A nomadic couple who has traversed the world and spent an exact 91 days in each of their destinations had to break their rule when they reached Vietnam late last year.
“We miss Vietnam!!!”, American national Michael Powell and his German partner Jürgen Horn expressed in an email to Tuoi Tre News, a few months after they left the Southeast Asian country.
During the past eight years, the two men, who married in 2004, are happy to keep their life in a special nomadic manner - living 91 days in every country they visit. Their ‘permanent’ home is the blog named for91days.com where the couple shares stories of all the places they have stopped by.
Powell and Horn arrived in Vietnam in late 2017, and it was in this S-shaped country that the couple broke their ‘91 days in each country’ rule for the first time.
Vietnam – a special exception
Powell and Horn were so fascinated with the beauty of Vietnam that they ended up spending as many as six months in the country.
“We had such a wonderful time in Ho Chi Minh City that we thought it made sense to stay in Vietnam for another 91 days,” the two told Tuoi Tre News. “A lot of people had been telling us about [northern Vietnam], and it would have been a shame to leave the country without seeing Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, or Hue.”
While the couple has never stayed in any country for more than three months, “Vietnam is kind of special,” they shared.
The founders of for91days.com said they were deeply impressed with the country’s history, its people and cuisine, asserting that they “always have a special place” in their hearts for Vietnam.
At the end of each journey, the couple would release a book about that destination. The publication is not only a “travel guide book” but also “a source of inspiration for other travelers,” they said.
The book for Vietnam was released both on their blog and Amazon late last year, telling their stories about Saigon and Hanoi. “Reaction has been really good! Vietnam seems to be really growing as a tourist destination,” they excitedly shared. “This country has enough amazing sights to entertain you for a very long time.”
Through their blog and books, the duo said they try to provide an honest account of their experiences with the hope that people could learn a little about the destinations, their history and culture, and collect some great ideas for their own trips. “For those who can't make the trip themselves, our articles and photographs can help make them "virtual" tourists,” they expressed.
The couples, who met in the U.S. in 2001 before moving to Germany and ‘temporarily’ settled in Spain, said they were both “born wanderers.”
“Ever since Jürgen and I began our relationship, relocation has been a central theme of our lives,” Michael Powell wrote on their blog. “As soon as we start to settle down and feel comfortable, we freak out and decide on a radical change of scenery.”
It all started in August 2010 when the two were sitting in a bar in Valencia and seriously talking about “uprooting” themselves again, which means they would have to leave the Spanish city they love for good.
“There’s nothing holding us back, we realized. We’re both self-employed, with jobs that travel well. We have no kids, nor commitments tying us down. We could totally live in other places and occasionally return to Valencia,” the couple eventually found a solution after their third glass of wine.
A few weeks after that decisive discussion, they cancelled their rent contract and sold all possessions in Valencia to embark on a new journey that would require them to find a new home, a new culture, and a new adventure after every 91 days.
“We came up with the number 91 by dividing the days of the year by 4 [and rounding down a little],” they told Tuoi Tre News. “Our idea was to live in four locations every year. Ninety-one is also very close to the visa limits of most countries. And we think three months is the perfect amount of time in a new place. It's long enough that we really get to know our new homes intimately, but not so long that we can get bored.”
Besides earning a bit from book selling, the pair has also remained their online projects to afford their special journey.