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Around the World in 80 Followers

12/17/2017 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

The video gives you an insight of three amazing months where photographer Tom Kluyver visited his Instagram followers all over the world. Tom hitchhiked through Europe and then travelled across the United States to sleep on his followers’ couches. The project is named Around the world in 80 followers, because his goal is to travel around the world by visiting 80 different people who offer him a couch to sleep on. An incredible way to capture similarities as well as differences between cultures, people and places.

How it all started

It all started with a simple question on Instagram: “Would you host me if I would travel the world?” Just a couch to sleep on would be enough. After several positive reactions Tom made a short video to explain the plan in more detail. He posted the video everywhere and now it was time to wait for responses. Initially, he thought to be lucky with 10-15 responses within a week. However, his followers appeared to be way more excited to host him than he expected; within a week he had collected around 35 places around the world! This number was more than enough, so Tom jumped head first into this adventure.

Fast forward, two weeks after posting the video, he had cancelled his rent, stored all his stuff elsewhere and grabbed everything that would fit in one backpack and a camera bag and set off to his first destination of the adventure of a lifetime: Sweden.

From host to host

During a month and a half of travelling through Europe by himself, he visited 9 hosts in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and France. Just twice he had to rely on a hostel or Airbnb, because he did not make it to the next host or the host was not able to receive him yet. All the travelling was done by hitchhiking. Excited about his project, he told most of the people who offered him a ride about it, as every person could potentially become a host.


Everybody wondered: “Aren’t you afraid of being robbed?” or “Aren’t you scared of the people who are going to host you? How do you know that you can trust them?” Of course he was aware of the things that could happen along the trip. But as Tom says: “Nothing happened!”, so there is no need to talk about that. He met great people, had awesome adventures with his followers, ate great dinners and his hosts helped him in every way they could. “I was never afraid. I embraced the unknown and it always paid off! Just go for it!”.

Why this adventure?

This trip was a unique way to get to know his Instagram followers who express their joy of seeing his photos with a follow, like or a comment. He wanted to meet them in person to get to know the people behind the digital faces and their differences and similarities. In general, he often noticed his hosts were more worried about him, than he was about being in a stranger’s house.

So many people are afraid of people they do not know or afraid of the unknown. But in the end we are all kind and friendly and have more in common than we might think. The unknown is always fun, because it is up to you to make the most of it!

Thank you very much
Tom for sharing your amazing project with us. Visit his Vlog on YouTube

About Tom Kluyver:

I am Tom Kluyver, 27 years old and from Utrecht, The Netherlands, a MSc. Industrial design engineer. However, I loved photography and travel too much to do the obvious and find a job. I am a panoramic photographer, focussing on travel and people. I personally prefer panoramic photos as they portray a better feel of a scenario and creates a more surrealistic atmosphere.

After a lot of hard work, this project "Around the world in 80 followers" is featured by: Petapixel, DigifotoPro, Zoom.nlLet's Get Connected: 

Text, images and video thanks to Tom Kluyver. Follow his Instagram

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