Aunty Su Min is a 57-year-old Chinese influencer with more than 1 million followers across various social media platforms in China.
Aunty Su Min travels across China in a search of a new life experience in her specially fitted out Volkswagen polo. Although she has experienced an unhappy marriage she wanted to seize the day and make a positive change in her life. She embraced the unknown and started her road trip 8 months ago!
“In the first half of my life, I am tied down by commitments that I cannot change. However, in the second half of my life, I wish to walk my own path and do the things I love, to travel to the places I dream of.”
The journey began when Aunty Su Min wanted to escape her troubled marriage. When the relationship turned sour, she would often catch herself crying at home. That was when she started to seek psychological help from doctors. However, even in the shadow of an unhappy marriage, she has performed her caring duties for her daughter and her twin grandsons. As they grew older, her duty as a mother and a grandmother was finally completed when her grandchildren went to kindergarten. She felt ready for her to start a new stage of her life.
With her advancing age, she realized that if she did not start living her life now, then when? With the money she has saved up and a S$7,500 contribution from her daughter for the downpayment, she bought a white Volkswagen polo car that she paid off within two years from working part time. With that, she set off from her home in the city of Zhengzhou and began to explore China.
We were curious about her expenses on the trip. Aunty Su Min explains that average monthly expenses are approximately S$800 each month while daily expenses varies greatly, largely depending on the activities that she has. Aunty Su Min is currently eight months into her self-exploration journey and believes that it will take her two to three more years to finish it. She accepted this interview from Tibet. She has even pasted a map of China on her car to share her route with others.
From the start till now, she has learnt a great deal that she would not have from sitting in the confines of her home – this includes learning how to love others and oneself, how to chase your dreams and has even become a car technical expert. As a result of her self-discovery journey, Aunty Sumin has even spent her Chinese New Year alone. As the most important traditional festival which represents family union for Chinese, she chose to continue her journey in Hainan Province during the festive season. It was the first time for her without family, but it was a liberating experience instead of a lonely one.
Advocate of Active Ageing
In the interview, Aunty Su Min also touches the topic about ageing and offers her insights. When it comes to her later life planning, she is interested in a senior university that can provide English and painting programs. Although filial piety is still a dominant notion in China, she wants to be independent and does not want to be a burden to her family. She also looks forward to living in a homely senior housing facility where she can have access to lifelong learning resources, maintain strong social bonds with other residents and have round-the-clock nursing care. She wishes to remain as fit for as long as possible.
An Inspirational Icon
Aunty Su Min has become an inspiration for many. In fact, many of her followers find a reflection of themselves in her. Now, she is joined by 3 of her fans, and they travel the enormity of China together. Currently, they are exploring spectacular sights of nature and history in Tibet. We hope Aunty Su Min will continue to stay healthy, age actively and complete her journey in time.
To view the Ageing Asia “Age Well Think Big” interview with Aunty Su Min, which took place inside her iconic hatchback, please watch the video below: