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Across China: A life journey with mom, 103

(Xinhua)  ??  2014-06-26 11:32

SHENYANG, June 25 -- While young people seize their first chance to leave their parents and live alone, one elderly man has travelled all across China with his 103-year-old mom.

Over the past eight years, Chen Luxue, his wife and mom have left footprints all over China driving a motorhome adapted from a second-hand car.

Wherever they go, they visit some famous places while Chen, 65, does part time jobs, and scavenges scrap to save money for the next trip.

"Although we do not have money to take a train or plane and live comfortably in hotels, we are still happy and enjoy the journey because we are together," Chen said.

As the youngest son of a family from Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, the former public servant loves his mom Yu Zhongxiu, who lost her husband in early life and brought up four children alone.

Chen always felt sorry for Yu because he worked far away from home when he was young and did not have time to look after her even after his job was transferred to a local court in Sichuan.

"My mom served us in her lifetime and expected no return," Chen said, "She wants to see more. I will fulfill her wish at any cost."

He first saw Yu's excitement on a journey in 2006 and decided to give up his "iron rice bowl" as a public servant and take her on some fun trips across the country.

But how? Normal cars were impossible since Yu cannot bend her right leg, so it dawned on Chen to invent a special car.

He spent 9,800 yuan (about 1,580 U.S. dollars) on an old domestic SUV and another 5,000 yuan converting it to a motorhome in which the family can sleep and take showers.

Yu usually sleeps comfortably in the front seat. Chen and his wife sleep in a tent on the top of the vehicle at night.

"It's a bit uncomfortable, but we like this travelling life," said Tan Huiqin, Chen's wife, who recalled when a thief once stole all their daily necessities. She admits though that they have met more kind people along the road than bad ones.

Chen once worked as a hotel security guard when they visited Fujian Province. He said it is his favorite job because he could park the "house" in the parking lot. When they found out his situation, the hotel provided a room for his family.

They have just come back from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). His mom broke the record as the oldest Chinese tourist to DPRK. Several tourists helped carry her up to a fourth floor cinema and a villagers invited them to try the delicious local food.

In addition to the simple pleasures, the trips have also been good for Yu's health. She does not get sick in the car anymore and Chen has even noticed a few strands of her white hair turning black.

"I am quite satisfied. Thanks to my son, I have visited almost all place in the country. I am prouder than the mother of any emperor," Yu said.

Chen has a lot of plans for the future. "I will continue my life journey with mom. Next stop, Russia!" he announced.