I was pregnant with my third child, traveling around Jackson, Wyoming in a 1984 Westfalia, living the #vanlife and I kept running into these local magazines. There couldn’t be more than a few thousand subscribers, but the photography was gorgeous, the stories were interesting and I thought: wouldn’t it be amazing to see ourselves in a magazine for once? Maybe just a small indie press?
After years of reading magazines like National Geographic Traveler, Afar, Outside, Backpacker — and even indie magazines like Hayo, Sidetracked, Misadventures— I grew tired of never seeing families represented in travel or adventure writing.
A Travel + Adventure Magazine for Parents is Born
Over the past few months, I’ve been working behind the scenes with an amazing team of editors, writers and photographers, putting together the concepts for our first year of magazines and guidebooks, commissioning articles and preparing for our first run. We’ll be going to press before the end of July.
Today, I want to give you a peek into what we’re planning over the next year, and the vision for where we want to be going forward.
Quarterly Magazine + Bonus Guidebooks
For our first issue, our theme is Roadtrips. Roadtrips hold a special allure, anyone can do them, from anywhere, it’s accessible and affordable compared to other modes of travel, and instead of carrying too many pieces of luggage filled with baby + child accoutrement, you can bring your home with you. We’re looking at the once-in-a-lifetime roadtrips like traveling along the coast of Croatia, skirting through the Atlas mountains in Morocco and cruising beneath the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rocky mountains. We’ll be bringing you first-hand accounts, beautiful writing and emotive photography. We also have a few surprises like a feature story on living off-the-grid with children at a remote research facility in the wilderness and how you can spruce up your camp-fare with a few pieces of inspiration from Japan.
When you subscribe (either print or digital), you get our quarterly 100-page magazine delivered to your inbox or mailbox but that’s not all… we’re also putting together quarterly 250-page guides. The Fall 2017 issue will come with a free copy of Mexico: Adventure Guide for Parents, which covers the safest places to travel in Mexico (25 cities are covered) and expands on the typical guidebook fare (where to stay, eat, drink) with outdoor adventure opportunities you might not even know exist in Mexico. From epic waterfalls to hidden lakes to watersports to hiking an active volcano to horseback riding to exploring underwater caves, Mexico: Adventure highlights the best options with notes about skill level and accessibility.
And subscribers get it free!
Subscriptions are now open
We’re offering three levels of subscription:
Digital-only: Digital access to the magazine and guidebooks ($28/year)
Print + digital guides: The print magazine, access to the digital magazine and digital guidebooks ($36/year)
VIP: Print + digital + limited edition print guidebooks: The print magazine, digital access to everything plus perfect bound copies of each guidebook. ($49/year)
Bootstrapping our first edition
We’re raising funds for our first year of print, and we figure we minimally need 1,000 subscribers to realistically run this magazine. That’s about $36,000 for the year, which works out to about $9,000 per issue, about half of that goes to printing and shipping costs and the other half goes to the writers and photographers. As a writer, I wanted to make sure that we pay our writers fairly, so we’re paying competitive rates and I’m volunteering my time. I’m also working with an incredible team of volunteers who are putting in massive hours to edit, proof read, layout and design this magazine. Right now there are twenty people on the Almost Fearless team, not including the freelance writers and photographers.
I’m opening the doors to subscriptions for two weeks with these bundled offers. Rather than running a crowd funding campaign, I’m just straight up opening doors and handing out everything I have to offer. This is a chance for you to support travel + adventure writing, to get early access and join a community that is curious, adventurous, open-minded and looking for more.
What else is there?
We’ve also planned out the rest of the year for both the magazine and guidebooks, so take a look at our magazine launch page for more information.
I’m excited about each season because what we’re creating is literally the things I wish existed in the world.
This winter, we’ll be talking about winter adventures with children, from cheap skiing locales like Romania and Bulgaria to venturing out to Japan to see the snow monkeys in the hot springs. Our guidebook that month is a resource to the winter escapes most people don’t know about. I was inspired by my husband who has regaled me for years with childhood memories about the cabins along the Appalachian Trail in Vermont and how they’d cross-country ski up there and stay overnight. There are so many beautiful locations like this from yurts you can rent in the Rockies to backcountry hotels in Banff, Alberta.
In Spring, we’ll be talking about sailling with kids. This has long been a dream of mine and I’ll be making it a reality in February for a month. We’ll be talking to sailing families around the world about their experiences and also providing tips on how to charter a boat if you’re not ready to buy one. Our guidebook will feature island-hopping the Philippines.
In Summer, I’ll be returning to something I love: bike-camping. In 2014, we bike-camped across Europe with a 4-year-old and 16 month old, on $100 used bikes we picked up in Barcelona. It takes so little to get started and you get to enjoy the beauty of a place while riding the gentle endorphins of daily cardio. It feels amazing, children love the outdoor time and it’s probably the least expensive form of travel. Our guidebook will be an exhaustive companion to the Eurovelo bike route that runs all over Europe and offers some of the safest biking in the world.
I know 1,000 subscribers sounds like a small amount compared to mainstream magazine publications, but it’s going to be a tight squeeze for us. I’m keeping this offer open until July 5th, then we return to regular subscriptions. We need everyone’s help to sign up and spread the word. If you’re into travel, have kids, or know someone who does, this is the publication of your dreams. No patronizing content, no dumbing down the experience, just raw, wholesome travel and adventure with the ability to scale to fit your family. It’s the good stuff.
US residents: http://www.almostfearless.com/magazine/
Canadian residents: http://www.almostfearless.com/magazine-canada-residents/
International residents: http://www.almostfearless.com/magazine-international-residents/