On a personal level, Tsang says he has learned to be a more humble and modest person. He does not view his mountain expeditions as a great achievement. “The mountain is an interesting place to gather people around who are more outstanding than you. The more you compare, the more you can improve,” he says.
His life so far can be seen as a constant search for improvement. Before finding his calling as a mountain adventurer, Tsang had drifted from job to job, trying to find one that he could love. After getting his degree in recreation and sports management from the University of Hong Kong, he worked as a member of the management team of a golf course. He describes himself as “mischievous” and says he could not stand the light workload, which he experienced as “drudgery”.
“I told my boss, ‘I cannot see any change in 30 years. I cannot foresee my future.’ So, I quit the job,” he says.
He also worked as a physical education teacher but found it hard to follow the rigid regulations which ran counter to his carefree style of working. So, in 2001, he opened his own company called Adventure Plus, which provides teambuilding and leadership training programmes for companies.
The business is dependent on the general economic environment, as companies have little in their budget to spend on such activities in times of economic recession. In 2003, he was brought to the edge of bankruptcy. With the fear of physical contact with others brought on by the SARS outbreak, it was impossible to provide teambuilding programmes. Somehow, the company survived both SARS and the financial downturn of 2008.