Sunday, January 22, 2012

So I'm in Asia now...

I left NYC on Friday, January 13th for the Philippines. The plane ride was relatively painless and 24 hours later I was in my hotel room in Manila. I slept 16 hours only an hour after checking-in which was a wise decision because the following few days would be non-stop late nights and early mornings in Boracay.

First and foremost, this past week has been a magical experience. I LOVE my company and my colleagues. I would never have guessed that a small, intimate, casual organization could work shoulder to shoulder with big corporate clients... but it happens. Our employees are all beautiful, young, outgoing, and friendly individuals with an appreciation for adventure and living in the moment. From day one, these strangers felt like friends. I have never felt so comfortable being myself with a group of strangers as I did during my time at the training summit. By the end of the week, I was sure that I was exactly where I needed to be.
Paraws at Sunset

It's very easy to make friends when you're staying in a beach-front resort on a beautiful island in the Philippines. The Pinoy are the most hospitable people you will ever meet. The mangoes are delicious and daily mango shakes are encouraged, along with $10 one-hour massages. You travel on the island by trikes (dirt bikes attached to carriages) or paraw (sail boats with nets for sitting on). But, for all the beauty and friendliness encountered in Boracay, it is still a third-world country and the signs of poverty are everywhere. The locals live in huts, the stray cats and dogs roam the roads and beaches, and everything is dirt-cheap. It is a fascinating place and I hope to go back soon...

View from our resort.

Only mode of transportation.

My week was filled with many 'firsts'. I tried new foods, met new people, and learned new sales tactics. But my most memorable moment was the company's Amazing Race. Without any money (or camera, they took our belongings) we had to find hidden gemstones, eat balut (hard-boiled chick fetus), get henna tattoos, sell ferris wheel tickets, and haggle for a paraw to take us to a pretty little cove where we watched the sunset.

I'm in Hong Kong now and my apartment is in the hub of all festivities. I'm only a few blocks from Times Square (yes, it's pretty much the same as NYC) and all the tourists and locals are out celebrating the Chinese New Year. There are lights, banners, mini orange trees, red envelopes, and dragons EVERYWHERE.

A few little facts about the Year of the Dragon that I like:
People born in the Year of the Dragon (like me!) are free spirited and believe rules and regulations are for other people. They are naturally confident and fearless. The Dragon is the only creature in the Chinese zodiac that is mystical (all the others are actual animals). The Year of the Dragon is for new beginnings, good luck and fortune.

Happy New Year! Hong Kong.

Things are off to a great start :)

No comments:

Post a Comment