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Family walks home together… from Shenzhen to Hunan Province

Posted: 08/6/2013 7:00 am

An 8 year-old girl is joining her parents in walking from Shenzhen’s Baoan District to their hometown of Shaoyang in Hunan Province. The family set off on the 700 km journey on July 13 and have already reached Yongzhou so are within around 100km of their destination, Nandu Daily reports.

Xiong Bingji on a country lane on Saturday Aug. 3, image courtesy of Southern Metropolis Daily

Zeng Ziqi was born in Shenzhen and is currently in the 3rd grade. Her father, who had been in Shenzhen for 20 years, had always fantasised about walking back to his hometown, staying in villages and towns along the way. He ensured that his daughter would only have to come if she wanted to, so was quite surprised when she immediately agreed.

When they arrived in Guangzhou after three days, the girl’s mother, Liu Xiaoyan, gave her the option of turning back.

The girl has not stayed sprightly the whole time, and her enthusiasm was at its lowest between Guangzhou and Qingyuan. But the sheer variety and novelty of everything she’s seen has kept the city girl persisting, said her mother, who if anything has been less hardy than Zeng.

Having a well-earned rest

Some of the terrain they crossed has been dangerous and they have even walked along highways at times of poor visibility. But they crossed over into Hunan on July 25, and on July 29, Zeng’s father wrote on QQ that people should enjoy every step one-by-one and he was glad to be finally making this journey and seeing his daughter grow up along the way.

Deputy head of 21st Century Education Research Institute, Xiong Bingji, said it was an interesting adventure for the family and a good way of helping toughen up the child. But Xiong also stressed that not all children were cut out for such a journey.

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