The Soho Girl ushers in the Year of the Ox reflecting on her childhood visit to Beijing China where she got her first bite of the travel bug…
I shared these series of pictures on my IG stories earlier this week and I received so much engagement, I thought I’d share it here too and give a bit more context…
Here’s how a trip to China opened up my mind to the world of travel, which is now on the back burner (not just because of Corona, there’s such thing as working remotely)… because I choose to put Soho first.
First bite of the travel bug
The travel bug didn’t just bite – it feasted on me!
When I was 12 my dad surprised me with a trip to Beijing China as a reward for my extra circular activities… I was obsessed with Chinese culture! The usual trips to Chinatown Soho for ‘All You Can Eat’ buffets would no longer cut it – this was the ultimate next level treat! The book I’d been reading at the time which most captivated me was Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. This wasn’t on the Yr 7 curriculum by the way. This was me feeding an eager curiosity about history, culture and linage (topics which I eventually delved into for myself when I began tracing my AfroBrazilian ancestry years later).
The plan had always been travel journalism.
Not being one to waiting hoping for a closed door to open, I created my own opportunities to write, and research about what interested me most, through my travel blog TravelmakerKai which was less conventional back then, than it is today.
Then My Soho Times happened and I got stuck here *laugh emoji*
But truth be told, sometimes it’s more like a *don’t know whether to laugh or cry* emoji if there ever was one. Trying to sell yourself in Soho (excuse the pun) is f**king hard! If I had a £ for the bureaucracy, unconscious bias, misogyny I’ve dealt with (this isn’t a pity party btw, there are far more rewarding experiences – but I can’t pretend it’s a ride in the park).
2021 is the Year of the Ox
Which also happens to be my Chinese Zodiac sign.
We got tricked by the rat (also sounds like my recent situation with a flyer marketing company I paid to distribute MST flyers in Soho, and didn’t even receive one myself – startups avoid this method), otherwise we would have been first to Jade Emperor party!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m suddenly feeling so motivated to work as hard as an Ox (have you seen the new website re-design – that was me over one weekend… I’m sleep deprived but I’m buzzing – the contradictions of being in this body of mine!), despite the slump of getting through January and being in lockdown…
I know the reward will be to PLAY harder!
Work hard, to PLAY HARDER… thanks for the life session dad!
This is me holding my ‘I Climber the Great Wall of China’ medal… Symbolic of the great walls I’m trying to climb and break through to this very day.
I had to dig deep into my travel blog archive (and also into my heart) to share these pics. So many memories and wonderful experiences of me in my ‘good place’, not having to prove my worth or seek approval… Sometimes I wonder why I’m bothering with My Soho Times when I could be anywhere in the world?
Then I’m reminded that Soho will always be 🏠.
This post is dedicated to my dad… Taking this young dreamer to China was the start of my many great adventures and life lessons to come. You didn’t let our skin colour, cultural difference or social class be a limitation to what we can experiences. Thank you for planting the seed so young. Love you, K x
Written by The Soho Girl – delightfully dyslexic, please see past the typos (unless it’s a really embarrassing mistake then flag it up by leaving a comment in the box below!)
Happy Spring Festival everyone! Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
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