Bing Bing Li walks through Vail on his global quest to spread love one step at a time
China native and Canadian citizen doesn't accept donations other than food and water
VAIL — Bing Bing Li is walking the world promoting peace and understanding one step at a time. He started his trek on Nov. 28, 2016, in Bellingham, Washington, and says he’ll continue walking until he touches every continent with his message.
He figures it will take the rest of his life. He considers spreading peace, love and understanding a life well spent.
“I cannot think of anything more important than that,” Li said.
He says he started in the United States because it’s big and the only superpower.
“The whole world looks to the U.S.,” Li said.
The China native and Canadian citizen expects to spend six years criss-crossing the U.S. He’ll head south to the tip of South America where he hopes to catch a wind-powered ride to Cape Horn, work his way through Africa, Europe, Asia and end in his native village in northeast China.
Li is free
Li does not accost or confront. He has no political agenda.
“I try to spread the message by how I live,” Li said.
Free and simply, is how he lives. He pulls a wagon that carries a few clothes, his sleeping bag and a couple blankets, a camping pillow and a tent.
That’s it. No mortgage, no debt, nothing that consumes time or money. He walks as far as he wants. If he needs to rest or doesn’t want to walk that day, he doesn’t.
He doesn’t have to work overtime or a second job just to pay the bills. He doesn’t have any bills. Li is completely free.
Most recently his quest brought him from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Colorado. He was resting and enjoying lunch in the shade Tuesday afternoon in Vail Village. Lunch didn’t cost him a dime, which works out well because he does not accept money.
“I have spent zero money in two years, seven months and two weeks,” Li said.
People often try to give him money, he said, but he doesn’t take it. He will accept food. People are happy to give it, he said.
“I take only what I need to survive,” he said.
No love of money in Li
Li doesn’t have a website or do social media. Ironically, Li took his low-tech method and message to the corporate campuses around Apple, Microsoft, Uber and others. He talks some, but mostly Li listens.
“So many people in those places told me about their jobs, that they’re only doing it because the money is so good,” Li said, expressing a little sadness for those people.
Li does not quote the Bible — “For the love of money is the root of all evil” — but he supports and spreads that sentiment.
In their classic rock song, “The Ostrich,” John Kay and Steppenwolf put it another way: “Forty years you waste to chase a dollar sign …”
“Chasing money is where everything starts,” Li said.
And so Li walks free.
The cover of Li’s small green wagon says, “I am walking across the world to spread the message of … equal and unconditional love for all our fellow creatures across all space/time/matter/energy. It is the only way out of human misery.”
He planned to leave Vail Wednesday morning, headed up Vail Pass and Loveland Pass. From there it’s downhill all the way to the Appalachian Mountains, he said smiling.
Li takes the long view of his quest.
“This was 100,000 years in the making. It will take a long time to undo this, maybe generations, to turn it back into a paradise,” Li said.
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.