Yuujou grew from a simple idea: a circle of friendship strong enough to carry a group of travelers around the world. Sisters and storytellers Corinne and Yvonne Eisenring partnered with Oliver Herren, a Swiss internet pioneer, to bring this vision to life. On April 11, six travelers will embark on a 100-day journey with that vision as their sole itinerary. The journey begins with all six in Berlin, Germany, then splits into two teams of three, one heading east and one heading west, meeting each other 100 days later in Tokyo, Japan. Along the way, teams must stay with a friend of their previous host, moving from friend to friend across the globe. There are no prizes, no ads, no scripts, just the expectation that each traveler will creatively document their experiences of human connection along the way.
After receiving over 30,000 applications, Yuujou has narrowed the pool down to ten finalists. Culturs brings you a look at Yvonne Eisenring’s surprise visit to each finalist in this 10-part series.
Paula is a native of Holland who has been travelling the world since she was 19. After her first international trip to South America, she sought opportunities to travel whenever and wherever they arose until finally deciding to sell everything for a one-way ticket and a life of exploration. She is currently living in Queenstown, New Zealand where she works on a rural sheep farm preparing meals for tourists. Paula described her childhood self as shy and reserved, but pushed through this for the sake of travel and building new friendships. She sees Yuujou as an opportunity to continue pushing herself to grow. “This is my comfort zone and I need to get challenged,” she said. She added, “I think it’s brilliant and amazing and beyond my wildest dreams to do this, to show that we are all connected and that the world is not a scary place.”
“[Yuujou] will be a really good challenge for me to see what my capabilities are, find my strength and make friends all over the world.”
Watch Eisenring surprise Paula in Queenstown:
You can read more about Yuujou and follow their journey here.
Ready to meet Finalist #10? Keep reading.