Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Immersion Travel Magazine project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
$2,951 pledged of $100,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Clare Hancock
$2,951 pledged of $100,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

In 2012 an idea was formed to create a travel publication that would wow readers by utilizing new digital media platforms, providing appropriate benefits for contributors and travel writers, following strict ethical guidelines and featuring destinations that were legitimately sustainable. With time, lots of hard work, research and support from loved ones, the idea transformed into Immersion Travel Magazine LLC. Immersion Travel Magazine is an online publication that showcases culturally sensitive and environmentally conscious travel destinations across the world. Readers are invited to escape to vivid landscapes, explore welcoming and spirited communities, taste exotic cuisine from vibrant markets, sample captivating music and art, discover wildlife in thriving habitats and learn what people around the world are doing to improve the travel experience for visitors, locals and the environment. Each issue features one region in all its glory, including favorite local hangouts, delicious restaurants, exciting tours, comfortable lodges, national parks and anything else that is all around awesome. The goal is to fully investigate the environmental impacts that destinations may have, get acquainted with the local communities and cultures, and leave as little an impact behind as possible. 


Leaf cutter ants making their way through Finca Rosa Blanca Lodge in Costa Rica.
Leaf cutter ants making their way through Finca Rosa Blanca Lodge in Costa Rica.

Like travel ninjas, the Immersion Travel team leaves only footprints and takes only memories (in the form of photographs and film, and maybe a cool handmade craft once-in-a-while). Ethical practices and transparent operations are the pillars of the magazine. That means that what you read and see is what really happened; no rose-colored lenses, no manipulations and no compensations to skew reviews.

 
Immersion Travel Magazine delivers genuine and reliable content for travelers, who are curious about their world; aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty; enjoy putting their feet up once in awhile; and are craving a new and honest look at travel. Experience the thrill of Immersion Travel Magazine, where every article, photograph and video will keep you coming back for more. 

 What Makes ITM Special? 

1. Ethical Reporting 
In this modern age photographs are easily manipulated and travel writers are pressured to compose less-than honest reviews in return for free hotel stays. It is hard to know if readers can really trust what they are reading. For years, we have read about how the travel writing field is continuing to misguide readers. As journalists and readers, our team strives to provide the best possible information in the most ethical way. We want readers to know that they can trust everything they are reading, from the features to the endorsements to the behind-the-scenes bloopers at the end. 


At ITM, accommodations and tours aren't covered unless we have the budget to pay full price to visit them, and freelance writers are fully reimbursed for their travel expenses. This keeps everyone honest. Each venue is investigated thoroughly and anonymously before being featured. This ensures that the experiences portrayed in the magazine are the same experiences travelers will have when they visit. It is these principles that set us apart from other travel magazines. 


To help remind us of our commitment to truth and transparency, ITM’s code of ethics is easily accessible, so everyone can read it and get acquainted with it. This helps remind us that our principles are what make our hard work worthwhile. All ITM team members aim to be honest, professional, transparent, diligent, courageous, innovative, tenacious and thrifty. Learn more about what exactly these words mean to us and our work on our website

The beautiful edible flower garden at Harley Farms, Pescadero, California.
The beautiful edible flower garden at Harley Farms, Pescadero, California.
2. What You See Is What You Get 
While enjoying Immersion Travel Magazine, you can believe what you see. Our photos depict the reality that our photographers witnessed and experienced. If we pose or “set up” a photo, it will be for an instructional or illustrative purpose, as when a person is posing for a portrait or objects are arranged to illustrate an article on travel gear or food preparation. Captions will clear up any ambiguity pertaining to posed photographs. If we make exceptions to the policy, we will tell you what we did and why.


A floating classroom organized by Burlington's Community Sailing Center, Vermont
A floating classroom organized by Burlington's Community Sailing Center, Vermont
 
3. Partners, Not Advertisers 
Unlike any other mainstream travel magazine out there, Immersion Travel Magazine makes its readers its number one priority. To show how much our readers mean to us, we have dropped the traditional advertising model and partnered with companies that can offer special discounts and incentives for readers. Instead of paying for ad space, chosen companies provide exclusive discounts to ITM Members. 


Companies that are part of ITM’s Industry Partner Program are environmentally conscious, socially just, ethically and morally sound in their business transactions, and are sensitive to the conservation of indigenous cultures. They prioritize the wellbeing of their employees and do what they can to protect the environment and enrich the lives of others. 


All content on Immersion Travel’s platform is authentic, including the products from our partners. No animals are harmed in the making of any products. Communities are compensated fairly for their goods, services and labor. Environmental impacts are monitored and reduced as often as possible. Our publication will not perpetuate misguided understandings of the plights of indigenous peoples, animals, small communities, the environment, or others. 

Breakfast time for penguins at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA.
Breakfast time for penguins at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA.
 
4. Members, Not Subscribers 
You may have noticed that we mentioned “members” earlier and not “subscribers.” That’s because our model provides much more for the traditional subscriber than the everyday magazine. Members not only get to experience every issue ITM has ever created, but can also enjoy special discounts and deals from our partners, have full access to our Learning Library and Country Information Database, and join special online events like the Sustainable Travel Summit. We also have plans to implement a section dedicated to travel questions, where members can ask any question about any destination, and we will reach out to our extensive network of experts to provide a helpful answer. Membership is $40 a year.


The Sustainable Travel Summit
The Sustainable Travel Summit

 Our First Year

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will set to work improving our website, adding useful multi-media content to our Learning Library (we have a photography tips video in the works along with several other travel videos), sharing in-depth guides and checklists with members, and creating six full length issues.

