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Monthly Progress Report May 2011

The month of May flew by here at Vagabond Journey Travel. I feel as if I just release our status report for April a few days ago. But it was a month that passed, an entire month spent tied up in the rounds of working hard. When I come out of this cycle of intensified [...]

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The month of May flew by here at Vagabond Journey Travel. I feel as if I just release our status report for April a few days ago. But it was a month that passed, an entire month spent tied up in the rounds of working hard. When I come out of this cycle of intensified labor VJT should be revitalized.

May VJT month in review

Vagabond Explorer Journal

This has been the biggest project of the month, and it is just a couple ticks from completion. It is a huge chunk of modern travel literature, and at over 100 pages, it is more a journal than a mere magazine. Advertising is kept to a minimum in this issue to improve the reading experience and to limit the amount of outside influence that can be leveraged on content. This publication is not censored in the least, and there are various — and sometimes strong — ideas expressed through its pages. With articles about finding love in Colombia, Hopping trains in Australia, Sex and a Haze of Beer in Ethiopia, instruction on how to ditch the cubicle, a journey into humanity’s lost nomadic roots in Turkey, an exploration of ways to start independent travel businesses, an insiders account of the civil war in Ivory Coast, a survivor’s account of the earthquake and Tsunamis in Minamisanriku, Japan, reviews of various travel blogs and gear, an interview about postmodern travel with Rolf Potts, a backdoor travel map of the Philippines, as well as travel tips on how to make a travel stove and how to find a good camera for travel this publication is packed.

But it is also taking a great amount of work to put together. I’ve been working tirelessly on it, and Craig from Travelvice.com has probably put in over 200 hours of work on the graphic design. But the journal is looking good — real good — and I think our toil will pay off.

Travel Guides

The train hopping vagabond, Ani St.Amand, has put in a lot of work this month on the Australia Travel Guides, doing research for eight or so more guides. Her work has made the Australia travel guide the VJT destination of the month for June.

Gear Reviews

Rich Poulter has continued working hard doing travel gear reviews, as he concluded his Ultimate Travel Shorts group test as well as putting up reviews of Patagonia Nomader shorts, Well Hung Travel Hammocks, Banjee Wrist Wallets, and Berghaus Terrain shorts.

Book Reviews

In the Mountains of Heaven was reviewed by Michael McGuire, and OxTravels was reviewed by Rich Poulter this month. Check out these books if you are looking for good travel reads this month.

Travel Bloggers

The VJT travel blogging community will be further developed this month, and new posts will now be displayed on the homepage.

Sam Langley has moved his great blog over to Vagabond Journey Travel and is blogging at Cubicle Ditcher Travels. His most recent entry is A Narration of the Past 24 Hours — check it out.

Travel Correspondents

May was a slow month for the travel correspondents team. Many offered stories for VEx, so I did not want to bother them with double requests for content this month. We only published two correspondent responses this month, as Bob L shared some Tips on how to by a motorcycle abroad and Loren Everly gave us some Hitchhiking Tips.

Travel Tips

The travel tips shared in May are as follows:


I don’t know where this month went. I certainly did not go anywhere. I think I worked it all away. Oh well. In under two weeks, Vagabond Explorer will be out and I should be tramping across Iceland. Sometimes you work while traveling, sometimes you work to travel.

New Marketing Director

I am very excited to announce that Vagabond Journey Travel now has its first marketing director. Her name is Rachael Albers, and it is her mission to tell the world about us. Her ability impresses me each time I am privileged to be exposed to it, and I am really happy that she is working with the VJT team.


I turned 30 years old on May 23rd. I have entered into Teddy Roosevelt’s prime years of living. Wade’s birthday entry 2011.


VJT made $127 this month in reader contributions. Thank you to everyone who donated funds this month, it is truly appreciated. These donations are truly what keeps this site going, and each one that comes in puts a big smile on my face and makes all the days of sitting inside writing and bashing code totally worth it. Thanks so much.

As far as advertising goes, revenue is down — way down. Other strategies are needed. Hopefully, VEx will sell well and I can get a book out by the end of the summer. I need to turn the revenue strategies of this site away from passive advertising and towards active sales. I want to sell my own products — books, magazines, guides, and gear — I just need to manufacture them first. Big jobs, but, at the end of the day, hopefully worth it.

Plans for June

Going to Iceland on June 15th to either biketramp around the country or hike across it. The plan is to shoot video footage every step of the way. I need to get more comfortable on film to take this project to the next level.


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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3706 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

6 comments… add one

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  • reina June 3, 2011, 7:02 pm

    This is all great news, I’m looking forward to the journal and I’m sure the hard work will pay off in all the best ways…
    Just one small gripe though…. the ad group on the landing page here, being right under your headline, is so prominent. I thought the ads were part of the progress report!

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    • Wade Shepard June 3, 2011, 7:23 pm

      Thank you Reina,

      Your support is much appreciated, as always.

      Sorry about the prominence of the ads, but if you move them to a less visible position the earnings drop to about nothing. Adsense is where we make most of our income so they have to stay where they are. Thanks for the feedback though.

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  • the candy trail ... Travel Adventures | Michael Robert Powell June 5, 2011, 6:41 am

    Hey Wade – just off the road again, in China, for a few days … Exciting. I reckon get a VE logo/image/link made for all crew/supporters to add to their sites – as an extra PR boost; will happily add one to my homepage.

    the candy trail … a nomad across the planet – without a brain – since 1988

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    • Wade Shepard June 5, 2011, 8:23 pm

      Will do! Thanks for the suggestion. That would be great, thank you.

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  • Tim June 6, 2011, 11:33 am

    I think the video is a great idea! I recently watched your interview with Andy from hobotraveler, which was awesome. The video adds a lot of personality to the site. Keep doing what your doing!

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    • Wade Shepard June 6, 2011, 11:56 am

      Thanks Tim, much appreciated! It is good to get feedback on these various ventures, as, from where I sit, it is sometimes hard to tell on what people think. I need to get better on camera though, then I can make a weekly travel show.

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