My first Outward Bound course was an 18-day course in 2014 and the second one was Sail To Taiwan in 2018. The first course was an 18-Day Classic Achievers Programme. For me, the experience was quite tough as I was not well-prepared. But I would say studying is tougher than going to Outward Bound courses! Even if I lack preparation and suffered from seasick during the course, I really enjoyed the experience of kayaking and sailing. I was an inactive person before the course, staying indoors and studying was my “habit”. Therefore, being in a different environment provides an opportunity for me to have new insights and experiences that I have never had before. During the 18-days journey, I paddled on rough open waters and through various caves and floated on a picturesque sea surrounded by dolphins and fish! I admit the sailing part is my favourite part of the journey. It really pushed my limit further. I had to stay in a yacht with my teammates all of the time, just like living on the boat. I sailed, navigated, lived, cooked, ate, slept, learnt, taught, cleaned, dipped, and swam- all the while on a 67-foot sailing vessel with 14 other people. As there was not too much snacks on board, I came to appreciate the sweetness of the orange. That was the most delicious orange I had ever had.
Inspiration, a space for self-reflection and the powerful driving force. First, there were so much work to do in the college and I was exhausted. My brain told me that it was time to stop and needed some downtime. When I am in the outdoors, the mental breaks increase my productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories and brainstorm my creativity and get inspiration. Second, I particularly like the Solo section which allows me to discover myself. The Solo section sounded horrible to me at first because I really hated staying outdoors with the insects! But later I got used to it and guess what - I slept in the tent with ants crawling on my skin! Not only it was exciting and fun, but it was quite an eye-opening and liberating experience as well. Plus, I reckon the time I spent alone in nature without mobile devices, I could stay calm and think deeply about my career path which I was too busy to do it before - how I define my personality and value . Free from distractions and influences from others, I understood more about my interest, my talents and weaknesses and to find out my next step of career exploration. Third, the course gave me a powerful driving force to success! For me, the transition to university or to career was one of the most difficult changes I would face up in my life. When so many aspects of life shift at once, I felt overwhelmed to know how to pursue faithfulness and exhausted to try. On the surface, educational path and career indecision were running through my head. On a deeper level, I struggled with questions of doubt and faith. However, the experiences in the outdoors with Outward Bound taught me that transition comes with challenges, but it would be even more difficult for the others who were not well-prepared.
Yes I agree. The longer course I had, the more unforeseen circumstances that I needed to face and tackle the challenges, just like the “18-day Classic Achievers Programme” and “Sail To Taiwan”. Also, what makes Outward Bound course rewarding is it helps me to meet more people from different background, we bond together as a group and learn from each other’s strengths.
The journey came to an end far too quickly, but now the real challenge began. I now need to translate everything I learn in the college and Outward Bound and apply it to my professional and personal life. I have to hold myself accountable for the goals I set at the start and step out of my comfort zone at work once and for all. The confidence I have built in the course promoted me to take on more new challenges in daily life and it became something that I have enjoyed doing everyday.