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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 16:44 IST

21-year-old leaves China’s rat race for life in rural mountains

A 21-year-old man from China has decided to "retire," abandoning the urban hustle and settling in the hills of Guizhou.

Reported by: Manasvi Asthana
The 21-year-old ‘retiree’ who left China’s rat race for life in the rural mountains.
The 21-year-old ‘retiree’ who left China’s rat race for life in the rural mountains. | Image:Facebook: @liuyouwen
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A 21-year-old man from China has decided to "retire," abandoning the urban hustle and settling in the hills of Guizhou. Liu Youwen left his hometown, Xiaxixiang, in Guizhou province, three years ago and moved to the city of Shantou in Guangdong, China's wealthiest province.

Despite being a high school dropout, he attempted to make a living in the city but struggled to secure employment. Liu went through various jobs, starting as a car mechanic, then working in construction, and finally landing a position at a clothing factory.

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In 2022, he made the choice to abandon everything and retreat to the hills close to his hometown. Despite facing resistance from his family, particularly his brother, Liu explained that he sought a "simple life" and wished to break free from the high-pressure rat race.

"In the factory, I used to work from 8am to 10pm plus overtime, my time was not my own. Now I get to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping," Liu told CNN.

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Struggles of the mountain life

Initially, there was an issue with electricity. Liu resolved this by installing solar panels around his house. Concerned about his safety, particularly during the night, his family installed CCTV cameras around the residence.

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What inspired him?

Liu drew inspiration from the Chinese vlogger and influencer Li Ziqi, known for sharing videos depicting rural life and boasting 18 million subscribers on YouTube. Following suit, Liu also regularly uploads vlogs showcasing his life in the mountains.

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Liu's videos depict him constructing a pig pen and engaging with his two pet dogs, named Lucky and Flower.

Additionally, he showcases the cultivation of vegetables such as cabbage and garlic, and he shares videos featuring dishes like sweet potatoes.

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Liu's experience away from city life

Liu mentioned that he never experiences loneliness because he has access to television, and his companionship with animals contributes to his contentment.

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Despite being 21 years old, he has garnered a substantial online following, accumulating a total of 350,000 likes across his social media accounts since September.

"Life in the mountains is much better than city life - even drinking water costs money in the city," he added.

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 16:44 IST

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