Because we are starting off with a small team, we don't want to bite off more than we can handle in the first year; that's why we have decided to publish 6 issues instead of 12. We will feature San Diego, California; Eastern Tanzania (including the hidden island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya); the 1,000 Islands Region of Canada; Sydney, Australia; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have chosen these places because they have been on our list for a while and have much to offer the conscious traveler. We also have amazing writers in these areas, who have serious stories to share and incredible content to brag about.

By 2019, Immersion Travel Magazine will have undergone a complete revitalization and will have a wealth of resources and stories to share. All we need to make this happen is a strong reader base that is willing to pay $40 a year for honest, reliable content.

Walking out to the beach from Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, Half Moon Bay, California
Walking out to the beach from Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, Half Moon Bay, California
 

Risks and challenges

We had no doubts when we first started working on Immersion Travel Magazine that it would be a long hard road just to get to this point, and after would involve even more guts and gusto than before. We first formed the idea in a room covered in white boards 5 years ago, and have tweaked Immersion into a lean, mean, content-producing machine.

By using a distributed team, a digital publishing platform and local writers for much of our content, we don't just accomplish a lower carbon footprint and a more authentic perspective, we keep our overhead expenses low.

By running Immersion Travel Magazine in this low-overhead mode and cherry-picking destinations, where we have extensive networks of writers and photographers, we are able to keep expenses low while we continue to expand our reader base. We will take slow and conservative steps in expansion, taking on employees and raising our rates for freelancers when our revenue stream can sustain the increased expense long term.

Our immediate challenge is expanding membership. Since Immersion Travel Magazine has no ads in its issues, and no plans to add them in the future, we rely on a single revenue stream. Luckily, this is one of our strongest selling points since we can make members our priority, not advertisers.

A second hurdle is continued funding. We need 2,000 members paying $40 a year just to keep the lights on. (To put that in perspective, AFAR magazine has over 260,000 subscribers.) If we fail to sell memberships after this Kickstarter, we won't be able to budget for future issues. In order to avoid the feast-famine cycle, we need to hold membership drives throughout the year and invest in A-B market testing to see which campaigns garner the most new memberships. If we can spread renewals throughout the year, we can have consistent cash flow that allows for better planning and production of issues.

A final challenge that we have already faced and triumphed over has been the ever-changing technology scene. We have designed ITM to be a flexible digital platform that can be enjoyed on any device, be it mobile, desktop or tablet. We have written the underlying code to be adaptive to future technological advancements and will continue to adapt as needed.

Other unforeseen challenges will be met with our teams' adaptability and our lean, agile workflow.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Social Media Shoutout

    We'll shout our gratitude from our Twitter rooftop!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Water Bottle Sticker

    Ask for drinking water in 12 different languages spoken around the world with our water bottle sticker. Fits most reusable water bottles.

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Early-Bird Membership

    Be one of our first backers to take advantage of our limited number of 1 year, early-bird memberships and receive credit for your enthusiasm with a mention in the first production issue's masthead.

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (36 left of 50) 14 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Travel Scout Magnet

    When in doubt, follow the Travel Scout! Now you can take ITM's uber-cute mascot with you anywhere with this nifty magnet.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (499 left of 500) 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    1 Year ITM Membership

    The main event! Sign up for a year-long membership and you will have access to our first year of issues, the learning library and many more benefits of being an ITM member.

    Includes:
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    2 Year ITM Membership

    If a one-year membership is good, a two-year membership must be better. Get all the benefits of membership for twice as long.

    Includes:
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Crash a Brainstorming Session

    Join the Immersion team for one of our epic brainstorming sessions. Hop online and talk travel, future destinations and design, or feel free to sit back and watch the magic happen.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    ITM Calendar

    Get an inspiring image every month from ITM's catalog of photographs. This 2018 calendar will make you want to get out on the road.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited (500 left of 500) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Photography Workshop with Chris Scotti

    Are your friends bored of your slideshows? Polish up your photography skills with a workshop with ITM founder and photographer Chris Scotti. Virtual or in-person if you are in the Southern California region.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Writing Workshop with Clare Hancock

    Does your prose need a little help? A writing workshop with Clare Hancock, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine might just be the ticket. Virtual or in-person in the Southern California region.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dedicate an Issue

    Dedicate an issue to friends or family... or hord it all for yourself. Whatever your choice, we'll publish a short, editor-approved, dedication in the masthead of an issue.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (6 left of 6) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Lifetime Membership

    There are many prestigious clubs and societies you can choose from, but honestly, are any of them as awesome as being able to say, "I am and always will be an ITM member."

    Includes:
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (100 left of 100) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Travel Scavenger Hunt

    Meet the gang in San Diego, California or Las Vegas, Nevada for a day-long travel themed scavenger hunt. Test your travel skills finding clues throughout the city, before meeting up with the ITM crew for dinner at a favorite local spot. Travel expenses not included, but we will buy you and a friend dinner!

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (2 left of 2) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Co-author a Travel Article

    Work with Editor-in-Chief Clare Hancock to co-author an article about a destination in your hometown. She will walk you through the steps of how to review, gather content and polish a story to a glimmering shine. Then we'll publish your article in the magazine!

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (1 left of 1) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Tour and Dinner with the ITM Team

    You and a friend will join the ITM crew for a day of adventure in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas. The day will start with an Urban Adventures tour and end with dinner at a favorite local eatery. Travel expenses are not included, but dinner and the tour are on us.

    Includes:
    • 1 Year ITM Membership
    • Water Bottle Sticker
    • Social Media Shoutout
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited (5 left of 5) 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.