A travel blog written by UK and International Training Manager, Stefanie:
“From the epic exploring of the rainforest to the panoramic views at the Peak, Hong Kong was not only a place of extraordinary new sites and experiences for me but also a taste of the wonderfully caring, generosity and kind heartedness that I experienced from its people.
I have been a Training Manager with ESPA for 5 years and still get unbelievably excited when I see in advance the brand new country I am due to visit. For me the experience of new cultures, the people, the food and the weather are what make travelling so fantastic.
I visited Hong Kong in early June, the weather was humid and hot it was like walking off the aeroplane into a misty, hot steam room at the Spa. The account I was travelling to for ESPA training was one of our accounts called Bodywize. The Spa was located centrally in the heart of downtown Hong Kong and was not part of a hotel. The concept was a health, yoga and mindfulness retreat away from the bustling and busy streets of the centre. On the first floor of the retreat was the reception area consisting of very beautiful Yoga attire – I am big into maintaining a healthy lifestyle including trying different types of fitness, exercise classes and also Yoga so this I took huge interest in. The second floor was where the treatment rooms were located and also the ESPA retail area, where all our products were beautifully displayed amongst thousands of crystals, Buddha statues and candles giving the sense of calm and serenity as soon as you left the bustling Hong Kong streets. On this same floor was the Yoga studio, it was unlike anything I had ever seen before with Ariel ropes, ribbons and harnesses attached to the ceiling of the studio. Intrigued by this I asked the Manager of the Spa and Yoga Retreat, Liza, ‘how do you use those?’ to which she proceeded to show me – demonstrating upside down acrobatic-like Yoga poses that made me actually feel quite dizzy. I thought to myself – I NEED to try this before I leave!
Each day I would take the same walk through the overbearing humidity from my hotel which was a few blocks away, passing the street food stalls on route where they would be selling a selection of Cantonese delicacies. I would then make it to the Retreat to begin training with the team. The team, made up of six Therapists, some from Hong Kong, some from the Philippines and some from surrounding countries. The emotion that really struck me from the team was their passion, they truly wanted to learn and were so enthusiastic and grateful for it. As a trainer it’s the best feeling when you can engage with your Therapists team on a level which brings out the very best of their unique skills and qualities.
During my spare time and weekend in Hong Kong I was lucky enough to be shown around by a ‘local.’ A friend and previous work colleague living on Hong Kong Island. She kindly took me to see the most amazing sites and views that Hong Kong had to offer, as well as very good food! We trekked up to the highest point on the island called the Peak – where we had views for miles and miles. We picked a pretty good time to be up there, as we dodged in between the downpours of the tropical rainstorms on the way up and the sun coming out at the summit. We had deservedly worked up enough of an appetite for a meal at the Lookout Restaurant.
Continuing the exploration of Hong Kong, determined as I was to see as much as possible, we visited street markets filled with designer handbags, purses, shoes, albeit fake but very good fakes at that! We took a Ferry journey across the river to the very stunning Peninsula Hong Kong hotel and Ritz Carlton hotel where they kindly let us peek at their Spa for a touch of industry/market research.
As an International Training Manager with ESPA we get to meet the most amazing people from all different walks of life; we get to know them as people, not just work partners. These people become friends and contacts for life. If this wasn’t rewarding enough we are able to travel the world to places we could otherwise only ever dream of.
To me, my job isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a career to which I am extremely lucky and grateful for. Prepare to work hard, have strength, determination and passion and the world can be your oyster!”
Thank you for reading.