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Determined student makes 13-day trek to school

By Chen Ziyan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-01 16:37
Determined student makes 13-day trek to school

Wu Kangqi studies at a library of China West Normal University.[Photo from Sina Weibo]

Wu Kangqi's 13 day, 470-kilometer trek from his hometown to school is one of the most unforgettable experiences of the 22-year-old Sichuan province student's life.

Sitting in a cafe at the campus of China West Normal University in Nanchong, Sichuan province, Wu Kangqi smiled shyly when recounting his walking challenge last week.

"This was the first bold adventure I've ever taken in my life, through which I found that I can be strong and brave," he said.

It started on a day before the Spring Festival when Wu was spending winter vocation at home in Wujun county, Sichuan province. A sudden slight tremor startled him and drove him running out of the house.

"I hate the hopeless feeling when the quiver came, so a thought just crossed my mind that night - walk the whole way from home to college," Wu said. "I need to get strong, both mentally and physically."

An online search result told Wu the distance from Wujun to his school in Nanchong is about 430 kilometers (he ended up trekking 470 kilometers navigating the roads).

Wu, who majors in soft engineering at school, planned a 10-day walk assuming 40 kilometers per day, instead of the usual four or five hour bus ride.

However, when he told his parents about his plan, his family strongly opposed it.

"My biggest concern is his safety," Wu Kangqi's father said.

According to a Chengdu Business Daily report, Wu Kangqi was very obedient as a child, and used to ask for advice from his parents when making decisions. Wu was once a left-behind child for a year while his parents sought better jobs.

For Wu, it's time to "grow up" independently. He tried hard to persuade his parents, even asking the venerable seniors in his family for help.

After failing to get them onside, Wu decided to leave on the morning of Feb 5 while his parents went out to visit relatives. He "sneaked out" of the house with his prepared backpack filled with the necessities, and 600 yuan in cash.

"It was indeed a little bit of a rush and impetuous," Wu admitted when talking about his break away. That's why he sent his mother a goodbye message on the night he left.

For the first two days of travelling, Wu felt excited and energetic with nine hours of "marching" along the highways in the day time and spending the nights in cheap hotels along the way.

Frustration came on a rainy day when he got wet in spite of holding an umbrella. Worse still, blisters on his feet and knees ached from walking so long almost brought him down. At that time, he happened to get a phone call from his mother to ask him home.

"I had weakened," Wu said, but he refused. "I don't want to be laughed at for giving up. This is my own decision." While walking, he wrote a diary to cheer himself up.

Luck always comes unexpectedly. When he arrived at a town after the whole day's rainy mess, he met a kind-hearted man who let him stay in his house and cooked him a free meal.

On Feb 17, Wu finally completed his trek, reaching his school two days into the new term.

During this time, Wu's father also reflected on who his son had become.

"He is not the child who needs to take close care anymore. I admire his bravery, but impulsive behaviors should still be avoided although you're grow-up," Wu's father said after he was touched by the travelling log Wu posted on his Wechat.

"The biggest difficulty I experienced during the trip was the first step. When you do it, you find it's not that hard. It's the same for your life," Wu said.

Determined student makes 13-day trek to school

A screenshot of a walking app on Wu's cellphone shows his trekking route.[Photo from Sina Weibo] 

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