Phrases like life is short and follow your dreams might come across as nothing more than meaningless inanity to most of us. However, for one woman in Sichuan province, Southwest China, she really took this mindset to heart.
The 25-year-old – known only as Xiao Wan – graduated from university in 2020 and had until recently been working in Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu.
She would occasionally return home to see her family in Zigong, a prefecture-level city in Sichuan, about 180 kilometers south of Chengdu.
Xiao Wan thought it was time for a change in her life when she was visiting her paternal grandfather. According to Red Star News, she noticed he had become sad, especially as he had been thinking a lot about his wife who had passed away six years earlier.
Xiao Wan and her grandfather together. Image via Weibo/@斗城半夏
It was at this moment that Xiao Wan decided to quit her job so she could spend time with her family, especially with her grandfather. Her parents were sceptical at first, but eventually came around to her way of thinking.
What Xiao Wan probably didn’t expect was the attention she would garner from uploading daily vlogs following her time with her grandfather. On video platforms such Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) and Bilibili the number of views exploded.
Xiao Wan told Red Star News that she doesn’t want to “become a wang hong (internet celebrity),” but just wants to “accompany my grandfather as he fulfils his dreams.”
It was Xiao Wan’s Beijing trip which perhaps garnered the most attention. Her grandfather had always wanted to travel to the Chinese capital with his wife, but never got the chance before she passed away.
Xiao Wan didn’t hesitate to arrange a trip with her grandfather, taking him to the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and other big sites in the capital.
In some photographs, Xiao Wan’s grandfather can be seen holding up a small photograph of his wife inside his wallet; the couple was at last able to take their dream trip to Beijing in spirit (I’m not crying).
Xiao Wan's gradfather can be seen at Tiananmen Square holding up a picture of his wife. Image via Weibo/@津卫小张
A hashtag related to the trip has received around 230 million views on social media platform Weibo.
Quitting one’s job and going traveling might sound appealing to many people. Some similar stories to that of Xiao Wan’s have also gone viral on the Chinese internet in recent months.
In July, 2022, a story emerged about a man in Henan province who quit his job to take his disabled mother on a road trip. Also in July, 2022, another story went viral about three young women who quit their jobs to travel to Tibet.
Unfortunately, two of the girls got stuck in quarantine due to COVID-19. We’re sure that the one girl who was able to go was thinking of her friends.
Quitting work to travel – a new trend borne of overworked employees sick of 996 culture? Perhaps.
Or, some people just see the value in spending a little more time with family and friends.
[Cover image via Weibo/@羊肉泡馍剧好吃]