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Why You Should Donate

SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- I would like to thank all the readers who offered donations to Vagabond Journey.com last week! We brought in $100 so far, which means we have reached nearly a quarter of our monthly goal of receiving $400 in donations! Thank you! Your support is always appreciated, and is what allows us to [...]

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

SUCHITOTO, El Salvador- I would like to thank all the readers who offered donations to Vagabond Journey.com last week! We brought in $100 so far, which means we have reached nearly a quarter of our monthly goal of receiving $400 in donations! Thank you! Your support is always appreciated, and is what allows us to continue publishing daily.

To those who have not yet donated, or have not donated in a long time, it is not too late! We still need your support! Please, if you have the money — $5 a month is all we need — please make a contribution! All amounts are appreciated, even if you can mot manage more than a few dollars a year, it would help us out greatly. Thank you.

Thank you for the donations from the Vagabond Journey fund raising team


I received an email message from a long term reader who you all know as Bob L. He is truly one of the architectural consultants of Vagabond Journey — when he has an idea, he tells me, I try it. He notified me that he felt that the previous entry about how Vagabond Journey needs subscriptions was a little vague.


Bob said:

Interesting idea.

I might suggest that you make it a bit more clear that these are voluntary subscriptions. It was not completely clear on that post what you get for subscribing, or don’t get for not subscribing. Maybe offer something for a subscription, kinda like PBS does. Donate $30 and you get a free Beetles CD worth $5. Whatever. Maybe have a *special* forum for members to discuss travel. Something to make subscribers feel special.


This made sense. Perhaps I do need to be a little more clear about my request for donations.

Everything on Vagabondjourney.com will remain free to all users. I will not password protect pages, or give special content to subscribers only. I want this site to be available to everyone regardless of their income level. This is a website for all travelers, even those without and money. Vagabond Journey will remain completely free, always.

But running this website is not free, and we really need your support to continue developing the site at the pace we are going. If you enjoy reading these travelogue entries daily, or if you have taken and used the information found in the Travel Help, Tips, Wiki Vagabond, Travel Guides, or the Forum sections, then we truly need your support! The cost of running this website has now gone through the roof (from $8/ month to $115/ month) in a very short amount of time, and by the end of the year, server fees alone will be more than $200/ month.

The yearly operating costs of Vagabond Journey.com will soon be over $3,000 a year.

For reference, I can travel the world on a budget of under $5,000 a year, so this website is a MAJOR expense.

There is a paradox to trying to make a living off of a website: the more traffic you get, the higher the potential for making money, but the more traffic you get, the higher your operating costs will be. The trick, I suppose, is trying to figure out how to turn visits into money. I am trying to do this with advertising, but this is a slow, arduous sort of process. Reader support is needed to round out the bill.

All subscriptions to Vagabondjourney.com are voluntary, and they go towards funding the day to day operations of the website as a whole.

Due to the rising costs of running Vagabond Journey.com, both in actual expenses and in my expenditure of time (if I am working on the website full time I cannot have other work), it has become apparent that I need to begin making more money that what I am currently. This site truly would not be possible without reader support.

I feel like a donation hound for PBS or NPR, begging readers to pay for an otherwise free service, warning that if they like their programming that they better contribute funds. Likewise, Vagabondjourney.com needs reader support. I feel like a portly toupee wearing, sweater vest sporting, PBS donation geek — the kind of dick who waves a finger of warning in the air — “If you don’t donate, there may be a day of no more public television. Then what will you do!?!”

Oh, no.

I feel like one of these jerks. But my pressures are the same: my website is a free service that costs money to operate. We need to make money to keep in business. This is the bottom line.

Where the hell is my toupee and sweater vest?

And like those jerks, I am here to tell you that Vagabond Journey is free, but free as in you have to pay for it.

What a dick.


I my previous entry to encourage donations, I offered a new way to contribute funds: through subscription. The subscription option to donate money works on the premise that you pledge to pay a certain about of money every month or every year, and Paypal will deduct this money automatically from your account. It is secure, and payments can be canceled at any time. So if you decide that you don’t like me anymore, all you have to do is log into your Paypal account and cancel the subscription.

This is by far the best option for us here at Vagabond Journey, as we will be able to estimate how much money we have coming in each month and direct our travels and site development accordingly.

To subscribe to Vagabond Journey.com, please click on one of the buttons below

The donation option allows you to decide how much money you would like to contribute. This is a one time payment, you are not committing to anything. All amounts of donations are greatly appreciated. Even if you can only manage $10, it will be received with a smile and a show of all out gusto.


What do you get for donating?

To answer Bob’s question, this is what you get for donating:

  • For donations over $20 or for subscriptions of over $10/ month, you get a Vagabond Journey t-shirt.
  • Top donators for each month and all subscribers will get their names and personal website links published on the front page of Vagabondjourney.com as well as the travelogue (if they would like).
  • Donations help to continue the development of the website, which means hiring professional coders and graphic designers in the years to come.
  • The formation of a vagabond support network, a system which maps out places for extreme budget travelers to work all around the world. This system will act as a database of employers who hire transient labor.
  • I will act as your personal travel consultant throughout the year. This means that if you want to find a cheap plane ticket to somewhere, all you need to do is email me, and I will help you find the cheapest ticket available. This service also extends to finding accommodation, so if you want to find a good, cheap hotel in some far off city around the world, just email me and will help you in your search.
  • I will move your travel questions up to the top of the queue. The Travel Help section of Vagabond Journey.com is currently overflowing with questions, if you are a subscriber, I will move your question up to the top of the list and try to reply in one or two days.
  • You help to secure the future of the website, and to ensure that we can continue growing.

To be honest, I love working on Vagabondjourney.com. I want this to be my job, my livelihood, the medium through which I can support my family and travel the world. I just need to make it profitable. Right now, I am striking out. Asking you for support is absolutely necessary.

Even if you have donated in the past, please consider doing so again. Thank you.

Removing the toupee and the sweater vest,


Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates, Website Construction

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 3704 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: New York City

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