I was shivering with excitement on the first day of the course. The anticipation was a nervous kind of energy, which tingled through me like electrical sparks as I travelled to Outward Bound School. I was new to everything. I was curious to know what it was be going to happen during the 18 days (18-Day Classic Achievers Programme). All I knew was I would be involving in some activities like kayaking, sailing, and hiking. The journey itself might be adventurous and beautiful, yet I was afraid for it was all new and my heart beat all the harder.

During the course, I smelt stinky, very stinky, so did my teammates. It was the kind of smell that stopped you thinking. All that was left in your brain once the smell reached you was a desire to flee. We were so delighted to engage in every single task. We paddled from Sai Kung area to the North East of the New Territories. Kayaking was tough and I sweated a lot. It soaks into the waistband of my shorts. It annoyed me, I hate to sweat but when I saw my teammates paddling hard and encouraging me, I decided to go on.

The happiness is infectious.

We then paddled through the sea caves. Strong wind was blowing, and the sea was gray and white. The happiness started as a tingle in my finger and toes, much like the feeling I had when I was anxious, but instead of worrisome it was warm. I felt it passed through me like a warm ocean wave, washing away the stress of my day to leave me refreshed inside. We laughed and made silly jokes. I enjoyed every moment with them!

Ketch sailing was another big challenge. Rarely did I get on board and learn sailing. As long as we got on the ketch, I was introduced all the equipment. We sailed to Tung Ping Chau and went through Tolo harbor. The ketch bounced along the waves sending cold spray onto the deck, a good chance to cool ourselves under the heat. I would describe ketch sailing as flying over water, dancing over the white crested waves, cleaving a path through the wind-whipped water. This was my first time sailing on a ketch and it was a great achievement for our team. I was glad that my instructor appreciated our teamwork. We took control of the ketch! I felt the freedom on the sea!

Off the boat, it came to the mountain journey. I was given a big backpack. I could not believe that it weighted even heavier than my weight. It perched on my back like a baby koala to its mother throughout my hiking trail. I could barely breath and walk at the beginning. Soon, we got used to the heavy weight and we walked 10 to 20 km per day! I felt the tranquil beauty of nature. The trees surrounded me were alive with birds and squeaking insects. In the valley below there were ponds and rivers with fish. I was not alone at all, yet the solitude I could achieve in nature felt like a running faucet-draining away our stress.


We walked fast the next day. We set a new challenge for ourselves ---the SUNRISE challenge. I still remember the yellow shining sun started rising from the ground. It filled the sky with mighty colours of red and splashed the clouds with endless rays of orange. It was bright and mesmerising as it was inviting me to stare deep into the horizon.

Let the mountains speak for themselves.

There was nothing more scarier than height itself. It took a long time for me to overcome the difficulties, especially in the sessions of high ropes, abseiling, and rock climbing. Every time I came down from the top, I clenched my fists as I hesitantly took each step. I noticed my feet tremble. My legs twitched, fighting the impulse to whirl around and landed on the ground. I was so thankful that my trustworthy team supported me all the time. We shared our experience and this brought us even closer and showed more compassion to each other.

The most silent moment that I had ever had in my life was probably the SOLO session. It was rare to enjoy the quiet moment in nature.  I was so surprised to receive a letter from my parents while I was alone on an isolated island. I missed them so much and I could not control my tears. I had so much things to share with them.