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Chinese man completes feat of driving around the world

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-20 16:00
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CHENGDU -- A 44-year-old Chinese man has concluded driving around five continents as he finished his last leg in the southern Argentine city of Ushuaia.

Chen Yong, a former technician in the city of Yibin of Southwest China's Sichuan province, started his journey through the North and South American continents on Aug 2 last year. He arrived in Ushuaia on Feb. 17 after 200 days of travel.

The South American leg is the last of his five-continent challenge. It took him three trips over four years to drive through Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America.

"I didn't know how far I could go when I started this adventure, because it was a challenging and almost impossible goal for me," Chen told Xinhua over phone.

"I used up 20 years of my savings to realize a dream I had when I was young. Of course, it took a lot of efforts to succeed. I now know that no matter if your dream is big or small, you can make it come true as long as you take action," he said.

Before he started his trip, he worked as a technician in a state-owned enterprise in Yibin. He quit his job in 2014 and became a hobby traveler. He is in charge of a drivers' club and leads interested participants on driving tours across continents.

As an ardent traveler, Chen traveled extensively in China before he made his first trip overseas in 2012 to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Though Chen speaks little foreign languages, he has set foot in 77 countries and regions.

Chen started his first cross-continent adventure on June 18, 2014. He brought his 14-year-old son as he drove from Yibin, through Beijing and Russia to Milan, Italy in two months.

His wife complained about him being away for such a long time, but Chen said he was insistent.

On February 13, 2015, Chen departed from Milan to Africa and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in Cape Town ten months later.

"I received a lot of help on getting the necessary documents as I traveled across countries. I planned to go to America from Africa, but I ran out of money and had to go back home," he said.

He started to plan his third cross-continent trip in July last year. He shipped his SUV from China to San Francisco and flew to the city by plane with two other travel companions, a friend and a freelancer, both of whom are intrepid travelers.

Chen said each of them spent close to 200,000 yuan (about 29,400 U.S. dollars) for their journey across north and south America.

As he drove through unfamiliar territories, he shared pictures and videos on the WeChat and Douyin (known as TikTok overseas) platforms. A video he shot at Yellowstone National Park in the United States of a bear chase was viewed six million times.

His next goal is to set foot on the Antarctic.

"There is never an end to the journey of life as there is never an end to one's dreams," he said.

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