Yao Shun became a travel blogger after visiting 42 countries during his gap year. Key opinion leader (KOL) agency ParkLu interviewed Shun for their “theInsider 2019 Travel Catalogue.”
I have a pretty strong character. Before graduating from university I took a gap year and traveled to 42 countries, and even made several thousand dollars. This is when the second chapter of my life started — being a travel experiencer.
Because I love traveling so much and have visited countless places, I started writing a blog. To show destinations and different ways of living one’s life holistically, I started merging travel with other topics like sports, lifestyle and food.
I also have lots of interests and hobbies. I might go to the U.S. to parachute, the kind where I can jump solo. I also know how to paraglide and am a certified scuba diving instructor. When time permits, I love to go surfing, kite-surfing, skiing, ice-skating — anything that’s badass, really.
Despite all my years of traveling, my favorite trip is still my first 100-day voyage on a train from Beijing to Rome. This trip turned out to be a key to a whole new world for me. At that time, I was young and inexperienced going through unforeseen challenges in distant lands. Although quite poor, I was very happy and found joy in simplicity.
As a blogger, I have a consistent feed of new content where I explore new worlds and learn skills continuously. My daily posts are inspired by my life and travels. In short, what I share is who I am – I do not brag or exaggerate.
What’s your most memorable experience working with brands? Any horror stories?
My most memorable experience was retracing the Silk Road, which I did when working with Chow Tai Fook. Having been selected by them, I felt that I could do what I wanted to do and go to places I wanted to visit anyways while making some content along the way. The coolest thing about working with brands like these is that they give you lots of trust and freedom.
Of course, there have been some collaborations that went less smoothly. Once, I worked with a brand that had a very weak operational capacity. The accommodations and F&B they arranged were very poor and, while the itinerary was all planned out, the planning was uncoordinated. The journey ended up being stressful and highly uncomfortable.
Shun organizes meetups with his fans and enjoys talking with them personally.
My fan-base is 70 percent female and made up mostly of students and professionals. I engage with them frequently and personally reply to most of the comments. I also like to share posts, create contests, give away some souvenirs from my travels – Sahara Desert sand, for example.
Every year, I organize a few offline events to meet with the fans. Some of them spend a few hours on the train just to come and participate. I wish that people who like me can grow collectively, and together with me, and become better versions of themselves. This is my whole purpose in sharing my experiences.
Who is your favorite blogger?
I follow 270夫妇. The richness of their travels is different for anyone to replicate. They make their own money, they spend it and, while traveling, do so many amazing things. I truly admire them!
What is your biggest regret?
I regret that during my college years I did not fall head-over-heels in love. Most of my time was spent studying, working and traveling.
Download ParkLu’s full Travel Catalogue here.