TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Leaving a well-paid job and a regular life behind, a Taiwanese man is on an epic journey to cycle to 100 countries where he has had abundantly unforgettable experiences, made friends with lots of people, and seen his attitude and perception towards life change.
Jacky Chen (陳峻永), a 39-year-old electronics engineer from Taipei City left his job three years ago to set out on an extraordinary bike trip which he might not finish before 2020.
Getting inspiration from the book titled "Don't go or Die" written by Japanese author Ishida Yusuke, Chen embarked from Alaska in June 2015 and traveled along the Americas, before heading out to Europe, along with a temporary stop in Croatia, and then on his way to complete his mission of reaching 100 countries and riding 100,000 kilometers.
Chen will continue heading towards northern Europe before flying off to Africa.
His story has received much attention from both local Taiwanese and international media. He also met with several Taiwanese Representatives in Poland, Peru, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Ecuador.
Jacky Chen met with the representative of Taiwan in Denmark, Mr. William Chuang in Copenhagen (image taken from the website of Taiwan Representative Office in Demark)
Speaking to CNA, he said one of the exciting parts of his trip is to meet new people, receive support and encouragement from overseas Taiwanese as well as from many foreigners along the way.
During his trip, Chen faced off various obstacles such as sleeping with coyotes in Alaska, having his bike stolen in Canada, his baggage being lost in Mexico and encountering persistent the snow in Turkey. However, he never thought of giving up the trip as he said there were always new possibilities after every hardship.
Furthermore, the trip made a great impact on his attitude towards life. Chen told CNA, "my perception of life is more positive right now, I think there is nothing that you cannot accomplish.", he said.
Last year, a Vietnamese motorcyclist marked his trip traveling to 23 countries in two years, with the finish ending up in several newspapers.
The two travelers from Vietnam and Taiwan expressed a somewhat similar attitude and advice for the young generation: Pursue and fight for the life that you want.