Editor's Note: We all daydream about escaping. Quitting your job, breaking up with your significant other, and leaving it all behind, but we never actually do it. He Jianghai did, and set up a business and met his soul mate along the way. The translated article reports on his adventure across the world.
He Jianghai recently celebrated both his 30th birthday and the end of his round-the-world trip. He had seen most of the world on his trip, and had met the woman on his dreams: a young woman from the United States. She accompanied him back to Xi’an for his birthday, which made his family extremely happy.
In early 2013, He Jianghai was an ordinary office worker. He graduated from a university in Wuhan and got a job in a bank in Guangzhou. The nine-to-five grind made him tired. In March 2013, he resigned from his steady job and planned to travel for two or three months. His trip ended more than three years later.
Six Continents, Over 40 Countries
He Jianghai began his trip by traveling to Yunnan, Sichuan, Chengdu, and Tibet. He met friends in Tibet who encouraged him to travel to Nepal—his first trip abroad.
After Nepal, He Jianghai went to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries. To save money on his travel expenses, he joined Couchsurfing in order to stay for free with locals. “I slept in railway stations, temples, anywhere, in order to save money,” he said. To save money, He Jianghai tried to travel over land or water as much as possible unless he was “forced” to buy a plane ticket like when he traveled from South Africa to Brazil.
In Africa, He Jianghai traveled all the way to the southern tip of Cape Town. Brazil’s World Cup was approaching in the summer of 2014, and he did not want to miss the opportunity to attend. “Brazil issued a policy in which you could successfully obtain a visa as long as you had World Cup tickets,” he said. He Jianghai purchased World Cup tickets online through a lottery and traveled to Brazil.
Next, he visited Peru, Chile, Argentina, and other countries in South America. In Argentina he purchased a “last minute” discounted ticket and boarded a cruise ship to Antarctica.
He Jianghai then traveled to North America after his South America trip to complete his world tour.
How Did He Afford It?
He said that his plan to travel the world started on an impulse. He did not plan a full itinerary or budget. “I had four years of English in university, but did not know much,” he said. He downloaded an app for mobile translation and studied English while traveling. Soon, he could communicate with foreigners without issue.
He Jianghai said that his parents were very worried when he first traveled abroad, but when they started looking at all of his beautiful travel photos they began to support him.
He began his trip with more than 100,000 Yuan in savings. However, even though he tried to travel cheaply, this was not enough. “In Turkey, I met a Chinese businessman who gave me some small goods to sell from Yiwu, China.” He set up a temporary stall in Turkey to weather his economic storm.
In Brazil, he was inspired to start his own business. He purchased Brazilian jewelry, bee glue, and other specialty products to sell online in China. His online store is still a resounding success.
He Jianghai’s high school classmate Guo Xin said that he followed his friend’s travels on WeChat and Weibo. Guo Xin said that he helped support his friend by paying him to send back coffee and World Cup souvenirs. A number of He’s other friends asked for items from abroad as well.
Getting the Girl
He Jianghai also found love on his trip. In Guatemala, he met an American woman named Ciara Metzoian and they soon fell in love.
Ciara had traveled to Guatemala after graduating from university to learn Spanish. The trip was her first time abroad. He Jianghai said that the two are both adventurous and love travel, language, and culture. In October 2015, they traveled to the United States together and then returned to China. In April, they traveled to Taiwan.
After studying for over a year, Ciara’s Chinese has improved greatly and she can now carry out everyday conversations. In China, she traveled to Beijing, Sichuan, and Guangdong with He Jianghai but says she prefers Xi’an’s noodles and roujiamo.
“My friends know that I am back in China, and it’s still very foreign to me,” said Ciara. She said that she posts a lot about her experiences online with her friends and family. Her brother and sister now are very interested in visiting her in China.
He Jianghai and Ciara have started to talk about getting married. He said that they plan to get a marriage license in Xi’an at the end of the summer.
He Jianghai said that he and Ciara are planning a trip to Australia. Ciara has been accepted to study medicine in the United States and will defer her admission. They plan to apply to visas in Australia to work for a year and travel before heading back to the United States.
Source: QQ News
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Keywords: 3 year world trip travel round world
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This is the kind of story I tell my students when they graduate. Go out from your shell, travel, explore and see this exciting world. Once you are settled with wife and children, your chances of becoming another Marco Polo is pretty slim.
Jun 01, 2016 10:48 Report Abuse
That girl is a race traitor... oops, did I just say that out loud? Surely you will excuse me, I am so used of my Chinese girlfriend being called as such by local Chinese guys because she is with a White guy. Oddly, there is no one out here to call this young gentleman a race traitor either, no one pressuring him to date a Chinese girl. No, honestly happy for them, beautiful couple, just wish people here in China would mind their own business and shut the fuck up when it comes to intercultural couples the other way around.
May 05, 2016 10:52 Report Abuse