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Fake Vagabond Journey Instagram Accounts — Seriously

The Vagabond Journey brand is being ripped off, but I have no idea why.

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Flabergasted is probably a better word than flattered. Perplexed is probably a better way to describe what I feel than pissed. Why would anyone make a fake Vagabond Journey Instagram account? Do they think it will make them money? Is it really that appealing of a word combination?

There’s actually a bunch of them. Some are true knock offs, the others are merely stealing the name or slightly altered variants of the name. One of them has like 17,000 followers and a monetization scheme.

It is my impression that this couldn’t be done randomly or unknowingly — do a search for Vagabond Journey and the entire first page is either my properties or articles about me.

I’ve also been around for a while — since 2005 — so it’s not really possible that any of them began using that name before me. Also, you check these things before starting a site that you intend to do seriously — and there was once a day that this site wasn’t just me typing out diary entries and random stories. I took this site seriously for a while, and it got me to where I wanted to be. Now I can just do it for fun.

I noticed the Vagabond Journey Instagram rip-offs by accident. I’m not really a recreational user of social media. I got into web publishing before the social media explosion, and I still feel a little reticent about giving someone else’s site free content that they profit from without sharing a cut. So you’re not going to find me zombie scrolling on Facebook or looking around for fake looking, filter laden cliche travel photos on Instagram.

But I’m also not too stubborn to realize that our social media channels are extensions of the blog, and are one of the main ways that people use to follow the content. So I engage them (well … via a third party app).

But I really wanted to up our Instagram presence and I gave my wife the reigns. She started up a channel and it is growing really quickly. She ended up being good at this — she takes good photos, edits them well, and attaches funny little anecdotes and one liners which are humorous or otherwise engaging. It’s something that I would actually follow … if I followed such things.

Check out what she’s doing:

The OFFICIAL Vagabond Journey Instagram channel

Filed under: Blogging, 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 3705 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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  • Longtime Reader September 21, 2017, 3:29 am

    More likely they liked the name Vagabond Journey and either didn’t bother to research if anyone else used it, or didn’t feel your blog held an exclusive copyright on the name. Either way I seriously doubt any of those accounts were created with the intention of stealing/copying your brand, most likely they don’t even know you exist. But if you want to get technical about it, you weren’t the first Vagabond Journey either. I believe that distinction is held by Harry A. Frank, author of A Vagabond Journey Around the World, which was written in the 1920s. But so what? There’s only one Vagabond Journey by Wade Shepard, so unless those other accounts are actually pretending to be you, copying your actual content, I think it’s arrogant to call them morons for borrowing the name Vagabond Journey, since you yourself did the same.

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    • VagabondJourney September 21, 2017, 10:25 am

      I’m friends with members of the Franck family and the origins of this site’s name has been previously discussed.

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  • ForbiddenQuery November 7, 2017, 7:33 am

    It’s only a matter of time until you get a parody account, right?

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