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Renewed Vigor for Travel Blogging

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Renewed Vigor for Travel Projects

Today I woke up discouraged.

Last night I made a deal with Chaya: we will travel together through the Middle East for the next two months, I have free reign to do my projects, research and write magazine articles, and blog, but if I don’t start making money I will return to the USA with her in the middle of May to get a real job.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- March 8, 2009
Travelogue Travel Photos –Travel Guide
Click on map to view route. Regional map

A real job means:
Working as a lobster man in Maine
Going to the north of Canada to work as an oil man
Signing on to an oil rig for a season
Or traveling around the USA doing archaeology

Making money means:
“Thousands, not hundreds,” as Chaya put it.

Mid-May also happens to be the reevaluation point of Vagabond Journey.com. After blogging intermittently for a few years prior, I began this website project in May of 2007 with the goal of publishing 3 to 5 pages daily to find out if I can make enough money to travel on.

I know right now that unless something major happens, this project will not prove to be a financial success. I put up the pages, I did the work, but the potential pot of financial reward does not overflow.

But I soothed my heart by reminding myself that there are other more fulfilling measures of success than money. After two years of hard work, I know that I will still not be making more than a few dollars a day from the website by May, but I also know that there are other attributes which are vastly more fulfilling than the bottom line of my Adsense statements:

I enjoy what I am doing.

Vagabond Journey’s traffic has gone way up in the past couple of months. We are now receiving nearly 1,300 on-the-page unique visitors a day, and if I were to count RSS and Atom feed readers, the total number of visitors is over 2,000. The reach of the site is growing, and a big testament to this is that in the past couple of months the site has jumped 300,000 points in the Alexa rankings to 580,000. My end of the year goal was to be ranked under 500,000, and it is a possibility that I may achieve this by April. The traffic is up, people are visiting, people are reading.

I am happy about this.

But I still go to bed each night with the knowledge that I did not make enough money to earn my keep. Rocky roads are ahead.

Chaya and I made a bold agreement yesterday.

I promised myself a year and a half ago that I would seriously follow no other profession than writing. For a year and a half I have somehow managed to keep my boat afloat. But now I am at the end of my financial tether.

The choice is laid out before me: make money or pack it in.

I woke up this morning discouraged. I fought through a couple travelogue entries, deleted one, and then called it a day at 10AM. I enjoy working on the travelogue, it is not a chore for me. I realized this morning that I was not having fun, so I went for a walk with Chaya – a long walk.

I was thinking about packing Vagabond Journey in, and getting on to professions that would not leave me as scant as an alley cat. I know that if I worked on writing magazine articles as much as I do on the website, I could have an outstanding rate of production. If I could sell 1 in 10 of these articles, I could make a far better living that I do blogging. I thought about doing this seriously, I was getting the impression that all of this work that I have been putting into the site could be getting in my way of other pursuits. A human can only write for so many hours a day; a person can only work for so many hours a day: that which I choose put this effort towards needs to be able to feed and house me. I know that the website doesn’t yet do this.

I believed in this project for two years, and for the first time felt discouraged. I did not mention this to Chaya for fear that she would think I was giving up.

Then Chaya began speaking. She came up with a few ideas for the site – a message board, a good Facebook group – and she offered to help. I heard her bragging on the phone to her parents last night about how much traffic Vagabond Journey is getting. She is proud of me.

She believes in me.

Deep down, under her mask of cynicism, I know that she has faith in this project. Perhaps – no, probably – this is only because it is me who is doing it.

This renewed my faith, too. She picked up my pieces.

I believe that it is an attribute of a good women to be able to instinctively know when to put their men back together. “Yes, I can do it,” I found myself again saying.

When I returned home I figured out how to make a forum, and constructed one.

I also jumped back into the travelogue with the usual vigor. My pieces are put back together.

I can do this.

Vagabond Journey Travel Forum

Renewed Vigor for Travel Projects

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap