Friday, June 15, 2012

PanAm Prep: Fundraising

I remember when I started this blog a year ago: just a little virtual notepad floating online, where to keep a diary of a road trip that ended up changing the course of events in my life. Who would have suspected it, that something without any physical shape, that this cluster of electrical impulses, zeros and ones, would make me not only move to Kansas, but spend a year tied to a classic Mercedes in foreign lands? Never in my wildest dreams I would have ever imagined this happening!

For the sake of play and imagination, I picture myself walking to my child-self, telling him that he would not only end up in the United States expressing himself freely in a language other than his own, kissing foreign women at the top of skyscrapers, fixing his own car and crossing the Golden Gate on a frequent basis. My child-self would just give me a incredulous look, sigh, and walk away from this stranger from the future. Oh well, here I am now!

Adding to the list of "nevers", something I never thought about since I founded This European Life was to ask for money through the blog. It just did not seems possible that such a detached medium as online writing could have the power to bring any income. Ask any web journalist, however, and you will prove me wrong; ask Mark Zuckerberg; ask anyone selling anything on eBay: that glowing screen can turn intangible numbers into the groceries of tomorrow.

While many of you may have heard of platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, let me give you a refresher on the philosophy of crowd funding: it consists on proposing a project, usually backed by a video an a comprehensive list of perks, in exchange for small donations to make this project happen. In this light, I started to prepare for my Kickstarter project a few days ago, to only be disappointed at the fact that they will only allow US permanent residents to pitch projects.

For that matter, I dusted off my editing skills, took the Open Roads production camera, and sat in front of it for close to three hours trying to figure out what to say. I am quite happy with the result!


I edited it with a few pictures of my past road trip and my experience volunteering in Guatemala and Mexico, as well as the map that I am using to keep track of all the non-profits I want to work with.

This is how my project looks currently on Indiegogo.

Dear friends: I always feel awkward to ask for other people's money, but this time is the chance of a lifetime to make something wonderful happen. I would like to ask you for your support with my project, and I guarantee that, in return, you will get your due rewards as noted on the list in the website: anything from a secret photo album, to books, to drawn letters from exotic locations. I have a lot to give, to you, and to the world! Allow me the chance to make a difference in the life of others!

All help is welcome and deeply appreciated! I am very thankful that we have made it this far together, past the 50th detailed post on my life journey, and I can't wait to make another fifty, hundred, thousand posts appear, packed with beautiful images of remote places and narrations of spiritual resonance for everybody, regardless of your creed.

Thank you for your loyalty, and let's make this happen!

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