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Why I Ditched [wait, should I?] Kickstarter

vegan travel

I have the audio ready to go and several minutes of supporting video footage for what I think could be a pretty great Kickstarter presentation. It’s just a matter of final edits, sorting out the rewards to donors, posting, and spreading the word. It’s been like this for at least two months. But I’m stuck.

Originally drawn to Kickstarter by all of the successfully funded vegan AND travel type of projects posted, I thought it was a sure fire way to find financial support for my trip. I’ve also had several friends encourage me to post a project to Kickstarter too, as a way to support the financial burdens associated with such an epic adventure.

On one hand, it would be a dream come true to have a good chunk of money raised before heading out on the trip. On the other hand, I’m going to essentially be living and working on the road. This is, after all, a complete lifestyle change. It’s not an extended vacation and it’s not going to be all play and no work. If anything, it’s going to be a higher stress period of my life: mapping out the route, restaurants, scheduling interviews, writing blog posts, updating social media, following up with restaurant owners and vegan business owners, creating video updates, editing video and audio interviews, finding places to park, finding places to sleep, finding time to drive between restaurants/states, alerting friends and other vegan organizations of my arrival, keeping track of recommendations that are coming in via email, Twitter, and Facebook. Oh yeah, and I’ll need to find time to actually work. You know, to earn that money. Phew!

For the sake of complete disclosure (and so you can help me figure out what to do!): my one steady client has changed their needs and I’ll now be making roughly $800/month (maybe a little more) instead of what was $2,000/month. And right now my non-travel related expenses are about $1,800/month..sometimes more. I AM actively working on other income streams but for the time being… well, I’m panicking a little because I’ve still got to secure a bunch of things before knowing if these other income streams I’m working on will shake out. A while back I figured that the trip expenses alone will be roughly $10,000 for the year (between gas and food). So, if what I’m making now only covers my current living expenses….ugh. Although, I’ll no longer be paying rent… so that money will now go into the trip. Essentially, I might just barely make it, if none of my other revenue streams work out.

So, you can see how it would take a load of stress off knowing there’s a bit of a financial cushion there. But I’m having trouble justifying it since I will be working and essentially earning what I hope to be a livable income while on the road. So the hope is that I will be able to afford all of the related expenses.

Anyway, I’m feeling a bit torn about it. I’m still on the fence. But I suppose that’s why I’ve created a donation button on the site for those who are interested in supporting the trip in this way. And of course, there are other ways to support the trip as well.

But I don’t know. What do you think? Should I go ahead and give Kickstarter a try or suck it up and dig deep for what’s sure to be a unique life lesson in financial planning and management?


  1. Joe

    Take the money wherever you can get it. Even if people know you’ll be working a bit while on the road, they’ll likely donate. Certainly they will if they think your project is worth the cash.

  2. Call me slow … or maybe just tired. But I’m not sure why you’d want to ditch Kickstarter. It’s a great way to engage a community of folks who secretly wish to do what your doing and/or support what you plan to do. (Not to mention the money.)In any case, I wish you tons of luck!

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks for your kind comment. I never thought about those who might wish to live vicariously, and would be more than happy to support this trip as way to do so. :) Thanks!!

  3. I agree with Lisa. I think that you should go with Kickstarter as well! You really need to gain support wherever you can to be successful. You’ll appreciate it when the going gets tough!

  4. minty wellness will contribute a hotel stay for you while you are in this area. we are 100% vegan restaurant,spa and hotel.

    • Oh wow!! Thank you soooo much, Linda!!!! So, so exciting!! I’ll definitely let you know when I’m headed your way. Wooo!!!! :)

  5. Hi Kristin
    I just learned about this adventure of yours, congratulations!
    Being a traveler myself, it’s quite an adventure especially combing both your interests, it’s a wonderful thing.

    my recommendation would be evaluate the time that would be required to spend on the kickstarter vs what your original plan of vacation (and how flexible you can be with the financial constraint) and to determine whether that can still be.

    With that said, kickstarter is definitely a wonderful tool for people to support you along with your website and restaurant reviews, etc.

    Please feel free to contact me when you are in San Francisco! I host couch-surfers and can also introduce you to ecoVegan too =D

    • Hi Sharon,

      Thank you so much!! I already have many of the pieces of a Kickstarter project together, it’s just a matter of finalizing everything and posting it to the Kickstarter site. I think I’m gonna give it a go. If I don’t meet the goal, then I’ll have a better idea of what I should do next. I think. :)

      I have a few friends out in San Fran so I’m really looking forward to making my way out there! I’ll definitely keep everyone posted and let you know when I’m headed in that direction. :)

  6. I vote for a Kickstarter campaign. :)

    • I’m SOO on it, Karol! Thanks for the support! :D

  7. Kristen

    Do the Kickstarter! I will help (as much as I can financially and with promotion of your project- I think this is inspiring!). I wish I could offer a couch, but I’m currently couch-surfing, myself.

    • Hi Kristen! Thank you sooooo much! I’m working on the Kickstarter video right now. I hope to have it up later today. Weee!! :D

  8. Rick

    You should definitely do Kickstarter… There are surely a lot of folks out there who would like to contribute and keep up with your cool vegan project/adventure… Buon Viaggio…

    • Hi Rick! Thanks so much for your support. I JUST submitted a proposal to Kickstarter & waiting to hear back on if it’s approved. I’ll have to let you know how it goes! :)

  9. Kathleen

    I can offer you a couch in Iowa if you need. Don’t forget to stop by :)

    • Thanks so much, Kathleen! Please feel free to email me more info about your place so I can add it to my list of “couches.” Hehe!! :) –> Kristin @

  10. Ali

    I’m glad you’re going to stick with kickstarter :) If anything, just disclose clearly that you’ll be working, so this $$ would be a supplement. Just to negate any guilt you might have :)

    • Thanks so much for your support, Ali! :) … I’m in the final stages of verifying all required info to Kickstarter. I hope to have it up in just a few hours (hopefully no more than 24!) :)

  11. I would love to go with you, but yes, the idea of not making any money and trying to pay not only bills from home, but taking care of yourself on the road. Let me know if you are coming to Atlanta, would love to talk about it.

    • Hi Amy! Yes, I’ll keep you posted! Would love to chat. :)

  12. I agree. Kickstarter can work. It’s nice to see a person molding there own path. Best of luck and I look forward to following you on your journey.

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