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Meet China's youngest adventurer

CGTN | Updated: 2017-03-31 09:43

Meet China's youngest adventurer

Simba, aged four, finally set foot in the Antarctic Circle, becoming the youngest Chinese to have ever been inside both circles. [Photo/CGTN]

Simba, aged four, finally set foot in the Antarctic Circle, after four months of adventures across South America, becoming the youngest Chinese to have ever been inside both circles.

Little Simba acquired his name from the classic movie The Lion King. His parents chose to give him this name, with the hope that their son could grow as healthily and freely as the little lion.

Xu Chenghua, Simba's father, first tried to give Simba the travel bug by organizing one-day tours when his son was aged one and a half. When Xu saw Simba looking down at a large blue lake with great curiosity, he was convinced that kids can truly feel and react to nature, even if they don't have the ability to express their feelings with words.

Xu, a professional hiking guide, is nicknamed "Lao Ji" (meaning "old" and "extreme" in Chinese), as he loves to take part in extreme sports. He has left his footprints on both the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, as well as on the roof of the world.

The first time Simba saw an elephant, he didn't see it at the zoo, but in a forest in Laos. Elephants were in their natural habitat eating grass, instead of performing for humans in a circus show, which Lao Ji considers as an act against nature.

When Simba finally learned how to speak at the age of two and a half, he blurted out, "I want to see polar bears." Without saying another word, Lao Ji took his son to the Arctic.

The whole journey to the Arctic, which took the father and son over 185 days and saw them pass through 12 countries, bestowed little Simba opportunities to see not only polar bears but also reindeer, not to mention the Northern Lights.

At the end of 2016, Simba started another epic journey, traveling from Ecuador all the way south through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and finally to the Antarctic Circle.

Since the family traveled mostly on foot, or via motorcycle, car and boat, Simba experienced more unexpected dangers and difficulties than your typical tot.

Once, Simba and Lao Ji used a zip-line to reach a waterfall across a crayon. When they arrived, Lao Ji, who himself had been scared by the strong winds, complimented his son and told him "you have been very brave."

Simba conceded, "But I still feel a little bit scared."

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