Octogenarian travels to 27 countries in 27 years

(People's Daily Online) 14:14, July 15, 2021
Octogenarian travels to 27 countries in 27 years
Photo shows a 36-square-meter room where Yi Jiufan keeps the photos he has taken during his journeys. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

After his retirement at the age of 60, Yi Jiufan, a man from Changsha, central China’s Hunan province, decided that he wanted to add some spice to his life by travelling more often.

Yi, who is currently 87 years old, has been to 27 countries around the world, traveling a total distance of 161,276 kilometers.

He has also written a travelogue of more than 300,000 Chinese characters, made 150 CDs and shot about 6,000 pictures to document his journeys.

Yi revealed that before he retired, he was too busy to travel as frequently as he wished. In 1994, he visited Beijing, kicking off his travel plan.

In 2008, Yi travelled abroad for the first time, with his destinations being Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.

“I didn’t speak English, but I learnt a lot about the local culture and customs from the tour guide who spoke English and Chinese. I also took pictures, shot videos and wrote about what I saw on the journey. After I went back home, I shared them with my friends and relatives,” he said.

When he turned 80 in 2015, Yi travelled to South Africa. “The distance one-way was 14,522 kilometers, the longest I have ever traveled,” he recalled.

“Usually, travel agencies are reluctant to arrange overseas travel routes for people above the age of 75 to avoid potential risks. But because they know I’m very healthy and I can make long-distance trips, they are willing to serve me,” Yi said proudly.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yi hasn’t traveled in the last two years, and decided to make use of his time at home by writing a book about his travel experiences.

“I think travel shows my attitude toward life,” Yi said, adding that he doesn’t want to live an idle life. “My family used to support me a lot, but as I grow old, they are worried about my health. And because of this, I won’t travel abroad anymore,” said Yi. 


(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)