Have a quick march through May – it’s National Walking Month!

May is National Walking Month, and here at Webb Associates we’re once again going that extra mile – but this time, on foot!

As every dog owner knows, walking works best when it’s taken as part of your everyday life, rather than making it a big, but very occasional, production involving rucksacks, boots and Kendal Mint Cake.

Some of the staff here make a real effort to walk to work every day – for health, for fitness and, OK if we’re being honest, because the parking isn’t great.

Our copywriter Sharna, for example, walks 2.8 miles a day to work and back, or 14 miles a week. That’s about four hours walking every week.

“It doesn’t feel like that much, because there are plenty of pauses at road crossings in the town,” she says. “But if you’re going to start exercising, you need to start walking.

“It helps with health and fitness and it helps you think as well. And I like to people watch – I smile and nod and say ‘hello’ to other regular walkers along the way.”

Amazing what you might find...

Walking to work is a great way to exercise without thinking too hard about it. Even if it’s impractical to walk the whole way to work, you can park your car further away from the office (and somewhere cheaper?) or get off the bus a stop early to get in your 20 minute walk.

You could even pack the walk into your lunch hour. The UK charity for everyday walking, www.livingstreets.org, suggests setting up a Food Exclusion Zone (FEZ) around your workplace, and making sure you walk for at least 20 minutes when buying your lunch.

Or after work, if you haven’t decided what to have for the evening meal, just walk to the local shops and back.

Even if you’re one of the increasing number of people who work from home, you can walk to work!  Start your 9am day by leaving the house at 8.40am for that 20‑minute circular walk. Yes, it’s a bit eccentric. But it really will help you make that difficult shift from ‘leisure home’ to ‘working home’

Walk the children to school, walk to the pub (no nominated driver needed) walk to the restaurant, walk with your boyfriend/girlfriend (romantic), walk to a friend’s house and back, walk WITH a friend.

Walk with a purpose if it helps – whether it’s to the Post Office to return the internet shoes, or to the newsagents to buy milk and the local paper.

Walk in all but the foulest weathers, because – honestly – no one ever died from drizzle.

And walk whenever you can – and not just in May. Because walking isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your mind. It makes your thoughts blossom.

People have always known this – 150 years ago the philosopher Nietzsche said “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – but it’s something we’ve half-forgotten. So walk to make yourself clever!

And then, by the time the weekend comes, if the family does fancy a serious walk with a capital ‘W’, and you hear the distant rustle of an OS map, you’re not filled with dread, because – without even meaning to – you’ve done all the necessary training.

Six weeks, four countries

Our Account Manager, Becks, has just landed back in the WA office after a six-week sabbatical travelling round Asia with her boyfriend, who currently lives in Hong Kong. As you can imagine, we all couldn’t wait to hear about what she got up to on her trip, so she’s blogged some of her highlights for us. Prepare to be jealous!

Everyone has a list of places they want to visit, and for me Hong Kong just wasn’t one of them – well it certainly wasn’t in my top 10.

So I’m sure you can imagine the look of disbelief on my face when my boyfriend, Matt, arrived home from work back in May 2016 and announced that he had been offered a job contract based in Hong Kong, and we were jetting off for a week’s orientation visit in nine days’ time!HK Blog - The view from The Peak

As those nine days passed I sat on the plane filled with nothing but panic, and I did not expect to end up falling in love with Hong Kong! When I returned home, I also didn’t expect Webb Associates to grant me a six-week sabbatical to explore Asia!

Fast forward seven months and I was back on the runway, settling in for a 12-hour flight back to Hong Kong.

My partner and I have an apartment in central Hong Kong, in an area known as Soho. This really is the hub of the city, with Hong Kong’s famous Lan Kwai Fong square just a stone’s throw away. LKF is home to the best nightlife in the city and the lanes which spiral off it hide some of the craziest bars I have ever visited.

If you ever have the opportunity to explore Hong Kong’s nightlife, Iron Fairies, Ophelia and J Boroski simply must be visited! Although the traditional Chinese restaurants and street food stalls are to die for, every cuisine imaginable can be found within one of Hong Kong’s districts.

I promise my time was not filled sampling every bar and restaurant in Hong Kong, though! We visited most of the tourist attractions including Hong Kong Disneyland, Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, Ocean Park, Repulse Bay and hiked Victoria Peak. We also brought in the New Year on a boat in Victoria Harbour watching the best fireworks display I have ever seen.HK Blog - Big Buddha, HK

Central Hong Kong is so close to the Chinese border that you can hop on a ferry and take the 30-minute journey to Macau. My partner sold Macau to me as ‘the Vegas of Asia’ – and he was true to his word! We spent the evening wandering through streets lined with phenomenal hotels, ordering drinks from a selection of weird and wonderful cocktail menus and gambling the night away. This was all well and good until the time came to get back on the ferry to Hong Kong, which can only be described as far from smooth sailing!

After a few weeks in Hong Kong we flew to the city of Nha Trang on Vietnam’s coast. During our time in Nha Trang, we relaxed on the beach, sampled the amazing seafood, visited beautiful temples and celebrated our seven-year anniversary partying in a rooftop bar overlooking the city. We were lucky enough to make friends with a local diving instructor, Ben, who took us to some stunning bays, where we snorkeled for hours in the 30-degree heat before flying back to Hong Kong.

When we returned from Vietnam, the time came for my partner to return to work, which left me free to explore Hong Kong. The MTR (China’s version of the London Underground) is so simple to use! I made it my mission to tick off as many stops as possible. The place I found myself visiting time and time again was the beautiful Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill. By far the most serene and peaceful place I have ever visited. I spent a lot of my time here just reading and watching the world go by.

Chinese New Year is a huge holiday throughout Asia, and we decided to spend some time celebrating in Siem Reap in Cambodia – home to incredible temples and quite possibly the nicest people on Earth!

We stayed in a hotel in the centre of the town just a short stroll from the renowned Pub Street. The main reason we visited Cambodia – other than the 50 cent beers – was to see the temples. We hired a Tuk Tuk for the day and our driver, Dom, took us on a tour of them.HK BLog - Nha Trang, Vietnam

Our first stop was Ta Prohm, also known as the Tomb Raider temple. The temple, which was built in 1186 A.D., has been absorbed by the forest which surrounds it. This place blew my mind – the photos simply do not do it justice. During our day out with Dom, we visited a number of temples and villages – but we saved the best till last, Angkor Wat.

This temple is the largest religious monument in the world and is high on most people’s bucket lists, and it certainly did not disappoint. Following our day of adventure, it would have been rude not to indulge in some traditional and well-needed massage. On our last night in Siem Reap, we had the opportunity to visit the hidden gem that is Phare, the Cambodian Circus. I don’t want to give anything away, but this is not your traditional circus, and I highly recommend it!

When we returned to Hong Kong following our trip to Cambodia, I only had two weeks left before flying home. The expatriate community in Hong Kong is fantastic, and Matt has made some great friends through work and playing football. My last two weeks in Hong Kong were filled with hiking, rooftop barbecues, football matches and free flow prosecco lunches (which are amazing!). The people I met and the places I visited were simply fantastic and I can’t wait to go back.

Until next time!

HK Blog - Hiking Victoria PeakHK Blog - Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, CambodiaHK Blog - Bringing in the new year HK