Pan Wenwen is no ordinary toddler. While most kids her age are in kindergarten, Wenwen has already backpacked halfway across of China with her parents.
Wenwen was just one year and three months old when her parents packed their bags and left their home in Shangrao, China, to embark on a long backpacking journey.
The family’s first stop was Yunnan, and according to Chinese media reports, they were traveling on foot for 15 to 20 kilometres a day. In the beginning, Wenwen would walk part of it and needed to be carried the rest of the way.
Wenwen’s father, Pan Shifeng, told CCTV News that Wenwen has gotten used to hiking over the years and can now manage up to 30 kilometres of walking on her own.
“Wenwen has learnt to be independent since she was two-and-a-half years old,” Pan said. “She is young and small and sometimes she get sick, but is strong and manages to overcome any hardships along the way.”
In their three years of backpacking, the family has visited Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou and Sichuan. They intend to backpack to Tibet next.
While on the road, Wenwen leads a simple life with her parents, sustaining on a diet of wild herbs and sleeping in tents.
Since Wenwen’s story went viral, some Chinese netizens have expressed concern for the girl’s welfare and argued that she should be in school with her peers instead of traveling.
However, Wenwen’s parents maintain that their travels have made their daughter stronger and more independent than girls her age living in the big city.
The Pans intend to take a break from their backpacking in two years’ time so that Wenwen can attend primary school.
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