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Traveling Filmmaker / Writer Projects: March 2019

What I’m working on now.

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic- I’m in a hole. I spoke a little about this in my live YouTube Q&A yesterday:

Basically, all projects have lifelines: ideation, preparation, content collection, organization, editing, publishing,promoting. Half of this process is fun — researching something new, traveling around, meeting people … but the other half looks a lot more like actual work, as it involves sitting in a room with your head down.

I’m in the head down phase of five projects right now. I’m not sure how this happened, as I usually like to stagger my projects so that they are all at different stages of the process — so on any given day I can be gestating new ideas, collecting content, and publishing. I don’t know how this happened but … oh well.

Here are the projects that I’m working on now:

Pragulic doc short

My last stretch in Prague I began shooting a documentary short about this interesting organization that employs homeless people to tell their stories to tourists. Although the organization doesn’t market themselves this way, it is really a good example of something that has been dubbed “anti-tourism,” where the object is to collect unique experiences / knowledge of real life rather than to see the same sites that everybody else goes to. While the whole “anti-tourism” concept seems a little silly to me and I can’t say that I would be especially prone to seek out “anti-tourism” tours as a consumer, digging into this story as a filmmaker has been fascinating.

More about the Pragulic project.

Captain’s Cabin doc short

I shot a really, really cool documentary when I was in Beirut about this guy who runs a bar called Captain’s Cabin. The place is a landmark in town — it’s the dive bar that locals have been growing up in for generations. I’m having an issue now finding enough archival footage to properly tell the story. I may have to hire an animator. For now this one is kind of on hold.

More about my Beirut projects.

Melaka Gateway film

I did a BIG film project in Melaka in Malaysia about the Melaka Gateway Belt and Road project. The thing has been a disaster from top to bottom — international development at its worst. The local government did not only ante up their maritime ecosystem to the Chinese but a 400 year old Portuguese community as well. Culturecide at its finest — the hallmark of China’s New Silk Road.

Assasi film

I tried to use every ounce of strength to not pursue this project. I was buried in other projects — how could I possible add another? But I did it anyway. Of course. I was on the radio recently talking about this project. Listen here:

On The New Silk Road book

The big one. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. “Is your book done yet?” is the question that old friends have been using to greet me throughout the past year. I learned a lot about how to structure big, complicated book projects from this endeavor the hard way. I will put it like that.

Status report: we’re getting there.


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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 3720 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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  • trevor February 28, 2019, 3:32 pm

    “Is your book done yet?”

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard February 28, 2019, 6:28 pm

      Haha, yes, the question of the year.

      Link Reply
      • trevor March 1, 2019, 10:39 pm

        my Q of the year, to myself: How much money should i have before i hit the road again..
        Mentally i will be ready in 2 months or so. but…

        also… should i buy a Lumix tz80 camera and/ or a new smart phone?

        about as complicated as it gets…

        keep on rocking Wade

      • Wade Shepard March 2, 2019, 8:44 pm


        I will answer these questions in the next live Q&A session on Monday at 10am EST.

  • Jack March 6, 2019, 11:06 am

    Dude, you’re busy!

    Link Reply
    • Wade Shepard March 6, 2019, 11:10 am

      I know. It’s pretty crazy. Soon I hope to get through some of this mountain and get on to content collection for new projects.

      Link Reply