I love reading travel websites and blogs. I’ve got an RSS feed full of updates that I read religiously, and I’m even lucky enough to have become friends with some fantastic travel bloggers. I’ve never, until recently though, ever found a website that made me completely re-evaluate how I live my life. That’s exactly what happened when I stumbled across For 91 Days. After about an hour reading through the site I realized that this is exactly how I want to live, at least for the next year or so! I got in touch and the guys were kind enough to do an interview for HeadingThere…
You were already living abroad when you started For91days, what was it that inspired you to start moving so regularly?
Jürgen and I are born nomads. I moved around a lot as a kid, and he left Germany when he was 20. There’s something restless in our natures; we both get fidgety after we’ve been somewhere for a long time. Before starting For91Days, we lived for periods in Berlin, Ireland and Spain. We enjoyed each place, but were always itching to try something new. For91Days is really just a recognition of our wandering natures! When I floated the idea to Jürgen, I wasn’t entirely serious, but his response was: “Yes, we should totally do that”. And then I thought, “Why not?”
What made you decide on 91 days? Is there any significance behind keeping every place under 3 months?
Three months just seemed like the right amount of time for each city. It’s enough to feel settled and make some friends, and it allows us to get to four places a year. Four months would limit us to three moves a year, which feels inadequate, but moving every two months would be too hectic. There was also a practical consideration: most visas are for 90 days.
What sort of work do you do on the road? How do you fund your travels?
We have a lot of luxury in that we both work independently. I’m a computer programmer and make money by running a few websites including Criticker.com (a film recommendation site) and Lastminute-Auction.com (an Ebay tool). Jürgen is a professional photographer, and runs a popular entertainment blog called Random-Good-Stuff.com. This means that, during our travels, we’re both holding down normal working hours; basically eight hours a day doing our “real” work.
Through For91Days.com, we don’t make a lot of cash and certainly not enough to live. We’re hoping to change that. Our dream is for the site to fully fund our journeys. To help make that possible, we’ve started doing things like offering E-Book downloads of all our content – in fact, we just recently published the very first two, for Oviedo, Spain and Savannah, Georgia.
Where are you living at the moment?
We’re currently in Palermo, Italy. After six months in South America (Buenos Aires, then Bolivia), we were ready for a European destination! Neither of us had been to Sicily before, nor knew much about Palermo, so it seemed like the perfect choice. We prefer to pick places with which we’re unfamiliar. And the promise of pizza and pasta certainly played a role in the decision-making process, as well!
Have you decided where you are going next?
Not yet! We try not to think about the next location until at least six weeks into our current location. If we’re worried or overly excited for the next move, it’s harder to enjoy the place we’re currently in. That said, future locations are something we talk about constantly. When “decision time” actually comes, we’re usually already in agreement.
How do you choose the next place to call home for 91 days?
It’s a mix of practical considerations and personal desire. We tend to pick cities that we’re both excited about, but also make sense according to the time of year and where we currently are. For example, we picked Savannah because I wanted to be in the states for Christmas, and the birth of my nephew. Bolivia, because we were already in South America and it was the perfect time of year.
Are any companies helping you with the project or with accommodation along the way?
No, we’re doing this all on our own. Eventually we’d love to rack up a couple sponsorships – travel insurance is a big nuisance, and it’d be nice to have a company help us out with that. Occasionally, a restaurant will contact us and offer a free meal in exchange for a review, but not that often (and we only accept if it’s a place we were already interested in). But mostly, we’re completely independent, which is nice but expensive!
All the places you have lived in so far are amazing; have you got a favourite?
Every place we’ve been has been wonderful in its own way. The natural beauty of Asturias is hard to compare to the chaotic bustle of Buenos Aires, for example. But forced to choose, I would have to say that our three months in Bolivia are the most unforgettable. We had some incredible experiences there, and learned so much about ourselves. It’s a country which is full of beauty and surprises.
How long will For91days last? Did you set out to do this for a specific length of time?
We plan on continuing until we get weary! I think we’ll be able to keep at it for about five years before running down… that would be twenty locations around the world. Our “home base” is in Valencia, Spain, and I could see us returning there for a few months to recharge, see friends and reconnect with a normal life. Of course, the more places we visit, the more addicted to travel we become, so who knows? We might still be doing this when we’re little old men, hobbling around on canes.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Finding apartments in each new location is the most difficult task, and you have to use every tool available, from Craigslist to local newspapers. Twitter has proven an invaluable resource; we always set up a group of local contacts for each location, who can help with real-time information we wouldn’t get elsewhere.
Our situation is unique in that we both work from home, and don’t have fixed schedules. For 91 Days wouldn’t be possible if we had jobs we had to clock into from 9-5. But for people who’ve got the freedom and desire to travel, my biggest piece of advice is: just do it! (Apologies to Nike). We’ve had a number of people say that they’d love to travel like we do, and when we ask what’s stopping them, they usually can’t give a real reason. Dreaming is easy, but actually embarking on your dreams can be terrifying. You just have to force yourself to do it.