From Sai Kung to Lantau, Jasmine Nunns and Kembali offer forest therapy walks and workshops that will help you reconnect with nature
This city is always go, go, go. Between the endless eating out at new restaurants in Hong Kong, happy hours and monthly events, life in the big smoke can become a bit overwhelming. Through her company Kembali, Jasmine Nunns offers forest therapy walks, also known as shinrin yoku, that allow you to reconnect with nature and experience some of the lesser known wonders that Hong Kong has to offer.
Return to the forest
Kembali is actually an Indonesian word meaning ‘to return’, and Jasmine Nunns’ company offers people the chance to return to nature and find themselves, outside the bustle of the busy city.
Having worked as a teacher, Nunns started the business as she realised that her students weren’t engaged by learning about the surrounding nature in Hong Kong.
“I got to this point in my teaching where I felt like I was being met with a lot of apathy, and I kept thinking that I must be a rubbish teacher, but what it came down to in the end was just a complete disconnect. The kids in Hong Kong didn’t have the same childhood as me, so they weren’t as connected to nature, so then I realised that my work needed to be more about helping to connect them.”
She started studying eco-therapy training in the UK and moved on to do life-coaching training in India, before heading to the France to learn more about shinrin yoku.
The birth of Kembali
Now, she holds regular walks that are open to the public and also offers walks for corporate groups and children, with workshops changing along with the different seasons. Walks are held all over Hong Kong, including Lantau, Sai Kung and Sham Shui Po, with each space offering attendees something different.
“Forest therapy is all about receiving clarity, healing and connection, but we want to put an emphasis on the reciprocity, you know, what can we do to give back? And that’s just as simple as showing gratitude to the forests and learning more about these wonderful places.”
At the end of each forest therapy walk, Nunns always sets up a tea ceremony, where attendees can physically take in the sense of the forest. She forages for plants and leaves, such as paperbark and bottlebrush, along the trails, and prepares tea over a fire in a Kelly Kettle. “The paperbark has been used by indigenous people for years as a cure for colds and respiratory issues, and its everywhere in Hong Kong. I think it’s nice for people to realise little things like that. The city isn’t necessarily the concrete jungle that it is often made out to be.”
And what’s the best thing about having a forest for an office?
“I think, for me, the best thing about working in forests is the freedom; the space the forest allows for you to be exactly who you are. There’s no need to perform for the forest, and when I’m here I feel like I’m home.”
Find our more about Kembali.