In an extract from her memoir, the ABC’s Emma Ayres recounts her cycle ride from England to Hong Kong.

“Darling, don’t forget to use talc between your thighs!” From the day I left on the Cathay Pacific 747 to fly 13 hours to Hong Kong with my mother’s final words of advice ringing in my ears and me ruing the lack of talc in my luggage, to the day I left the stage of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre for the final time, I had grown up. I had fallen in love, I had taught at a Vietnamese Detention Centre, I had played hundreds of concerts with famous musicians, I had travelled extensively around Asia, but in my heart I knew I had not done as much as I could. For the latter part of my time there I felt my life had become shallow and superficial. I was being paid to do what I loved, but people who no longer loved playing surrounded me. I knew if I stayed in the orchestra my life would become stagnant. We fight and struggle to get to a certain position, but, usually in a brilliant and devastating moment, we realise...

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