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Mind the gap, a break from reality

By Zhang Yue (China Daily)

11:16, July 24, 2012

Wu Fei's trip to New Zealand put him in the spotlight and made him money.

His book, Gap Year on a Working Holiday Visa, tells of his one-year traveling and working experience in the country and has sold over 50,000 copies since it was published by China CITIC Press in February.

The 28-year-old from Shanghai has held more than 20 book-sharing salons over the past few months, and has thousands of followers on his micro blog, The Journey of Wu Fei.

Wu's work is the latest book on experiencing a gap year since 2009, when the first of its kind was published in China, according to Li Jingyuan from China CITIC Press, who is in charge of travelogue publications.

"Books that tell of an author's gap year experience overseas are popular in China these days," Li says.

The idea of a "gap year" became popular in 2009, when the 20-something Sun Dongchun from Guangdong province published his book - The Delayed Gap Year - about his experience of traveling in six countries in Asia, also by China CITIC Press.

It was a first for China, Li says.

Another gap-year book, Backpacker for a Decade, published in 2010 by Xiao Peng (who has been on a continuous 10-year-long gap year) remains a bestseller with 300,000 copies sold.

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