for the programme.
She also worried that she would find herself horrendously seasick and not functionable on the yacht. Seasickness is miserable and can be debilitating, but it also encouraged her to face her fears. She sees it a part of her personal growth.
Living and working on the yacht helped me discover more about myself I better understand how far I can push myself. I learned to be more resilient. Much like confidence, it’s an attitude that we must build over time and work hard to sustain.
It was not the first time Mojie had been in an Outward Bound sailing programme. She had her first voyage with “Ji Fung”, Outward Bound Hong Kong’s 40 meter sailing vessel in 1998.
From the moment she started sailing she noticed changes. She recognised that every time she was in nature, her well-being and happiness were growing and that also made her return to Outward Bound after 20 years.
During the journey, which covers 800 nautical miles, the participants experienced nature at its best. For Mojie, it's like living in a natural environment every day. Offshore, it became common to see wild dolphins race the yacht, albatross soar through the steep waves of the South China Sea, and to night sail beneath billions of stars.
The starry sky was ablaze with light and it was wonderfully unexpected!
Mojie said she hopes to inspire other women to dream big and go for more challenges, especially in Outward Bound programmes and outdoor activities. She spends time outdoors regularly and after this latest Outward Bound course, she will continue to seek out challenges and has become a better problem solver.
No person is an island and everyone is a piece of the continent. Mojie found this particularly true in this round-trip sailing to Taiwan. “Work cannot be done by one person alone even with the help of machines, and it was much more fun to work with fellow sailors,” as Mojie recalled
Clear communication was the key to the successful sailing experience. “When sailing, our captain gave us clear and precise commands. I think it’s important to give constructive comments and be selfless as a team, it’s not helpful if you confront just because you want to,” she said.
At Outward Bound, teamwork and communication enhancement have always been the emphasis in course design. Participants are expected to be better team players and better communicators upon finishing courses, and they can translate their learnings to daily lives.