On January 4, 2014, 22-year-old PLA veteran Chen Pusai embarked on his "gap year" travel; half a year later, after much walking, rides-thumbing, couch-sleeping and tent-pitching, Chen has seen his footsteps in 15 provinces across China and even made it to Nepal.
Starting from his hometown Ankang in Shaanxi province, he has travelled to Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Yunnan and Tibet among other destinations, collecting smiles from strangers with his camera and recording the trip with his microblog.
The travel expenses come from his 14,000 yuan veteran's fee. He did not want to burden his family with the trip so he opted to "travel poor".
"You have to deal with your own dreams," Chen said.
Chen did what he could to save money and after 15 provinces, there is still 4,000 yuan left.
"I've been hitchhiking as much as I could, and it would be a luxury for me to find myself on a paid trip," he said.
Once he failed to hitch a ride he walked himself 40 kilometers.
"That's pretty much something, I think," he said, recalling the experience.