Hong Kong what can I even say here ! After leaving Baltic rainy conditions in Ireland I walked through Hong Kong Airport doors and was floored by the stifling humidity. I Thank God everyone appeared to be able to speak English and I had no trouble grabbing a taxi to my hotel that I booked the night before on booking.com (it was a total baarrgaaainnnnn). Although the people I encountered could not have been nicer I did feel a cold detached undertone to the people and their surroundings. As you drive in to the ‘city’ suburbs the skyscrapers rise up out of their jungle surrounding like something out of the walking dead these buildings and infrastructure look as if they are in constant competition to keep the wild at bay. Being a closet hippie and country girl I have to say I think 99% of the buildings I observed were bloody hideous and completely clashed with their beautiful surroundings, this coupled with the smell and the smog did absolutely nothing to endear this grotesquely majestic city to me. I think everyone should at some point experience the blatant abuse of natural resources for the sake of greed and gain that occurs in Asia. I am really hoping that my travels later on will change my view on this aspect of the continent and to be quite honest I hope I am very wrong … because if not I feel like this planet is in serious trouble.
Picture this ! Saturday morning starting into the graveyard shift at your shitty supervisor job in a local greasy spoon café, after an amazing second summer spent with good horses and good friends in the US…. This morning in September was when I had my first real ‘what the fuck are you doing with your life ??? moment’ since finishing university in June. I knew I had to work to afford either my MPHIL or my PME to get a ‘real job’ out of my 4 years hard graft at Uni but I just was not prepared to work in the pissing rain and freezing cold of the Irish winter for fuck money and zero appreciation. So this my friends is where this journey began in 2016. I quit said job 5 days later and accepted a position thousands of miles away doing something I believed in. I should start by saying my love affair with all things equine began from birth there was never any hope for my mother’s wish of it just being a ‘phase’ … so far it seems to be becoming a lifelong affliction.
So I applied via USIT for an Australian working holiday visa with zero funds and so the ball was a rollin ! (as always USIT could not be more helpful, I have planned all of my previous solo adventures through them and Patrick and the team are amazing!). Within a week I had my visa and a flight booked for 18/10/16. This adventure would not have been possible without the unending generosity of my second mother, aka ‘Auntie Hell’ who never wavers in her support of me both financially and emotionally. So many people did not think I would actually leave and go to Oz after 4 years away studying but off I went. That morning in Dublin Airport with my mam was a very bittersweet experience I went to Uni to get the qualifications I needed to stay in Ireland and to build a life and a business for myself (we will get to that later), yet here we were 4 years x2 degrees and thousands of euro later with a pile of suitcases, equestrian paraphernalia and two crying women. Yes I could have stayed, I could have continued working in that café , done my teaching degree online and probably married a farmer and lived a blissful country existence but I never really believed that was all I could be. I wanted to be myself and chase a ridiculous notion across the world first. I know it broke my parents hearts and I have to live with that but I always told them I will go back, I have unfinished business with the emerald isle you see.
So with red eyes, a designer neck pillow (thank you TKmaxx) and a pile of samsonites I set off for Sydney and Gai Waterhouse Racing via Hong Kong J .