Yang Works2024

 

Around the Earth in 1001 Days | Old Yang's Great Journey

Yang Fei in Changsha

 

Old Yang, travel writer, photographer, book and record collector, author of the novel Starry Yunnan Starry Tibet and the documentary photo book National Highway 107, is about to embark on a round-the-world trip and is now looking for collaborations.

 

Today is January 3, 2024, and the round-the-world project is officially on the agenda. My RV is undergoing interior renovation at Weihai Antu RV Company in China and is expected to be delivered in March.

If you are interested in joining or supporting my project, please contact Lao Yang: Mobile +86-13974850714, Twitter@feiyang17, email starrrytibet@gmail.com or WeChat @laoyang2063

 

I plan to drive an RV around the Earth. The tentative plan is to depart from Shanghai in 2024, first crossing the Eurasian continent (Shanghai - Xinjiang - Kazakhstan - Russia - Finland - Europe). The RV will be shipped by sea to Halifax, Canada, either from the UK or Belgium. From there, I will head south through the Americas until reaching Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost point of Argentina. The total distance is approximately 30,000 kilometers. The route may be adjusted depending on the situation. '1001 Days' refers to the approximate duration, as I don't have a specific schedule. I will take it slowly and won't rush.

 

(1) 1001-Day Travel Storytelling Project

The number 1001 is taken from the Arabian Nights. My plan is to record a short video every three days, around ten minutes long, to share book reviews, travel experiences, and life stories. I also welcome everyone to join this storytelling project and share their own stories. You can participate in person or connect remotely.

 


(2) Writing and Photography Project

After this journey, I will publish a collection called "Old Yang's Global Diary." I am a travel writer and photographer, with works published multiple times in various travel and outdoor magazines, including China National Geographic. I have already published a novel titled Starry Yunnan Starry Tibet and a documentary photo book titled National Highway 107. I have also created nearly 800,000 words of fiction, essays, and various reviews. For more of my works, please visit Yang Fei's Selected Works (In Chinese).



(3) The Library on the Road Project

In addition to writing books, I also enjoy collecting them. In 2018, I converted my own residence (1485 square foot) into a book bar and caf└. The store has a collection of 4,000 books, as well as hundreds of thousands of e-books, and dozens of terabytes of music and movie materials. For this long trip, a selection of over two hundred books will be on board. A set of electronic materials from my collection will be duplicated and brought along (a NAS data computer will be installed in the RV).

During this trip, I will provide free book-searching services for villages and RV camps along the way. If you have a significant amount of electronic materials (e-books, music, and movies), feel free to contact me for sharing and exchanging copies.

 


The Old Yang Book house, which opened in 2018


(4) Piano and Music Plan

I have collected classical music materials for many years, especially piano music, and have always wanted to learn to play the piano. However, for various reasons, I have not started yet. This long-distance journey provides a great opportunity for me. I plan to bring a digital piano (Korg SP250) into the RV (placed on the bed above the driver's cab). I am prepared to try self-learning, starting from reading musical notation, learning a piece of song every two months, and aiming to perform on the street in two years. In addition to the piano, there are also a guitar and a violin in the vehicle, and any friends interested along the way are welcome to play them.

 


(5) Astronomy Popularization Plan

I have purchased an iOptron ZEQ25 equatorial and a Sky Rover 105ED refracting telescope. This system has an automatic star-finding function, and its principle is the same as that of an astronomical observatory telescope. This equipment can be used for popular science education for children and also allows me to observe the stars along the way.

 


Stargazing gear


(6) Video Diary Plan

A dashcam will be installed in the vehicle, which will start recording when the wheels start turning. Whenever there is an internet connection, the videos will be uploaded. This will serve as a running video diary of the journey.

 


(7) The Earth Documentary Project

The film is tentatively titled Old Yang's Earth Odyssey, with the content focusing on my photographic creative process as well as the RV storytelling sessions. In addition to this main line, the following sub-lines come to mind:


1. "Encounters": Every week, I will film a passerby, take headshots and do a brief interview. This shooting style is inspired by the photo series in The New Yorker on Instagram. Short interviews can be filmed using DJI Pocket or GoPro attached to the shoulder strap of a small backpack.


