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You may not realize this, but the English version of RocketNews24 (there’s a Japanese site too!) has only been around for a mere five years! Believe it or not, cool and quirky things happened around Japan and Asia before we started writing about them, so there are years worth of interesting things that we didn’t get to tell you about. Sometimes, like today, we bring you stories from the past, because they are so cool, they should see the light again.

Today we take you back to a story that started on November 9, 2007, when Christoph Rehage, a 26-year-old German, started his 45,000-kilometer (27,962-mile) walk across China. He documented his adventure in various mediums, but most notably, in a five-minute time-lapse.

▼ His journey was documented on this blog.

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Christoph Rehage had traveled a lot and spent some time studying in China, when one day, he decided to walk to his home country. That meant starting in Beijing, China and ending up in Bad Nenndorf, Germany— over 9,000 kilometers away. He didn’t make it though, ending his journey early, having completed “only” 4,640 kilometers, which took almost exactly one year. His end-point was Ürümqi, the capital of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

▼ So clean and happy!

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In preparation for this adventure, he shaved his face and head, loaded up a wagon and started trekking away. He faced all kinds of weather, met all kinds of people and had the experience of a lifetime. He took a selfie every day to document his trip and combined them into this time-lapse video entitled, “The Longest Way.”

▼ Oh, how he changed!

You may have noticed Chris (as he prefers to be called) boarding airplanes and even spending a few days in Germany and some other days on vacation with his girlfriend. According to his blog, those breaks from walking were “to sort out bureaucracy issues or to take care of some personal things.” After every break he started back up where he’d left off and didn’t shave or cut his hair, so we won’t count it as cheating.

▼ He looks as if he’d rather be walking than flying.

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▼ We get to see some landmarks and beautiful scenery in the background.

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▼ Still happy, 1,000 kilometers in!

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▼ What fun!

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▼ His brother walked with him for a while too!

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▼ That looks rough…

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▼ Finished (for now)!

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Since he stopped walking, Chris has published two books, in German, Chinese and recently, in Russian. One is a travel log, or as he describes it, the more intimate, behind-the-scenes story, filled with stuff he wouldn’t want to talk about in an interview or on a blog. The other is a coffee table book of photos from his journey. Although, he’s fluent in English, as of 2013, he’d been having a tough time finding an English publisher.

▼ So, is this end…?

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Chris wasn’t done walking though. In the summers of 2012 and 2013, presumably between his university studies, he continued his journey home, starting where he left off in Ürümqi and walking to the border of Kazakhstan and China, adding 1,000 kilometers to his cumulative journey.

▼ He documented this second trip with “The Longest Way 2.0”.

Having completed two mind-boggling feats, he has inspired and motivated others who have similar wild dreams and to them (but, it applies to everyone, really) he says,

“It doesn’t matter what dream you choose to follow, as long as you have one. Go follow your dream, and laugh while you’re doing it!”

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Source: Design Taxi, The Longest Way, Christoph Rehage
Images: Screen shots from Vimeo Vimeo/Christoph RehageThe Longest Way