Amidst the hustle and bustle of city life, many young people feel lost and alone. They want to get out of the “perfect shell” of the urban luxury to find a free life. Li Junxian – A young Chinese man shared his life story.
The journey of “leaving the street” of the young man
Coming from a metropolis south of Guangzhou, since childhood, Li Junxian has been used to a modern lifestyle. He is well-trained and is working as a sales representative for an international business company. The current life of Li Junxian is the dream of many young people. Thought that he would feel happy and satisfied with what he had.
The facts are not what people imagine. A month ago, Li Junxian left his job, fleeing the hustle and bustle of the city. He felt too tired by the competition, calculating the losses at the office. He wants to find a free life, where there is sincerity and happiness. In the end, the young man chose a small village in Fujian province as his destination. Li has joined the community of like-minded people – Southern Life Community.
Southern Life Community was founded by Tang Guanhua. He is originally a freelance graphic designer who loves the liberal. Too suffocated with life in Qingdao, Tang dreamed of a free society.
Then, in Tang’s mind, he suddenly thought of life in the 2000s. At that time, the economy was not strong, there was no competition or exploitation. He longed to live in that free society. And thinking has become action. He decided to leave the ephemeral matter in reality to find the living truth of life.
Tang Guanhua came to Laoshan Mountain and lived in a small hut in 2010. It is about 30km from Qingdao. On his journey, Tang is not alone, but has Xing Zhen as his companion. She works in the field of stock analysis. Two years ago, during an exhibition, the two met by chance.
After a while, the girl was really conquered by Tang’s liberal lifestyle. The two decide to get married and create a new life on the unspoiled mountain. However, both are from the city, so it is difficult for them to adapt to their new life.
Challenging survival challenge
The survival instinct prompted the Tang couple to act. The young couple had to go online to learn how to survive on their own. From casting farm tools, weaving clothes, making soap to generating electricity. In the end, they succeeded and co-compiled the “Survival Guide”.
Xing once shared: “The process of learning how to survive makes us more brave. At first, we didn’t think that everything could be made by hand. Now, we can be confident that we will survive if we get lost on a deserted island.”
The story of the young couple quickly attracted the media. Many people want to live in a “no exploiter” society like the Tang couple. However, besides the positive support, there is no shortage of opposing opinions. They think that the Tang couple is too “delusional” and cannot maintain that life for too long.
Developing the dream society
About 5 years later, Lao Son became bustling with the presence of real estate investors. They start construction projects on a large scale. Therefore, all the achievements created by the Tang couple are lost. Fortunately, the couple received funding from an environmental non-profit foundation in Fujian. Thanks to that, the Tang and his wife used the 202-hectare land to establish Southern Life Community.
The enthusiastic support of the non-profit organization has helped the Tang couple develop a new society. Here, people are free to choose their own way of life. From a small community with a few people, Southern Life Community has now attracted more than 30 residents.
The motto of Southern Life Community is to take “self-sufficiency” as the life goal. The members in this organization are mostly young people around 20-30 years old. In their people, they always have a youthful enthusiasm. These people are committed to creating a happy society where there are no privileges or hierarchies.
However, some members did not adapt to the change of life in the mountains. They quickly gave up and returned to the city. Others stick with Lao Son for a few weeks. They use the internet and place orders through smart apps.
The buying and selling needs of residents in Southern Life Community bring profits to business stores. Many owners feel happy about this. However, does reality go too far from the original commitment? Is the Southern Life Community model problematic?
Mr. Lin, a pensioner, reflected on the actions of young people at Southern Life Community. You wonder what they are doing and how are they trying to achieve their goals? Were they really serious or interested, curious about the experience? Most of the land is not improved, but increasingly barren.
To make the Southern Life Community community more active, Tang often confided in members, especially newcomers. He tries to talk to everyone like two friends. However, life did not reach the ideal level as Tang once thought. Most give up after just a few tries.
Feelings of young members in the community
Fan Yueyi (Student – 20 years old) is one of the members of the community. She said she came to Southern Life Community because she felt pressured with the twists and turns of life. From study, work, money to social status. Fan Yueyi tried her best to study well to pass the entrance exam to a prestigious university in the hope that after graduating she could find a high-paying job. But it was all just an illusion, she was disillusioned…
Since joining the community, Fan Yueyi has lived a happier and more comfortable life. The girl who came from a lavish city was acquainted with the work of a farmer. She grows flowers, raises chickens, and learns how to make wine. But sadly, Fan Yueyi has lost family and friends over her decision. Not only Fan Yueyi but many other members also fell into the same situation.
Fan Yueyi also shared, “I live at Southern Life Community thanks to my savings. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with this place. But for sure, this period has left a good memory in me. From time to time, I will come back here to drink the wine I have cooked.”
Recently, models similar to Southern Life Community have developed very strongly. More and more Chinese bars lose faith in life. Especially after the serious impact of the Covid-19 pandemic made them feel heavily pinched. They appreciate more than sincere feelings – precious values that have long been forgotten. Many people have followed the call of their heart and decided to “leave the street to the forest”.