Johannes and Vivian (@JoVi_Travel) have taken Instagram by storm. The German travel couple left their careers in law and finance two years ago to pursue a life of adventures and travelling the world. With over 280k followers and some of the most beautiful photography on social media, it’s safe to say that Johannes and Vivian are living the dream.
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with this inspiring duo in a Q&A interview. Covering topics such as their favourite destinations and tips on how to create a career as content creators/influencers – this interview is a must read for anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road as a full-time travel couple. Read on below.
Could you tell us about yourselves? How did you meet each other and what inspired your love of travel?
We are Johannes Richter and Vivian Velle a German travel couple who loves to explore the world together. We travel full-time since January 2018 and share our experiences on our Instagram account @JoVi_Travel (https://www.instagram.com/JoVi_Travel).
We met quite romantically in the library during our law/economics studies. Our love of travel is driven by our curiosity and the joy of exploring new places, experiencing other cultures and tasting new dishes from all around the world.
What did you do before travelling full-time with @JoVi_Travel and why did you quit your previous jobs?
We have worked in a consultancy for banking regulation (Vivian Velle) and an American corporate law firm in the M&A department (Johannes Richter). After the end of our studies we both started to work full-time in January 2017 and planned to save some money to start a master’s program abroad in the summer.
After about three months we came home in a bad mood after work every day and were very dissatisfied with our job. The everyday office life with topics that didn’t really interest us in the end without any creative possibilities didn’t fulfill us.
At some point Johannes asked me what I would do if it was not about making money and I answered: “Well, I would travel the world of course!”
We worked until the end of the year, saved as much as possible and spent a lot of time on learning about photography, photo editing and social media by watching YouTube tutorials and reading articles on the internet. We didn’t have any previous experience in this area until then.
Towards the end of the year we bought photography equipment, sold our furniture and gave up our apartment in Frankfurt. We just stored a few personal things at our parents’. In January we set off.
Could you tell us about your travels around the world with @JoVi_Travel? What countries have you visited and what experiences have you had?
We have both always travelled a lot together also separately before we even met, but since we started to travel full time in January 2018 we’ve been all over Southeast Asia, to India, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, several countries in Europe as well as South Africa and Namibia. We would say we have been to more or less 20 countries within the last two years.
The amazing experiences we made in every single country could not have been any more different as every country is unique and beautiful in their own way.
We loved to explore each and every one of these countries because of their uniqueness, and also because of what all of them had in common: the lovely people we met, the breathtaking landscapes we have seen and the unforgettable memories we made along the way.
What has been your favourite country to visit so far? What made this destination so special to you and what were the highlights?
This is by far the question we are asked the most and it is impossible to give a general answer because there are so many beautiful places that we like due to different aspects.
For example, in one place there are breathtaking landscapes, but in another place there is incredibly impressive architecture and history. A place or a country that combines all the beautiful things that is the ultimate, we have not found yet.
Do you have any tips you could share with us about traveling as a couple? What are the biggest challenges you face with @JoVi_Travel and what are the best surprises?
Of course, this was a big change from working 8-10 hours a day and seeing each other only in the evenings/on weekends to being together 24/7, working together, learning completely new things and being confronted with completely new challenges. We can’t deny that we get into a fight every now and then.
But in the last two years we have developed a very good way of working together. We have become an incredibly good team and our relationship has grown as a result! Something like this definitely bonds you together. On the other hand, it’s also important to consciously take time as a couple, because otherwise it will fall by the wayside in our daily work.
Our recommendation is to give the other person time for themself regularly and also to do something on their own once in a while.
What have been some of the highlights of your travels in 2019? And what are your plans for @JoVi_Travel in 2020?
2019 was an exciting year and we have definitely been to a lot of amazing places. What probably impressed us the most was magical Cappadocia deep in the hinterland of Turkey which truly felt like a magical place.
Every morning when you get up right in time for sunrise you see hundreds of hot air balloons rising into the morning sun. The sky is tinted in the most beautiful pastel colors and you see this unique landscape of fairy chimneys – very distinctive rock formations – all around you.
All the while you enjoy this spectacle from the rooftop terrace of your cave hotel with a cup of Turkish tea in your hand. We’ll probably never forget it!
The other really memorable trip of this year was to Namibia, a country like no other. Surreal landscapes, infinite vastness, endless horizons of deep orange sand dunes – rough, wide, open, desolate, unique! Namibia’s landscape makes you feel like you landed on another planet.
And then there is the amazing wildlife, we saw lots and lots of giraffes, rhinos, lions from only a two meter distance, hippos and big herds of elephants roaming freely through the pretty untouched north eastern part of the country. There were so many moments that simply made us speechless and definitely memories for a lifetime!
How would you describe your home country of Germany as a travel destination? What are your favourite places to visit and explore?
Germany is a beautiful and pretty diverse country. There are lovely islands in the north, vibrant cosmopolitan cities like our capital Berlin or the charming port city of Hamburg, beautiful historic towns, lots of fairytale castles as well as beautiful mountain landscapes with scenic hikes and crystal clear mountain lakes in the south.
Germany is rich in culture and history and also has some hearty treats to offer. Each region has its own specialties. Hamburg is known for dishes with fresh fish. Berlin is popular for Currywurst and the south is famous for its great Bavarian beer and typical pork dishes.
We must admit that we haven’t seen as much of Germany as we have of other countries – still working on it – but we especially love to spend time outdoors in the Alps in the southern part of Germany where Vivian grew up as well as enjoying city life in Hamburg, Johannes home town.
How would you describe your travel style with @JoVi_Travel? Do you like to stay at nice hotels and fly between destinations? Or are you happy at backpackers and roughing it?
We generally travel very cheap and try not to spend more than 20€ per night for our accommodation for the two of us, eating at local food stalls at the road if available. We mainly use public transport not only for financial reasons, but also to reduce our carbon footprint as it is not the best due to the many flights.
Luxury is not important to us, we are more interested in the experiences. Occasionally we stay in a luxurious hotel as part of a hotel collaboration, but we only do that if we can take a special picture there for our Instagram, so it is worth it from the content creation point of view.
Could you provide a couple of tips for people looking to become a full time travel couple/influencers like you have with @JoVi_Travel?
The market is already quite saturated but it was actually saturated when we started. If you really want it, you can still make it today. But you shouldn’t underestimate the effort and the whole thing rarely works from one day to the next. It’s a process that will probably take several years.
One should expect to invest a lot of time and effort for a long time without expecting big results in the form of an explosion of the range. If you can handle it and really want it, you should just get started. On Youtube and other websites you can find all the information you need for free and it is not necessary to buy any expensive courses.
So you can actually learn everything yourself. But you only really learn when you have started and put your own hands on it. A small financial cushion is certainly helpful and there are also enough jobs that you can do from anywhere as long as you have internet access.
Writing copy for websites, articles for blogs, etc. can easily finance your travels, especially in cheap countries in Asia. You just have to look a little bit beyond your own nose. The whole thing is ultimately not witchcraft, but rather a craft that you can learn with a lot of hard work and ambition.
If you have any further questions feel free to reach out through one of our social media channels or website!
Instagram: @JoVi_Travel (https://www.instagram.com/JoVi_Travel)
Facebook: JoVi Travel (https://www.facebook.com/jovitravell)
Twitter: JoVi_Travel (https://www.twitter.com/JoVi_Travel)
Youtube: JoVi Travel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgGwlY-DoTebyXuL8m8B6Eg)