"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Challenged In China!

Ancient city wall sculptures Pingyao China.

Challenged in China, a short story collection.

In the summer of 2009 I finally called time on what had been a transformative four and a half years in Belgium. The economic crisis was in full swing, hitting my then wife’s recruitment job pretty hard. In all honesty, S and I had never really loved Brussels, hence we felt a change of scenery would do us both the world of good.

Moreover, we’d never really travelled together. Thus we hatched a plan to pick a country, get English teaching jobs and see as much as we could in our off time.


Challenged in China, a short story collection.

I honestly don’t recall how we ended up choosing China. But I do know that we totally underestimated the vast cultural differences and professional challenges that awaited us in Beijing. I remember being so cocky. After all, I’d already backpacked around India and lived in far-flung locales like Qatar and Slovakia. I’d seen it all, right?

Kunming Lake The Summer Palace Beijing

Challenged in China, a short story collection.

My first year in China turned out to be an incredible assault on the senses. We explored Beijing inside out, meeting a bunch of wonderful and not so wonderful people along the way. Furthermore, I got to see a large chunk of the country, with extended trips both prior to and after our teaching contracts.

Jinshanling The Great Wall of China Hebei province

Challenged in China, a short story collection.

Looking back on that period over a decade later, I realise what an action-packed twelve months I had. In fact, that time was full of so many fascinating characters, spawning countless anecdotes and stories. Finally, I managed to create a series of eighteen tales.  

For all the juicy details of those long ago adventures, dive deep into my short story collection, Challenged in China.

1. Noodles & Rice

2. Give Me Money!!!

3. The City and the Village Part I

4. The City and the Village Part II

5. Two Men and a Refrigerator

6. Take No Notice

7. Don’t Let Me Down

8. The Jellyfish Factor

9. Camp America

10. Enlightening!

11. The Good, the Bad and the Naughty

12. The Children and the Witch

13. Bad Moon Rising

14. Sub Zero Adventures

15. Goodness Gracious, Great Wall of China!

16. Jia Jia and the Warriors

17. The Long Hair Ladies of Yao

18. Yangshuo Master Chefs

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.

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