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  • Jennifer

380 days and counting...until the Schengen Shuffle begins

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Coming off an amazing trip to Croatia, we're counting down the days until there is no return trip to the US. Our "Schengen shuffle" plan begins August 1, 2022, after which we will become analog nomads, forsaking jobs and the security of a home base to wander around the world, in and out of the Schengen zone for 90 days at a time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Schengen zone, it is an area comprised of 26 European countries who have officially abolished all passport/border control at their mutual borders. Sounds great, right? The catch: you can only stay in the zone for 90 days in a rolling 180-day period if you are not a resident.

While we initially thought we'd apply for an elective residence visa in Italy and live there full-time while traveling around, after exploring the requirements (which are pretty easy to meet) we ran into some details that shifted our strategy (there is no reciprocity for US driver's licenses so we'd have to take the very tricky test in Italian, and the idea that we would only be able to drive a car with an engine size of 55kw or less the first 3 years was enough to kill any dreams of driving the autostrada with the top down on our Maserati).

So...since we won't be getting residency in a country, we will be bopping around the zone for 90 days before leaving the zone for 90 days (and then returning for another 90, hence the shuffle).

We have coined this our Quattro 90 Plan.

Lots to work out before we leave, shedding our possessions, ridding ourselves of a home, and so much more. We already have an apartment waiting for us in Florence on August 1, 2022... but where we head after Florence is up in the air. Until then, we're counting the days, looking forward to our upcoming trips abroad to explore areas we may want to call home during the shuffle, and creating lots and lots of spreadsheets to stay on top of everything. Not terribly analog yet, but we are heading in the right direction.

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