Inspiring Places

The first time Wing Shya Saw the Amazon

Photographer Wing Shya on getting closer to nature in the Peruvian Amazon

I’ve always lived in cities – Hong Kong is my home – always busily balancing work and life.

I’ve never lived in the wild, which is exactly why I wanted to visit Peru and the epic Amazon rainforest with some friends.

I was looking for an experience that would bring me closer to nature and one of the great natural wonders of the world. We would be staying in simple, basic accommodation; eating local produce and home-cooked Peruvian food. All I wanted to do was relax, but that trip changed me in ways I didn’t expect.

Sure, the Peruvian Amazon is beautiful: but that wasn’t what was so unusual to me coming from Hong Kong. The unusual thing is the Amazon environment itself: you can feel the magic of nature. There were flowers, plants, trees, butterflies, fish and birds everywhere. Seeing these animals truly in the wild, I felt the power and energy of life.

Wing Shya Amazon forest

I always thought the meaning of life was to work hard and make money. But after this Amazon trip, I think differently. Without sounding too cheesy, I have seen the power of the universe.

I’m a photographer by trade. This Amazon trip taught me to enjoy the process of photography, to enjoy working with my colleagues rather than just worrying about the end result. I didn’t expect to feel any differently after travelling there. I changed unexpectedly, which was a nice surprise.

Wing Shya’s 25-year retrospective exhibition, Acting Out, is at the Shanghai Center of Photography until 10 January.

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Discovery online brings together all the inspirational travel writing from our two inflight magazines, Discovery and Silkroad. Be sure to look out for the print editions when you next fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon.
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