2. "Recharge": Every week, I will find a household on the road and knock on their door to ask if I can charge the batteries of my vehicle.


3. "Strangers": While traveling in China, I will film a foreigner every week. While traveling abroad, I will film a local Chinese person every week. Each person will have a brief interview for a few minutes, discussing their dreams and life.


4. "Where's Daddy Going?" Earth Travel Edition: My 8-year-old son, Yang Yixiu, is currently studying in primary school in Singapore. I plan to have him fly over during school holidays to join the RV trip for a short period.


After filming and editing, I hope to participate in documentary film festivals and strive for broadcast on platforms like Netflix.



(8) 1001-Day Video Podcast Plan

Whether it's a photo diary or a documentary produced later, it cannot bring immediate income. To make some money on the road, the only way is to do video podcasts.

Given the current situation in China, the videos will mainly be uploaded on YouTube. Some videos may be uploaded on Bilibili depending on the situation. Consider broadcasting some content in English to attract foreign traffic. I had studied and worked abroad for six years, so there should be no problem with simple English broadcasts. However, should this approach involve creating separate YouTube accounts for Chinese and English content?

There are three main contents in the broadcast: travel stories, book reviews, and photography lectures.

 

Travel lifestyle is something every RV self-media will do. My specialty is hosting RV story sessions and book reviews. When the RV stays in one place for a few days, I will broadcast an episode of "Old Yang's Reading Club." There are more than 200 books and countless e-books on board, and I will choose two books to discuss every month.

Travel photography is my strong suit. I plan to systematically explain how to take better travel photos, from equipment to creative ideas. Each session will be about ten minutes long, with thirty sessions in total. The scripts are all ready, and the manuscript for Old Yang's Quick Guide to Travel Photography has been completed. In short, there will be no shortage of content to broadcast along the way.

There may not be much income in the first year of accumulating fans, but earning enough money for fuel should not be a problem from the second year onwards. Starting from the third year, it should be enough to fund the travel lifestyle. This is the minimum requirement. As a professional content creator, if you don't have this confidence, you should not engage in this profession.

 


(9) Basic Budget

The budget for this global trip is about one million Chinese Yuan (140,000 USD), of which 400,000 Yuan (56,000 USD) will be used to purchase the vehicle and equipment, and the estimated travel expenses for three years will be 600,000 Yuan (84,000 USD). I am not a wealthy person, so I need to do live broadcasts to earn some travel expenses. If I make more money, I can also raise funds for the construction of small public library in the future.

If you are interested in investing in my global documentary project, please contact me. We can consider operating this project as a company, and we can discuss the specific details together.

 


(10) Vehicle and Equipment

My RV is currently undergoing interior renovations at Weihai Antu RV Company in China, and it will take another two months to complete. The chassis of the RV is a SAIC Yuejin H500 light truck, which has the advantages of an AMT automatic transmission and original air suspension. There will be a bookshelf covering one side of the wall in the bedroom and the guest area. An electrically adjustable computer desk will also be installed. The design follows the principle of having ample water and electricity supply, allowing for independent living for more than five days when away from RV campsites. It includes a 300-liter fresh water tank, 150-liter gray water tank, 60-liter black water tank, 48v 560Ah lithium battery pack, 2400 watts of solar power on the roof, a 158-liter refrigerator, and a 10kg household washing machine. Of course, there will be air conditioning and heating.

Photography equipment is fully stocked. The main cameras are the Panasonic Lumix S5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1X, with the Panasonic Lumix G9 as a backup, and a ton of lenses. Two sets of DJI drones are also included.

 


L-shaped sofa and table for light truck RV (online source). My idea is to install an electric piano under this tabletop.

 

 

(11) Preceding Projects

Before going abroad, I need to complete the National Highway 107 Revisited project. The National Highway 107 photography project was completed in 2011. It is of great significance to revisit and make comparative records. This project must be completed first. Once the global journey begins, it will be difficult to say when I will return to China.

For this National Highway 107 Revisited project, I will ride a bicycle from Beijing to Hong Kong again, covering a total distance of 2,700 kilometers. I plan to depart from Hong Kong at the end of March 2024 and expect to take about two months to complete the trip.

Other preceding projects include the Tour around Dongting Lake, which will take about two weeks by car, and the National Highway 318 from Shanghai to Lhasa, which will take about two months. These two are also revisiting old sites. These two projects are not mandatory, and I will carry them out if I have extra time.

 


(12) Seeking Travel Companions

Currently, I am embarking on this global journey alone. For such a long journey, it would be best to have someone accompanying me. It is ideal to have two people in the RV. My RV is the largest under the category of six meters in length, and can accommodate three people for short periods. Female companions are preferred, with a decent physical condition, as there may be instances where I need you to model for some photos. The ideal situation would be for both of us to complete the entire journey together. However, segmented participation can also be considered, but you should have at least three months of available time.

You need to meet at least three of the following requirements: 1) Passion for photography; 2) Love for travel; 3) Good health; 4) Possession of a College English Test Band 6 certificate or an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, or proficiency in a third language, especially Spanish; 5) Familiarity with video editing; 6) Knowledge of running social media accounts; 7) Experienced driver; 8) Ability to play a musical instrument or skilled in singing; 9) Financially wealthy; 10) Good culinary expertise.

For sisters interested in participating in my project, you will need to prepare your passport and driver's license, exercise regularly, and improve your English proficiency now.

 

I especially welcome brothers and sisters who specialize in communication studies, sociology, anthropology, or geography. This global journey is actually a sociological field study project. The Strangers project aims to document the lives of overseas Chinese worldwide. If you have other great ideas for travel photography projects, I am willing to collaborate with you.

A word of advice: RV travel has its pros and cons. Living in a vehicle is different from living at home; there are more things to take care of. You will need to handle the water supply and wastewater disposal yourself. Once you enter the realm of RV living, you are diving into the deep sea of water and electricity anxieties. People who are not diligent or have claustrophobia are not suitable for RV living.

 

 

(13) Seeking Car Companions

For safety reasons, it would be best to have two vehicles traveling together, especially on Asian roads. However, it may be difficult to find another RV for such a long journey. Nevertheless, I welcome any friends who are interested in driving from China to Europe to contact me. Any type of vehicle is ok, as long as it has four wheels. You can join or leave as you wish.



(14) Third-party Documentation

 

If you are an experienced documentary filmmaker or producer, you are welcome to follow my round-the-world trip and make your own documentary. You will need to provide your own vehicle, crew and equipment.

 

 

(15) Website and Publicity

The website for the journey is www.aroundtheworldin1001days.com tentatively. This site is not yet operational, and the name of the website is still under consideration.

 


Audi A3 and light truck motorhome (online source)

 

(16) Departure Time and Routes

The tentative plan is to depart from Shanghai in 2024. There are several routes from China to Europe:

1. Exit from Xinjiang to Kazakhstan, then proceed to Russia, and enter Northern Europe through Finland.
2. Enter Russia from the Manzhouli land port in Heilongjiang, China. The Russia-Finland route may have intermittent disruptions due to the conflict with Ukraine and requires close attention.
3. Travel from Pakistan to Iran to Turkey, and then enter Europe. This route may face security issues as remnants of ISIS still exist. It is recommended to drive only during daylight hours, stick to major roads, and pass through as quickly as possible.


It is currently unclear whether the Zhangmu land port in Tibet has opened for self-driving tours. From here you can drive to Nepal, into India and then into Pakistan.

If Finland closes its border with Russia, an alternative route is to enter Georgia from Russia and then enter Turkey. This route used to have bus services, so theoretically, RV travel should be possible, but I have not come across any cases of Chinese vehicles going this route at present.

 


(17) Visa, ATA Carnet, and Other Issues

In 2023, many Chinese RVs and family cars have already traveled across Eurasia, so visa issues are not a big problem. However, I will strive to obtain visas for the countries along the way before departure, especially for the European Union (Schengen) and the United States.

