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Gamanians’ Grand Tour and Adventures

▲(Source of picture: http://blog.regalmanners.com/ )    

Open your mind and take a stride, let’s go for a grand tour!   

Everyone deserves a grand tour in his/her life regardless of rich or poor. Quoting from renowned mime actor, John Barrymore, “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” Everyone always holds on to their dreams. Be it far-reaching or within reach, it all depends on the power of realizing because some things, if we don’t do it, we never will!       

Grand tour is a journey of soaring aspiration   

What exactly is a grand tour? The term originated from Tang dynasty. The most well known example is when monk Xuanzang made his journey to the West (India). Grand tour refers to a journey or travel experience buoyed with aspiration which includes three attributes: the duration of traveling is “long”, the level of challenge is “high” and the interaction with local culture and society is “deep.” It’s a journey that is thought out and executed with resolute determination.    

Because of that particular aspiration, grand tour embodies the true meaning of education. It does not limit to the nature, but to the society. During the process, you experience the magnitude of the world and beauty of humanity with your body and soul. That’s the significant meaning for us to take that step!     

We want to go deeper and see wider  

The gene of challenge is in Gamanian’s blood, be it cycling, swimming, ice skating, marathon, mountain climbing, trekking etc, Gamanians have accomplished many grand tours and adventures. These sports events took place around the world which is why Gamanians go deeper and see wider than others! Let’s relive these grand tours with the editor team in this edition of G!VOICE!     

Taiwan Grand Tour Representative    

Listen to the wind howling pass your ears GTW-Cofe Ho

▲Cofe enjoys the feeling of speeding on the track           

▲First gold medal of world cup given to male team of                              Taiwan      

What grand tour experiences have you had? Please describe the location and the journeys. 

  • I’ve travelled around Taiwan with the form of relay skating in 1995. The speed per hour on the ground was 60-70 km and lasted for three days. 
  • Before joining Gamania, I was a member of speed skating team of Taiwan. I won the first gold medal of world cup for the male team in the history of Taiwan, in Cali, Colombia, 2007. 

 Finest Records Over the Years 

Title of Race  Organizer Rank Time
World Roller Speed Skating Championships, 1999 Santiago, Chile 3rd Place of Teenage Group 1999.09
Asian Roller Skating Championship, 2006 Kaohsiung, Taiwan 1st Place of Asia 2006.09
World Roller Speed Skating Championships, 2007 Cali, Colombia 1st place of the World 2007.08
1st -4th Annual National Sports Event Republic of China Sports Federation 1st Place of Taiwan 2000、2002、2004、2006

Why did you do it?  

Because I knew from young age that I could be the champion of the world.   

Because I like standing in front of thousands of people and enjoying the feeling of being cheered for victory!  

Because I like to speed at 15 sec/round at the 200 meter track, telling everyone I’m Cofe Ho with second counts.   

Because I like hearing other contestants behind me panting heavily as if telling me to slow down, they can’t reach me.     

What is the most memorable/unforgettable thing during your grand tours? And why?  

During the world cup held in Colombia, 2000, the country was having a civil war but Colombian government reached a truce for this purpose. I still remembered vividly that each player was assigned with a body guard (Colombian guerilla, armed to the teeth!) for fear of any accident. We were also not allowed to go outside at nights and there were tanks cruising on the streets. It was jaw dropping.   

During the actual game, it was rather peaceful because Colombia think of speed skating as a national sport for the whole country was cheering for their team.   

After you’ve accomplished these grand tours, have they changed or inspired your life?   

If you could see what you would become in 3-5 years time, then please work extra harder because this way, you could see what you’d become in 6, 10 years! When I was in grade 5, I knew that I could win world champion in the future. I didn’t know how many years would it take, but I knew I saw my future. A classmate from elementary school gave me scroll that has 4 words on it, “Stick to the end” which I hang in my room even to this day. Because I know I can do it!    

Taiwan Grand Tour Representative

Life is about adventure  PCC, Achen Lin

▲Take a stride, ride to the future, pursue your dream           

▲ Footprints that spread around map of Taiwan          

What grand tour experiences have you had? Please describe the location and the journeys.  

Before joining Gamania, I was very much a nerd that never left the house. After I joined Gamania, I got involved in photography by chance and since then I started travelling with my camera and snapping shots. I had this idea of traveling around the island, cause I thought to myself, I I wanna do it, do it big. In addition to cycling around Taiwan, I also added nearby Orchid Island and Green Island into my itinerary. Eventually I chose the Tomb-Sweeping Holiday this year as my 15-day solo cycling tour.     

Why did you do it?  

Actually there were many reasons for it. Firstly because I wanted to give myself a birthday present, secondly I was inspired by a book, “Ride Around Taiwan Island” and thirdly I wanted to give myself a long vacation because I was too busy in the office and I needed some time off, hence the trip.      

After you’ve accomplished these grand tours, have they changed or inspired your life?  

I’m a bit of a hotheaded person, I try to finish things as soon as I can. The first 2 days of the trip, because I wanted to get to the destination as soon as possible, I didn’t give my feet enough time to rest. In the afternoon of 2nd day, I collapsed, I couldn’t walk without feeling enormous pain. And because of it, I had no choice but to give up the Su-Hua Highway route. I almost packed up and went home on the 3rd day, but I finally decided to take the train to go through the Su-ao–Taroko Gorge route.   

