Jen Loong on travel, the #Fck-Selfie backlash and social entrepreneurship
Jen Loong in Hong Kong
Jen Loong, a Canadian-born Chinese woman and dedicated and passionate entrepreneur. Loong’s commitment to creating a meaningful business is unwavering within moments of meeting her.
Loong has an electric aura, is fast-talking and direct. A woman who knows what she wants out of life and where she is headed; personally and professionally; she likes to call it “collecting the dots.”
Loong wakes up at 5am every morning and starts her day with a workout, she states “exercising is the one thing we can control in our daily lives” and it is the one thing that she makes no excuses about as she sees fitness as crucial to her happiness, health, and longevity.
Loong, born to a mother from Hong Kong, and a father from Shanghai, grew up in a household that was a harmonious balance of East meets West. Her family, superstitious and morally traditional also have a strong interest in entrepreneurship and the all-encompassing need to “hustle.” Loong exemplifies that with her ardent business woman attitude.
Loong is no doubt a busy woman dedicated to a strict schedule, the two of us laugh during the lunch interview about the need for women of the millennial generation to wear many hats, and having to balance a crazy lifestyle of friends, work and play in China.
Loong, now living in Hong Kong, used to live in Shanghai and worked for TOMS which consisted of travelling half the year for work. She recently decided to pursue her passion project and turn it into a full-blow platform in Asia.
“Women need to be constantly learning, constantly productive, because if we’re not, how are we going to grow?”
Loong discusses her latest reads with me and even makes some book recommendations. Loong’s personality and drive is inspiring, and she knows that women everywhere are capable of that same drive she possesses.
Now in Hong Kong and occasionally in Bali to practice yoga and center herself, Loong has been dedicating her time to building her new social enterprise, WanderSnap. WanderSnap connects local expat and native photographers to travelers in Southeast Asia. The proceeds go to women in hopes that it will inspire women in rural and underdeveloped countries such as Cambodia and Thailand to explore new avenues of creativity and more importantly a new career path.
Can you imagine a woman in rural China or Cambodia barely able to read or speak English but know the ins and outs of a DSLR camera? Loong believes women of all backgrounds deserve to learn this trade that is generally a male-dominated industry,
Loong also believes in the #Fck-Selfie attitude that is so perpetual in today’s fast growing social media movement.
According to many studies done by Psychology Today and an Ohio State University study, selfies are linked to narcissism and psychopathy.
Loong believes travellers need to “live in the moment” to truly enjoy the bliss from visiting a foreign place, and not be bogged down by their cameras. Loong believes that a local photographer can capture those endearing moments of wanderlust and love.
While it does seem like the selfie movement is huge right now, and I personally enjoy a selfie every now and again, selfies do take up quite a bit of time especially while travelling. I decided to take up Loong on her new business and try out WanderSnap for myself in Siem Reap, Cambodia and Seoul, South Korea. The photographers were both expats, but were well-versed in their adopted cities acting as our mini travel guide, translator, and photographer.
It was nice being able to climb the ruins, laugh at random occurrences, and explore every crevice without having to stop every thirty seconds to take a picture. There were moments when the photographers stopped and said, “hey hey turn around and let’s take a quick one please!”
This worked for me; normally I would have to bother a passerby to snap a pic of us and I don’t trust everyone with my camera either. They also got some great candid pics of us being silly and having fun, as we momentarily forgot the photographer was with us. They were also able to give us a brief history and some fun facts about the area where we were visiting which was really helpful too.
Overall, it was an awesome experience and for a good cause.
For more information regarding WanderSnap, feel free to visit the website at www.wandersnap.co, or their Instagram @Wandersnap. An automated booking site will be launching soon.