China’s Beloved Rubber Tramp Su Min is (Finally) Divorcing Her Husband

Two years ago, then-56-year-old Su Min embarked on a solo road trip to escape an abusive relationship. Now, after returning home, she is divorcing her husband

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Sep 20, 2022 1 mins read

Su Min, a 58-year-old retiree who has spent the past two years on a solo road trip across China, has attained a newfound sense of freedom, internet fame (reportedly 2 million followers across all social platforms), and soon — a divorce.

She departed on her epic cross-country journey in the fall of 2020 but returned home to Central China’s Henan province on September 8 of this year to spend the Mid-Autumn Festival with her family. Su announced her plans to divorce her husband days after arriving back in Henan.

su min reuniting with family road-tripping auntie china

Su Min reuniting with her mother

One of the reasons Su chose to leave home in the first place was the unhappiness and reported violence she suffered throughout her decades-long marriage.

In a video of Su’s reunion with her husband over the holiday, the tension is evident. “So you do know how to come back,” he said before asking, “You can’t survive the solo trip any longer, can you?”

The two have apparently not communicated at all in the two years since she left.

su min auntie husband

Screengrab from Su Min’s tense reunion with her husband

Chinese netizens have expressed an outpouring of support for Su’s decision, with one Weibo user writing, “Great! She should have divorced her absent partner long ago!”

“After enduring so many years [in her marriage], she has finally chosen to divorce her husband after her solo trip. I’m so happy for her! Su Min has changed. She can finally be free, so she is changing her fate. Go, Su Min!” wrote another enthusiastic netizen.

However, not everyone is supportive of the decision. One man wrote on Weibo, “She has made a lot of money from social media over the past two years. It belongs to husband and wife as joint property. If it was the husband who left home for two years without saying a word and then got a divorce when he returned, what would the public reaction be to that?”

su min auntie

Su Min on her travels

Su has become an “accidental feminist icon” during her time on the road, according to The New York Times, for escaping the unequal relationship and her husband’s domestic abuse.

Her story has reportedly touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Chinese women who feel constrained by traditional gender roles.

Su finally decided to leave home after her grandsons began preschool. Throughout her travels, she has driven more than 80,000 kilometers and visited nearly 200 cities in China.

su min auntie road-tripping car

Su and the Volkswagen that took her around the country

“In the past two years, I have truly lived the lifestyle I want for myself. I can leave if I want, or stay. I don’t care what other people say anymore,” Su said in a previous interview.

The nation’s beloved rubber tramp plans to continue her trip after the National Holiday in October, beginning with a visit to Hebei province.

All images via Weibo

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