Help fund Wand'rly Magazine through 2013 and beyond!
The number of folks out there who consider themselves "full-time travelers" is staggering, some estimates put the number at nearly one million.
They wake up to wherever they'd like, taking in the new glorious morning views of the elk leaving tracks through the Rocky Mountain snow or vivid auburn and golden hues while the leaves of New England blanket the world outside of their windows. Some live in RVs, hauling their homes around from desert to ocean whenever the whim strikes them. They're not exclusively retired couples, nor are they all young solo travelers. They are hippies, conservatives, families and the forever young of all walks of life.
We're a varied lot. Some of us, yes, are hitchhikers, traveling bands and business execs gone hobos. But many of us are just your average folk who've figured out how to leave behind the schedules of the "real world" and turn our passions, our skills, into mobile careers.
Wand'rly is here to show you exactly how to do that for yourself, as soon as you're ready.
The Wand'rly Magazine Kickstarter Project
With Wand'rly, we've created an online magazine experience like none before it. We're not just another blog or website stuffing tons of info down your face randomly, we've designed the site from the ground up to be a hybrid experience of a paper magazine, with all the ease of use and portability of the web. About once a month, we put out a new issue featuring real life wanderers--full-time travelers such as buskers, roadschoolers, trainhoppers and just every day ordinary folks making their dreams of location independence possible--along with a multitude of articles about a particular place, say Asheville, North Carolina, the Grand Teton National Park, or the Oregon Coast.
We do reviews of everything from great places to grab a drink after exploring, to the best deals on hotels, to the little secrets about a place that even locals don't always know about. We write short stories. We do in-depth, informative how-tos to inspire and teach people on everything from how to change your life, learn to work for yourself, and take the steps necessary to hit the road, to tips for those already traveling like how the US Highway system works (there's a method to it!) or how to homeschool your kids while pursuing this lifestyle.
Our website is gorgeous on laptops and desktop machines, customized for easy reading on iPhones and other mobile devices, and particularly stunning on iPad, where we've set the site up to be as close to a paper magazine as possible, without all of the hassle of having a fixed address and cutting down trees.
We're more than your usual website, we're about providing epic content each and every time. We put a lot of heart, a ton of time, and every ounce of our souls into each issue. Check out the latest issue on Bisbee, Arizona, Traveling Bands and How to Start Your Own Travel Blog at wandrlymagazine.com right now if you'd like.
The Goal of Wand'rly
We are here to entertain, yes. For those of you already traveling, or those of you who just like to live vicariously through others, we put out quality stuff that will keep you engaged the whole way down the page.
But that is our secondary goal. You see, we've been doing this full-time traveling thing for quite some time. We've seen the world. We've smiled after having our butts kicked by hiking a mountain, we've tipped canoes, and we've frozen our fingers when the firewood ran out in the desert night. But we used to be like most everyone else, full-time jobs, obligations piling up, the idea of retirement so far away that it haunted our every waking mornings. The only difference between us and so much of America is, we figured a way out. And you know what? It wasn't as hard as you might think.
Life has been good, and we firmly believe in paying it forward. We could go on traveling and spending our days with each other, watching our kids grow up and enjoying this life all to ourself, but we want to spread the word. The number of digital nomads, those who make a living from the road while exploring the world, is rising, and we want to make it as easy as possible--not through vague "10 Steps to Getting Free" type of blog posts that you see out there, but via in-depth, step by step how tos that explain exactly what you can do to change your life--for anyone else who's up for letting the sun rise over a new place to call home, as often as you'd like.
This is not a "4 Hour Work Week". This isn't a win the lottery, get rich quick, retire early type of venture. We show you how to take the skills you already have, turn them into your own business, and then how to hit the road and see some amazing places, have some fantastic experiences.
What we're doing here is raising some capital to get the next year of Wand'rly off the ground. 12 issues. 12 months. 12 locations. 100s of articles about intriguing people, inspiring stories, and practical advice.
About the Cast & Crew of Wand'rly
We're a family run operation. My name is Nathan, and I'm the primary writer for the site. I have also been an incredibly successful web designer for the past ten years, and so I've put everything I've ever learned about building a great site into Wand'rly. I've written a novel, been featured in Wired Magazine and Freelance Switch and have traveled the world on the back of my freelance web design career. I'm a proven entrepreneur, writer and web designer, and bring the majority of the skills necessary to pull off Wand'rly. In fact, I've already been doing it since April, as a kind of a side project up until now, and the results have been amazing. 40,000 readers, 11,500 Twitter followers, over 500 Facebook Likes. But most importantly, we've already helped dozens of people make the transition from working 9 to 5 in a place they don't love to calling anywhere new their home tomorrow.
I'm not alone, though. Aside from my three beautiful young sons, their mama and woman of my dreams Renee is at my side. She's a trained photographer and captures the beauty of wherever we go. She's a free spirit and opens up the possibility of something new with every next stop along the way. She's a beautiful soul that inspires just by looking at her face.
We've also got Renee's mother along. Nancy spent years in the travel industry, working for travel agencies and sorting out who should be where, how to get the best deals on flights and hotel rooms, and generally organizing people in motion. She's our logistics.
We also work with other local photographers, musicians and writers as we go to put together the most comprehensive, "locals only" content we can provide.
We're adventurers, clean, clear and through. We want to help others find their adventure as well.
Funding - What Will We Use the Money For?
We fund all of our travels already on my web design business, clicknathan.com. We've been traveling full-time for five years now, and there's no turning back for us, at least not for the foreseeable future. We've raised babies on the road, rented homes for months at a time on cliffs overlooking beaches, and have well learned the intricacies of a lack of fixed location. This is just what our life is about.
What we'll be using the money we raise here on Kickstarter for is specifically this:
1. To ignite our advertising program. We believe in creating content, not pushing a ton of ads down your throat. We only sell one ad spot per article. The ads are always relative to the article and travel in general. Best of all, the ads last for the life of the article (that is, for as long as Wand'rly exists). Just like a paper magazine, if you purchase an ad on our site, it will be there forever. You can login to the site and change it, make it work for you as times change, but you'll never get bumped and you'll never share an article with any other ads. Unobtrusive, relevant advertising is the wave of the future. With this ad system in place, we'll be able to hire additional writers, photographers and just generally do bigger, better, and way more stuff with the magazine.
2. New Delivery Systems. The second thing we'll be doing with these funds is implementing a better delivery system, including getting the magazine into Apple's Newstand, as well as beefing up our site to deliver our content in the way our members want it, before it's available to the public. We believe fiercely in allowing people to read our stuff in the way they want.
3. More Time to Focus on the Magazine. The third aspect of this funding is simply to relieve some of the burden that creating an entire issue of a magazine puts on my current workload. As I said, I'm already a freelance web designer, and that more than pays for the bills around here...but along with raising three babies, loving my lady, and exploring the world, it doesn't leave as much time to dedicate to the project as I'd like, as it deserves.
4. All Other Rewards Will Be Created By Us. Aside from the cost of physical goods like the t-shirt, leather for the minimalist wallet, etc., all of the rewards on this site will be 100% paid for and made by us. The social network, blogging platform, the app, these will all be created with our own time and labor.
5. 12 Issues of Wand'rly in 2012. The primary end result of all of this, though, is the guarantee that Wand'rly will put out 12 issues in 2013. We already have the know-how, the business model, and the means to do it, we just need the dedication of a few good backers.
While the magazine is free for anyone with an Internet connection to experience, we do have a plethora of great rewards for those of you backing the project.
Membership with the site, which gets you additional resources like discounts, easy access to mp3 downloads from local bands, and early access to issues, is one of them.
But we've been doing this a long time, and know that there are more resources and goods for this lifestyle that just aren't out there right now.
Little things like the minimalist wallet. Simplifying your life is the first step to getting on the road, and this handmade beauty is the embodiment of that goal: nothing you don't, everything you do. It's about needs, limiting the wants, so that those things you truly desire are achievable.
And resources like a social network dedicated exclusively to travelers, as well as an easy to use blogging platform for those of you who're roadworthy. We'll be creating these resources anyway, but they'll be free to you for life and you'll get in on the ground floor of their development.
Or how about our Wread'r web app, which allows you to get all of your content--from Twitter, YouTube, your favorite blogs, calendar updates and so much more--all in one place. It's an aggregator for your life, one that can live right inside of your phone. It doesn't add complication, you still go on adding calendar appointments and whatnot with whatever application you already use, it just allows you to get everything in one, convenient place. It's like Google Reader "to the max".
Have any other questions? We're 100% committed to making sure every backer knows what they're getting, both from their rewards and the magazine in general, just ask!
Risks and challenges
This project involves a ton of time. It involves taking our experiences--everything from lunch at great hidden spot in some exotic location to kayaking a river--and instead of just completely and fully immersing ourselves in them, it means we must document them as well. This takes time, and for a freelancer supporting a family of six, time is money. Your backing will insure the magazine lives on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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