By Horace Lu
Li Senlin (李森林) and his friend Yuan Hui (袁辉) have chosen to hike back home for the Spring Festival. The two university students plan to spend eight days covering 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Suzhou, where their universities are located, to their hometown Yancheng.
“It is not because we have failed to buy train tickets, but for our dreams,” Li Senlin told local media.
Li, born in 1990, has been dreaming of walking home since he entered university. A few days ago, Yuan Hui, his high school friend who shared the same idea found him, and they planned the 8-day trip together.
Having set out on Jan. 14th, they hope to reach home before the Chinese New Year’s Eve by walking at least 50 kilometers (30 miles) a day.
Li Senlin has turned the hike into a project of sorts. He has taken along 100 pieces of A4 paper, each with a question written on it. He plans to randomly choose one question to ask a passer-by if he meets one and ask him to write his answer on the paper. During the first day, one man answered whether he would like to be researched after his death.
Li Senlin and Yuan Hui have been tweeting about their trip on their micro-blogs. Most of Li’s posts are about people’s answers to his questions, while Yuan has expressed his surprise about so much media coverage on them, saying he just wants to finish his trip in time.
Li, an online novelist who goes by the pseudonym “Weeping Forest” (泣森), says he plans to use this hiking experience as material for his new novelette. During the trip, he is also busy seeking places with Internet access to upgrade new chapters of his novels.