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VJT Month in Review – March 2011

VJT Month in Review March 2011 is fading fast on the trail behind us, another month of labor on VJT is put in the books, a new month for new projects, endeavors, travel is on the path ahead. This entry is about what happened across VJT this past month, where we stand, and where we [...]

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VJT Month in Review

March 2011 is fading fast on the trail behind us, another month of labor on VJT is put in the books, a new month for new projects, endeavors, travel is on the path ahead. This entry is about what happened across VJT this past month, where we stand, and where we are going. It is my impression that many regular readers just come to this travelogue, leaving the bulk of the site unvisited. This is reasonable, as this site is huge and has many different parts and pieces. Part of this entry is to highlight the new developments that took place site wide this month.

VJT Newsletter

March 2011 VJT Overview


March 2011 saw the Vagabond Journey family returning for a visit to the USA after their Mexican visas ran out and they found themselves at the end of their road up through Central America and Mexico. Getting ready to jump hemispheres, we stopped into Western New York to visit my family who had made major changes this past year — both my parents and sister bought new houses and land in new parts of the state. For two weeks, we stayed in Farmington and then went further south to Conesus, where we worked to help my sister, Nicky, establish a small farming operation in the Finger Lakes region.

This has been a month of making maple syrup, building chicken coups, and living out in the fresh — albeit cold — air of the rural northeastern USA. Lots of land here, lots of open spaces, this is the region of the world I was raised.

Next stop is Bangor, Maine for a short visit before traveling on to another region of the world. Vote on next region here.

What happened in March 2011?

The biggest event that happened to VJT during March was that our Japan correspondent, Steve Mendoza, was lost for four days after the Sendai Earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Thankfully, Steve was located at a relief center — safe and unscathed — and has now returned to his family home in Southern California to re-stabilize before (probably) returning to Japan.

The full story is at Sendai Earthquake in Japan.

VJT now has a section for Travel Gear Reviews. To have a product reviewed on the Travelogue of VJT, please email VagabondJourneyTravel [at] Gmail.com for more information.

Feature travelogue entries

The travelogue entries throughout March 2011 delved into the struggle of trying to make a living travel blogging, the Psychology of long term travel, How to select a camera for travel, a $28,000 Verizon phone bill, the tale of a traveling tattoo artist in Mexico, as well as a live blog post about the search for VJT’s Japan correspondent in the Sendai Earthquake in Japan and, subsequently, instruction on how to use social media in disaster response.

Intern accomplishments

There is now a team of volunteers and interns working diligently on VJT. In order to create the most thorough and best budget travel site on the internet, it became apparent that Chaya and I cannot doing this alone. March 2011 saw us opening our doors and have made VJT into a fully operational team project.

Ani joined the team right as the search for volunteers was announced, and immediately jumped into making some very high quality travel guides which are based off of her extensive travels and published at:

Rich also joined the VJT team this month in the capacity of a fund raising specialist and travel gear reviewer. He revolutionized the donations page as well as offered plenty of tips on how to better solicit financial support from readers — which obviously had an impact as we more than met our donation goal this month.

Special thanks also goes out to Debra Creighton who gave a massive amount of truly vital advice as to how to better market VJT and gain supporters. Many of the developments this month were sparked by her suggestions.

Get involved with VJT

There are still many internship and volunteer positions available on VJT. If you have any special skills, experience, or knowledge that may help us build a better budget travel resource, please contact Chaya, email vagabondjourneytravel [at] gmail.com.

Who is the VJT Team? How can you join Vagabond Journey Travel?


This month again saw the team of VJT correspondents explaining the how tos of world travel. Bob gives us some safety and security tips for traveling by motorcycle, Rory delves into how business travel affects family life, Loren explains the realities of returning home after teaching English abroad, Jasmine demonstrates how she learns foreign languages, Luke shares some tips about cooking food while traveling on a bicycle, while MRP reveals how he has made the money to travel over the course of his 22 year, 100+ country journey.

Thanks to all the correspondents this month, your efforts are helping to make this site into an upper crust travel resource.


VJT fully met its reader contribution goal of $150 this month, bringing in $179 in donations.

Thanks to everyone who donated this month, your contributions are absolutely necessary to keep this site running at full speed.

Donate to Vagabond Journey Travel

Vagabond financial times

The monetary situation at VJT is not good. We are not going hungry yet and we have enough bean money to get on to a new region of the world, but we are not going to last for long “as is.” New strategies are needed to bring in money off of VJT, which is now a full time job for both my wife and I. The upcoming months need to see our income tripled.

We will keep chipping away at the big brick wall.

New projects

A big project is now underway on VJT. A quarterly digital travel magazine will soon be published under the name Vagabond Explorer. This is going to be designed to be a magazine that I, myself, would like to read — for better or worse — and will serve to be an information source about “what is out there and how to get there.” The seeds for this project were planted long ago, and I am excited to watch them finally sprout to the surface.

Travel Guides

For over a year the VJT team has been filling in the World Travel Guides, and it will probably take a year more of work before this is a completely usable travel resource. This is probably the largest project currently taking place on VagabondJourney.com, with a team of editors/ contributors/ and users filling in and submitting travel guides to every country in the world. Some guides which have been further developed this month:

This is, and hopefully always will be, a massive work in progress. If you have any information to contribute to these travel guides, just select the country and topic you would like to submit information about and publish your submission through the comment form. An editor will then take the form content and publish it in the page. If you have a new topic to suggest, please email the content to us at vagabondjourneytravel [at] gmail.com and a new page will be made. Thanks.

Travel Help

Many of the questions asked on Travel Help have been redirected over to the Travel Guides section and answered there — as this is the area of the site that needs to be developed most. Though three questions were answered on Travel Help this month:

Next travel destination

We are currently standing at a global crossroads, looking for a fresh region to travel in for the next six months to two years. There are five options available to us, which span across the globe. These options can be voted on by readers at Next Travel Destination. We WILL go to the region that wins this poll.


March 2011 has been a landmark month for VJT. We fattened up the site and opened the hatches for more travelers to participate. With hope, the inertia that was built up this month will carry us along the road ahead.

Thanks for reading.

Walk Slow,

Wade and Chaya Shepard and the VJT team


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 90 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 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

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