After that, I slowed down my pace and started to enjoy the views around me. I suddenly realize why I was rushing. I missed so many gorgeous views along the way just so that I could get to the destination quickly and I was actually losing more! Giving up the Su-Hua Highway route was my deepest regret, but the time I saved by taking the train ride allowed me to enjoy the view in the east coast. I decided not to hurry and spent quality time on the right things. Just when I reached Kenting, I decided to temporarily put aside my bicycle, and rellished southern Taiwan to the fullest. That enjoyment was the biggest purpose of my cycling trip.   

After the trip, I learned to slow down my pace when I do things to experience the difference during the process. The goal will be reached, but the actual gain during the process determines by your own pace.     

Japan Grand Tour RepresentativeUnforgettable Smiley Faces GJP—Tomoka Maeda 

▲Smiling faces of the children comprised the                    

▲Innocent children of Tibet. unforgettable memory in the                      journey.    

What grand tour experiences have you had? Please describe the location and the journeys.  

Before joining Gamania, I went traveling to Yun-Nan province in China and Tibet alone when I was about 20 years old.     

What is the most memorable/unforgettable thing during your grand tours? And why?  

The Tibetans invited me to their gatherings, we chatted, laughed and drank abundance, it was truly a joyous time. The kids were lovely too, I still vividly remembered the sights of kids playing.   

In Yun-Nan, I arrived at a village at almost 1am because I refused to stay at a man who was soliciting for customers at the train station. I finally found the hostel I was looking for and as it turned out, the hostel was family owned business, they’re very hospitable. I stayed there for about a week. When I was leaving, the whole family walked me to the train station and stuffed a huge bag of snacks for me. Everyone was waving goodbyes with reluctance, it was an unforgettable sight!  

In fact I had remarkable memories in each village. There’s one village where every man sweet talks like nothing else, they couldn’t stop complimenting me on my resemblance to beautiful actress. (lol) However, there were some horrible sights to witness too. When I was moving in between villages, I’ve witnessed buses tumbling down the valley, it was frightening.     

China Grand Tour RepresentativeWalk the Path with your Own Feet GCN—Chao Wang

▲Map filled with travelled footprints      

What grand tour experiences have you had? Please describe the location and the journeys.  

I love exploring unknown “wild routes”, the most notable one was the “reclamation of the barren land” near the mountain range of West Lake of Hangzhou 8 years ago. There were some pioneers who had trekked on this route but the overall traveling facility wasn’t quite finished. For example, the stone stairs could only suffice to reach short distance, and incomplete most of the far reached routes. For maniacs like us, it was heaven. We hate stone stairs because you couldn’t walk in peace for 5 minutes without rubbing shoulders with a bunch of “donkey pals.” One day, the 6 of us decided to set off the trip at 5am for the 2 day “reclamation.” At night, you could hear the “swish” sound of wild animals passing through on leaves. And we got serious bugs bites to the point we decided not to ever take our jackets off no matter how brutally it was outside. We also ran into other local residents on the way and we asked them directions etc. The pain and fun of being in the mountain, only you could gauge and feel with your own feet!   

“Donkey pals”-a name given to fellow travel companions who enjoy outdoor activities, and who are also avid fans of general adventures, mountain climbing, and trekking.   

“Wild route”: Less known or more primitive trails

▲Gamania colleagues often go on a jaunt adventure together in private. (Wang is the 3rd one from the left)     

Why did you do it? 

We’re young.   

If life is a series of “subjugated” process, then I’d rather abandon computers, roads, offices, and subjugate myself to grass, mud and stars in the sky—the irresistible freshness and serenity. If emotion is a “given” process, then I hope to purify myself amidst great mountains and rivers, settling myself in the morning mist and sunset—refresh myself and being given a new life. An ordeal of the body and soul could forge one into believing “I can do it.”    

China Grand Tour RepresentativeMarching Toward Heaven on Earth GCN—Sida Yuan

▲Journey of Tibet, packed with memories   

What grand tour experiences have you had? Please describe the location and the journeys.  

My recent trip was to Tibet about half a year ago. I didn’t get the bus ticket in Beijing, so I just went to Shanghai and went to Lhasa from there. After resting a day adjusting to plateau climate, I went to other youth hostels to post ads for other “donkey pals” to share the car and driver fare. It only took me half day to get it done.   

The itinerary was divided into two parts   

Eastward: LhasaLinzhi areaChangdu area (destination: Lake Ranwu). Lower average altitude (2000-3000m) with balmy climate. 

Westward: LhasaXigazê area (destination: Base Camp of Mt. Everst). Higher average altitude (4000-5500m) with harsh climate.   

“Donkey pals”-a name given to fellow travel companions who enjoy outdoor activities, and who are also avid fans of general adventures, mountain climbing, and trekking.     

Why did you do it?  

For people in the creative business, if you’re stuck in a city for too long, you stifle your inspiration, therefore you need to constantly recharge your battery. I travel twice a year, each for about 20 days to reserve the energy I need for the whole year. The world is immense, but the city is petty. The pettiness would affect your mentality and if you let it confine you, you’re doomed. Therefore we need to leverage on the magnitude of outside world to expand our mind and make us stronger.   

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