Matthew lacked confidence before his Outward Bound course, an 18-day Classic Achievers Programme. Growing up in a busy city surrounded by thousands of skyscrapers, Matthew, like the others typical young people, seldom gets in touch with nature.  He even feared heights and water activities.  To step out of his comfort zone,  he joined this course in the summer of 2015 and this has successfully built up Matthew’s confidence.

He spent 18 days on a yacht —Spirit of the Outward Bound Kong Kong with 11 other teammates for the journey.  This 18-day journey takes place as an uninterrupted journey-based expedition camping in different locations each night and Outward Bound recognizes that these extended wilderness courses can provide a lifelong reference point with profound meaning for people from Hong Kong. 

At the very beginning, he was too shy to talk with his teammates as they were all strangers to him at that time. Not until the instructors encouraged Matthew to develop a more “can-do” attitude, he tried to talk with his teammates with ease.  He and his teammates started to work together smoothly after breaking the ice and completing different tasks on the yacht.  To Matthew, this was such a precious experience to step out of his comfort zone and build confidence. He learnt the importance of understanding each other’s feelings and needs and how that contributes to effective teamwork, which is so important when living together and working to make the boat operate effectively. 

There were not any fancy showers in the wilderness but I enjoy my time spending in nature—with bird singings and the sounds of splashing waves, breeze and seagulls. It was amazing!

Another big change was boosting his courage. “I had gone through a lot of difficulties during the 18 days. I was frightened of the sea water, especially when it came to the jetty jump!.” The jetty jump became an excellent session to display one’s courage and explore new things. He rose to this challenge with his teammates’ encouragement, which in turn taught positive lessons for his future, learning about how own abilities as well as being a team member. “I still remember my feet were shriving on the platform but I was glad I could finally make a move under my teammates’ supports. I jumped for few times!”

I see Outward Bound programme acts as an important role in my life and I recognised this was definitely a perfect life-changing lesson.

Matthew is now optimistic with lot of confidence and big dreams. His dream is to become a backpacker and explore the world.