For the past eight years, we’ve been exploring the world 91 days at a time, hopping from one amazing destination to the next, living exactly the life we’d always dreamed of. It’s been a privilege, and these years of travel have provided us with a staggering number of memories, friendships, and unforgettable experiences.
But anything can become static… even a life of constant change. And that’s the place we’ve been approaching with For 91 Days. After so many years, we settled into a pattern, and it almost didn’t matter if our location was Iceland, Istanbul, or Idaho. We’d choose a city, create a list, visit sights once per day, produce 91 articles, cobble together our e-book, and then move on to the next destination. It was never boring, of course, but it was starting to feel mechanic.
And then there was the matter of finances. People have always wondered how we pull off this lifestyle, and we’ve always been honest with our answer: “By doing whatever it takes”. We aren’t independently wealthy, and neither of us was gainfully employed. The past eight years have only been possible because we work almost every waking hour, saving and scrapping, foregoing pleasures like “new clothes” or “good restaurants”, and we’ve also had a couple lucky breaks with our websites. But every month has been a struggle, and it’s been getting harder as the years go by.
As I’m sure most can appreciate, For 91 Days is a full-time job. 91 articles with thousands of photos of 91 sights that we’ve seen in 91 days. When looked at objectively, that’s an insanely ambitious goal, and only possible because we genuinely love doing it. Regardless of our passion, though, it’s still a full-time job that pays next to nothing. As bills and debt have stacked up, we’ve had to recognize that it’s simply unsustainable.
After finishing with Lisbon, we knew a change was unavoidable. So I began searching for a job — not just any job, but one which would coalesce with our lifestyle. I turned down two that would have grounded me in Valencia, and after a search of nearly four months, finally found the perfect position. Flywheel, a web-hosting company specializing in WordPress, was hiring remote employees in Europe, with the goal of achieving around-the-clock technical support.
Flywheel is amazing. I’ve just returned from a month of training at their home office in Omaha, Nebraska, and was sad to leave. My co-workers are young, kind, and hilarious, and the company has its heart in the right place. And importantly, we’ll be able to continue traveling, with a couple restraints: I’ll have to remain within the European time zone, and I’ll need access to high-speed internet. (We’ll get to you one day, remote Nepalese mountain village! But not quite yet!)
This undeniably means a lot of changes to For 91 Days. The great news is, we can continue traveling in a sustainable way. Our lifestyle doesn’t have to change too much. But with a full-time job, I simply won’t be able to explore and document our travels in the way I used to. In other words, don’t expect 91 breathtaking, beautifully-written, award-worthy articles for every destination. But do expect more photo essays. Although I’ll be more grounded, Jürgen doesn’t plan on slowing his output at all.
At the very least, it’s going to be an exciting time. After I landed the job, we both felt a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. Perhaps we hadn’t recognized how damaging the financial stress had been. And although I know it sounds ridiculous coming from someone who’s life has been dedicated to travel, I’m genuinely excited to be doing something new.
I hope you’re excited, too! We’d love to hear thoughts about this new direction for our website, along with any concerns or advice you might have. Please leave a comment, if you want. And wish us luck. Next week… we’re off to Greece!
(And, shameless plug, if you’re looking for an awesome, fully-managed WordPress hosting solution, check out Flywheel. If you ever need help, there’s a decent chance you’ll get me on support!)