CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (1/9/2020 Thu.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (1/9/2020 Thu.)

People's Daily app

02:01, January 09, 2020



From the People's Daily App.

This is Story in the Story.

Life these days can be very hectic, so it is no wonder that more and more people, especially younger Chinese, are choosing to pause from the pressures of working life.

Xiaoxi (pseudonym) and her boyfriend Xiaolong, a 26-year-old couple in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, took a road trip for a total of 14 months after they chose "naked resignations," which means quitting a job before finding a new one, in 2016 and 2018.

The two trips cost them more than 500,000 yuan ($73,000) and when they came back, they could no longer afford the down payment of the apartment they liked.

"Except the car we used during our first trip, all other expenses were from our savings. We are fully capable of supporting ourselves," Xiaoxi said. "Taking a road trip has always been our dream and we don't want to put it off until later."

Xiaoxi said that nowadays young people live under too much pressure, so she shared their experience to encourage others to follow their hearts and truly enjoy life.

Today’s Story in the Story looks at the pros and cons of making the decision to take a break from working life.


(Photo: VCG)

An unidentified yet famous quote, "You can either travel or read, but either your body or soul must be on the way," explains the mindset of travel lovers, including Fang Sining, a 27-year-old woman from Beijing.

When recalling her decision to break from her career in 2016, Fang became excited. "I resigned my job after a year of working hard. With a 60-liter rucksack, I started my journey."

She traveled extensively in Thailand, Nepal, India and Indonesia. But her trip was not just about sightseeing. While staying in India, she devoted most of her time to volunteering at Mother House, a charity founded by Mother Teresa.

"People from other provinces complain that local Beijingers have too many privileges. I've taken so much, and now I feel the urge to give," Fang explained, "I want to contribute to the world like Mother Teresa."

During her two weeks of volunteering, she gave hospice care to those who suffered from severe health problems in Kalighat, looked after those who needed long-term treatment in Prem Dan, and took care of mentally handicapped children in Shishu Bhavan.

Huang Chenyu, a freshman from Fudan University said she would not consider a gap year. "I don't want to fall behind my peers just for a year of idle life."

A freshman-to-be on the other side of the world chose the opposite. Douglas Qin has been studying in Canada since he was 14. He was admitted to the University of Toronto. But he is in no rush to start his college life.


Xiaoxi and Xiaolong pose for a photo at the Yamdrok Lake in Nagarze County of Shannan City, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region on September 18, 2016. (Photos: Global Times)

"The concept of a gap year is widely accepted here," Qin explained. "It's common that students in the West take a gap year to travel, work part-time jobs, or concentrate on their hobbies."

Qin's mother Tao Jian, CEO of Xi'an Hanglv Travel Service, is fully supportive of his decision. "Direction is more important than effort. When he can't see where he's heading, stopping for a little while to clear his mind can help him avoid detours," she said.

When asked her opinion about the Hangzhou couple, Tao said she was very supportive since the two used their own money. She believes that now they must have a better understanding about China and the world.

He Bo, a human resources employee based in Beijing, said she would totally hesitate hiring the couple as stability is an important merit she values when selecting candidates. "Occupational training is very energy-consuming. It usually takes three to six months for a newcomer to adapt to the business. If one had walked away before, he will do it again," He said.

Xiaoxi admitted that they had some difficulties before settling down at their current jobs. But she didn't agree with those saying that they lacked the sense of responsibility. "We submitted the resignation one month before we quit and made sure the job would be taken over properly. We might travel a lot, but we also work hard when we have jobs."

Xiaoxi added that she didn't encourage anyone to follow their example blindly. "Be ready and live freely!"

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon, and Chelle Wenqian Zeng. Music by: Text from Global Times.)

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