27-year-old Chinese woman travels to 90 countries in 9 years on tight budget

Deng Shen was an 18-year-old high school graduate when she experienced a sudden surge of wanderlust.

That passion for travel was sparked off by a visit to Yunnan, China as a high school senior, during which she realised she enjoyed delving into other cultures and meeting new people, reports CCTV news.

She dreamt of journeying around the world, and 9 years later, she is one step closer to fulfilling that wish.

Now 27, Deng has travelled to more then 90 countries since 2006, and her total travel budget thus far has reached 300,000 yuan (approx. S$65,000).

She had worked as a part-time waiter, tour guide, translator, and even published her travel stories to finance her trips.

To start off her globetrotting journey, Deng first went to Germany in 2008 as an exchange student. Being there greatly facilitated her travels across Europe.

Four years later in 2012, Deng then attended a university in Peru for her postgraduate studies, allowing her the opportunity to explore South America.

One of her most "unforgettable experiences" was in 2011, when she hitchhiked 8,000 kilometres.

After 2 months and 62 hitchhikes, she had added countries such as Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa under her belt.

According to Deng, her travels have broadened her horizons and knowledge -- she is now fluent in Spanish, German, English and Japanese, and decently proficient in 10 other languages.

She has also become an active global citizen, joining in the conservation of the Dead Sea and West wetlands in the Middle East and volunteering to take care of marine animals in Peru. 

Deng aims to finish visiting the remaining countries and take the idea of "globetrotter" to a whole new level.

She says, "Someone travels to escape the reality, but I discovered my real self in these journeys."