UPDATE: $2,000 REACHED!! WHAT NEXT?
You guys are the best. Thank you for all the support! I'm so shocked, humbled, and moved by the amount of generosity and kindness everyone has showed that I am quite speechless. You helped me reach my goal in only two days--and the donations just keep coming. So for those of you who still want to help my project, I'm adding some new stretch goals and rewards for ya. Thank you so much for the support. I love you.
$1,500 - ACHIEVED!! Backpackology is back!!
$2,000 - ACHIEVED!! Backpackology will boast eye-popping photos from the South Pacific, beautifully enhanced with ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE.
$2,500 - ACHIEVED!! A Weekly HD VIDEO SERIES shot on a new CANON G-12, featuring sixty second tableaus of street life in Asia with commentary.
$3,000 - All donators will receive a FREE Extended-Edition Backpackology E-Book, including ten never-before-seen tales from India, China, Mongolia, and Korea! (Because there are some stories that are too personal or humiliating to share with the entire internet...)
$3,500 - FUCKING STICKERS!!!
$3,600 - Stickers of my face!
$3,612 - I haven't slept much this week.
$4,000 - THE PAPUA PROJECT. Backpackology will conscript the help of Czech explorer Petr Jahoda to take you on an adventure into the heart of Papua New Guinea, in search of lost tribes in the highland jungles. The special two-part article would include a Hi-Res photo gallery as well as a feature-length narrative piece.
What is Backpackology?
Backpackology.org is an accredited, humorous travel site that has been spotlighted in several online and print publications, including Men’s Journal and Wordpress.com’s Top 10 Editors Picks. On the night of November 27th, the two-year project grinded to a halt half-way to completion, after all of the equipment and resources used to produce the project were stolen.
The goal of this fundraiser is to replace the stolen equipment needed to resurrect and revamp the project, so that Backpackology can continue to bring readers like you to the most strange and wonderful corners of the globe. If you enjoy reading Backpackology, any donation would be vastly appreciated, even if it’s only a couple of bucks.
Backpackology is the story about a guy who packed a backpack and left everything he knew behind for two years. The goal: to traverse Asia overland from the volatile heartlands of the Middle East to the turquoise archipelago of the Phillipines, to do it on less than $25 per day, and to hopefully entertain, inspire, and educate others on how to do the same. For the past thirteen months, the site has served thousands of readers as an irreverant guide to extreme-budget backpacking, a bastion of photographic travel porn, and a repository of madcap articles and gun-toting adventure tales.
It is my ode to life, my manifesto to location independence, and my Motorcycle Diaries or Eat, Pray, Love, albeit with more explosive diarrhea, CIA interrogations, and animal attacks.
Backpackology is non-profit, eschewing epileptic banner ads and commissioned product reviews. All expenses for the two-year project are covered by personal funding, external freelance work, and the occasional donation from generous followers. The project is merely a year old, but it has been years in the making.
The goal of this fundraiser is not to subsidize a vacation, and Backpackology is not a personal hobby—it is my career engine, my dream, my future, and my very lifestyle. I don’t write as a means to travel. I travel as a means to write.
STRANGE AND FABULOUS PRIZES!
To keep things fun and interesting, I’m throwing in some exciting incentives!
$5 – With a donation of $5, your name will be given a spot on Backpackology’s glorious new Sponsorship page.
$10 – Receive a digital copy of the first edition Backpackology e-book (upon completion), plus your name will be added to the page of Sponsors.
$25 – I’ll send you a personal, creepy postcard from Asia, plus my upcoming e-book (upon completion) and your name on the Sponsorship page.
$30 – A lucky knick-knack from Asia, likely to prevent you from ever getting mugged. Who says it’s lucky? I don’t know. A doctor. Who says it isn’t? You’ll also receive the digital copy of Backpackology’s first edition e-book and a spot on the sponsorship page.
$50 – ~*~*~DONATE-A-DARE!!!™~*~*~ With a $50 donation, I’m giving you the opportunity to dare me to do something (ANYTHING) that I will film and publish on Backpackology. That might sound like sad, desperate prostitution—because it totally is! I have no dignity. Stipulations include: It must be legal, it can’t be permanent (i.e. no tattoos or piercing), it can’t take longer than one day or cost more than $50, it cannot harm others or live animals, and it cannot seriously harm me or my belongings (though psychological harm is completely permissible—so long as it’s funny). If the dare cannot be completed for whatever reason, I will reimbursed you upon request.
$100 – Want to learn how to predict when airfare prices will rise or fall? Interested in investigating Malaysian fusion cuisine? Think it would be cool for me to drop in on a blood-spattered funerary ritual of tribal Sulawesi? With a donation of $100, Backpackology will dedicate a full article, story, tutorial, or photo essay to any relevant topic of your choosing!
$300 – Nudes.
ADVENTURES IN STORE
If the fundraising goal is met, Backpackology will take you along on the second and final year of its pan-Asian odyssey, featuring photos, stories, and articles from Korea, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Brunei, Indonesia, Papua, and the Phillipines. Posts typically occur twice a week and you’ll likely get to read about:
1) Trekking deep into the jungles of Papua in search of the fearsome Asmat cannibal tribe.
2) Delving into the underworld of Thai kickboxing camps, before feebly crawling into the ring myself.
3) Adopting the deadly lifestyle of pearl divers in the Phillipines, as I learn their precarious art of free-diving—deep-water dives without the safety of a tank.
4) A multi-part tutorial on finding free accommodation, no matter where you are.
5) A naked midget funneling boiling fish oil into a birthday clown’s rectum in Bangkok’s red light district.
If you want to read more about Backpackology, here are a few example articles that embody what the site is about.
Stepping Off the Edge – The Genesis of Backpackology, the call to adventure, the first push out the door. A recommended starting place for newcomers.
The Wrong Pancake—(BURMA) There are times in life when blissful ignorance rewards you handsomely. Other times, however, that ignorance only serves to blow up in your face, shouting at you to grab your ankles, as it spits on its unforgiving hand. I’ll let you decide which category this little ditty falls under… (Be careful what you eat).
To Go The Other Way— Pop philosophy on the vagaries of vagrancy. In case I ever have to give a commencement speech, this would be it.
Detained in Bahawalpur—(PAKISTAN) After two months of contemplating whether or not to post this, I risked getting shut down to recount the story of my 16-hour CIA interrogation in southern Pakistan. Banned in Burma. Banned in China. Banned in Kazakhstan. Banned in the U.S.?
What’s in My Bindle?: The Ultimate Packing List—Packing advice on crack.
The Long Road to Nowhere: A Hitchhiker’s Tale from Outer Mongolia—(MONGOLIA) A whimsical account of why you shouldn’t try to hitchhike across the Gobi Desert.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk to the project is that in my obstinate pursuit of good stories, I might end up killing myself. Any frequent readers can attest that I’m wonderfully danger-prone and will often subject myself to high-risk scenarios for little reason more than a giggle. I have only reached the half-way mark of my journey and even though I haven’t euthanized myself yet, I’ve already managed to get abducted in Pakistan, be shot at by Taliban, almost fall off the side of a mountain, eat morphine by accident, eat speed by accident, attempt to impersonate a Pashtun in order to infiltrate an Afghani Smuggler’s Bazaar, almost fall off the side of a mountain again, get myself detained by CIA, and wind up trapped in the cabin of a truck for three days in the Gobi Desert.
Other than that, it’s a very low-risk operation.
The police report estimated the losses at $4,500, but I think I can replace just the basic equipment for as little as $1,500. As soon as I can raise this, Backpackology is poised and ready for the second and final year of this great adventure.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)