To boldly go

Updated 2017-08-02 09:32:15 China Daily
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Zhang Xinyu and his wife, Liang Hong, have explored many places off the beaten track over the past few years-from Antarctica, Oymyakon in Russia Afghanistan and an active volcano in Vanuatu. Their most recent journey was an 80,000-kilometer trip on an aircraft they bought.

Zhang Xinyu and his wife, Liang Hong, have explored many places off the beaten track over the past few years-from Antarctica, Oymyakon in Russia Afghanistan and an active volcano in Vanuatu. Their most recent journey was an 80,000-kilometer trip on an aircraft they bought.

The online show, On the Road, follows the adventures of a couple who stepped out of their comfort zone.

Many people would probably expect that 40-year-old Zhang Xinyu and his 38-year-old wife, Liang Hong-having earned nearly 100 million yuan (.8 million) and owning nine apartments in Beijing-would be happy to live a comfortable life.

However, being comfortable is the last thing the couple wanted.

"I forgot how to be happy," Zhang recalls, when explaining their motivation for setting off on a round-the-world journey about a decade ago. "I thought, 'What if we changed our lifestyle?'"

So the couple decided to travel around the world-but in an adventurous way.

After taking five years to get the training they wanted-which included getting a pilot's license to fly helicopters, and diving and sailing certificates-they set off.

From a refugee camp in Somalia to Chernobyl, the couple's itinerary avoided the conventional tourist destinations.

In Russia's Oymyakon, which is said to be the coldest inhabited place in the world, Zhang warmed Liang's heart by proposing to her in 2013.

The couple then spent one and a half years sailing a boat to more than 20 countries and finally reached Antarctica, where they held their wedding in 2014.

They visited many places during this voyage, including an abandoned air base on Attu Island in Alaska, and Simushir, an uninhabited island in the Kuril Islands, which once housed one of the former Soviet Union's nuclear submarine bases.

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Zhang Xinyu and his wife, Liang Hong, have explored many places off the beaten track over the past few years-from Antarctica, Oymyakon in Russia Afghanistan and an active volcano in Vanuatu. Their most recent journey was an 80,000-kilometer trip on an aircraft they bought.

Zhang Xinyu and his wife, Liang Hong, have explored many places off the beaten track over the past few years-from Antarctica, Oymyakon in Russia Afghanistan and an active volcano in Vanuatu. Their most recent journey was an 80,000-kilometer trip on an aircraft they bought.

Popularity online

Since 2013, their exploration of the world has captured the imaginations of a large number of followers via the online reality show On the Road.

"I don't call the program a show. It's more of a documentary that is broadcast online for free," says Zhang.

"It's recorded without any ornamentation," Liang says.

Not every place they have visited has been pleasant. They almost lost their lives when approaching lava at Marum, an active volcano in Vanuatu.

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