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Never too old for adventure

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2016-02-03 08:24

Never too old for adventure

Li Xinpei and her husband, Kong Shijie, at the Colosseum, Rome, when they first traveled to Europe in 2009. Photos Provided To China Daily

An elderly Chinese couple has faced rockets, police and cheek-kisses to backpack the world. Xu Lin reports.


Li Xinpei was confused when an old Israeli woman frantically repeated the English word to her.

The woman gestured.

"Bang! You die!" she said.

Li still didn't understand - and wondered why everyone in the vicinity had gathered under a bridge.

But the 69-year-old and her husband, Kong Shijie, joined the huddle when they saw someone stop their car and dash out.

They had no idea the people in Tel Aviv were hiding from Gaza rockets until she later saw photos of explosions in newspapers.

It was July 2014, a period during which Israeli-Palestinian tensions erupted, when the elderly couple visited Israel on their fourth overseas backpacking expedition.

They've traveled to 36 countries in Southeast Asia, Europe and North America over the past seven years, and recount earlier adventures in Li's 2013 book, Traveling the World to Lead a Different Life.

"I'm curious about the world," the retired executive of a Beijing company says.

"These bittersweet explorations have enriched me. We want to seize what days we have left before our health gives out."

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