Driver's licenses and vehicle registrations need to be translated and notarized in China. International travel insurance should be obtained as much as possible. I am an experienced driver and had driven alone from Changsha, Hunan to Lhasa, covering nearly 10,000 kilometers without any problems.

 

To pass through the Chinese northern border, a vehicle needs to obtain an ATA Carnet. To obtain this document, a deposit equivalent to half of the vehicle's price needs to be paid. If your vehicle does not return to China within one year, the deposit will be forfeited. However, my global journey is impossible to complete within one year. According to policy, the ATA Carnet can be extended once, and the application should typically be submitted one month in advance.

Regarding the deposit for the ATA Carnet, it is said that local scalpers at the land port can offer a cheaper price. They claim that with a payment of 60,000 Yuan, the ATA Carnet can be obtained. However, it is necessary to find successful cases to confirm the matter.

 


(18) End Station Library Plan

A person cannot live in a vehicle for a lifetime. When the journey comes to an end, I hope that a library will be my final destination.

As a long-time enthusiast of reading, a writer, and the owner of a small book bar, my ultimate plan in life is to expand the scale of the book bar and establish a small public library. This library will have more amenities than a typical library, including accommodation and light meals, allowing readers to comfortably read and write 24 hours a day. In essence, it will be a library-themed guesthouse.

The location for this guesthouse is yet to be determined. I hope it will be situated in an area without harsh winters, surrounded by mountains and water, with flowers blooming throughout the four seasons. Initial considerations include Hainan island in China, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Ecuador in South America, or Florida in the United States.

 

The construction of a library cannot be done without money. I hope that this global journey can raise one million US dollars. Every dollar donated by you will be carefully recorded. Friends who have funds, land, or book resources are welcome to contact me. I will sell my apartment in China and invest one million Yuan (140,000 USD) as a start-up fund.

If the fundraising is successful, a library public welfare fund and management committee will be established to ensure the long-term operation of the library in the future.

That's the plan for now. Contact Lao Yang: WhatsApp and mobile phone: +86-13974850714, WeChat: laoyang2063, Telegram and Twitter @feiyang17, and my email is starrytibet@gmail.com.

Yang Fei,
January 2024, Changsha.

 


 

 the novel Starry Yunnan, Starry Tibet and the documentary photo book National Highway 107


 

10 Questions About Cycling Around the World in 888 Days
 

This old article should have been deleted, but the questions are still meaningful, so I'll leave them here:

1. Is traveling around the world really that important?
2. What is the point of superficial tourism?
3. Is biking truly environmentally friendly compared to driving or flying around the world?
4. Traveling for others versus traveling for oneself.
5. What if you don't want to do interviews?
6. What if you don't want to take pictures?
7. To publicize or not to publicize?
8. Not working, hanging around the planet for fun - is this non-mainstream behavior good or bad?
9. Why look for a female assistant?
10. If parents are alive, is it filial to travel far away?
 

For the full article, please click here. April 13, 2014.

 

Related Readings

Cycling around the World in 888 Days (2019 Edition)

A briefing on the Sichuan-Tibet Highway Tour

Cycling from Beijing to Shenzhen | National Highway 107

A Universal Shared Bookstore | Lao Yang's Store Opening Memoir

Lao Yang's Sichuan-Tibet Ride - A three minute trailer

Lao Yang's Talk on RVs

 

 


Follow Lao Yang at
1, Yang Works: www.999kg.com
2, Telegram@feiyang17
3, Email:starrytibet@gmail.com
4, Medium@starrytibet
5, Twitter@feiyang17
6, Facebook@yangfei999999@hotmail.com


 

I insist on independent writing, do not do commercial advertising, do not accept conditional sponsorship, and do not join official literary organizations. But writers also need to make a living. If you like my work, you can buy me a coffee through Wechat@yangfei789288, Alipay@13974850714, and PayPal@feiyang17. Thanks for your support.


 

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