I guess I’m a bit of a mixture. One part of me is pure Canadian flying down the slopes on my snowboard. Then there’s the Chinese me chatting in Cantonese to my friends in Hong Kong.
Unlike a lot of Hong Kong people who emigrated to Canada, I was actually born in Vancouver and emigrated to Hong Kong! Then when I was about five, I went back to Canada again. So with all that going back and forth perhaps it’s not surprising I ended up as a flight attendant.
Applying for a job with Cathay Pacific was a bit of an impulse thing for me. Maybe I thought it would make me a better teacher one day. Or perhaps I just wanted to see a bit more of the world. I’m not quite sure.
But I guess what’s important in life is not so much about what you do, but how you do it. I’ve always pushed myself to be the best at what I do, whether it’s snowboarding or teaching kids or doing my job with Cathay Pacific – where I love helping people even before they ask.
I’m based in Hong Kong now and I’m very comfortable here, but that Canadian kid is never far away either. I remember in 2010, when the Winter Olympics were in Vancouver. Canada was in the ice hockey final against the US, which was a really big deal. I’d gone with a bunch of other Canadians to a popular nightclub area in Hong Kong called Lan Kwai Fong to watch the game on a big-screen TV. When Canada won I was so thrilled.
I also get a thrill when we have kids on the plane – kids are my favourite passengers. Even if I might have to peel icky stuff off the windows sometimes, I just enjoy being with them. But not everyone shares my view. I remember a passenger once who begged me to change his seat when he found out he was sitting next to a mother and her baby. The baby was no trouble at all, and I think the mum was quite offended at the man’s insistence on moving.
Something I really enjoy is working for Cathay Pacific’s English on Air volunteer programme. We invite kids from local Hong Kong schools to visit the Cathay Pacific facility and I take them on a tour speaking in English to help them improve their language skills. The first question they ask is always the same, “Do you speak Chinese?” I know just how they feel.