Making notes

photo credit: Silvia Sala via photopin cc

I haven’t written much about the Like a Local Magazine here or anywhere as it really just hasn’t seemed real to me yet. With it being a totally online endeavor (except for a VERY limited print release), it make the whole idea even harder to envision. But there comes a point after you’ve decided to jump into a crazy idea feet first when, after all of the initial excitement and fervor has died down, you realize you actually have to produce something. So that’s where I am and I wanted to let you guys into the madness a little bit because, frankly, it’s exciting!

The idea of the magazine originally came about during the Russky and I’s continual “so what would you do if you could do anything?” discussions during the early days of our freedom. I really enjoy writing but frankly when the idea of a travel magazine popped into my head, I was surprised. I had honestly never contemplated it consciously, but my subconscious had apparently been keeping it at the forefront, ready to brandish it when I had unlimited free time. So there it was.

The actual concept of the magazine came from my general relationship with travel magazines and blogs – and I hope other people share these sentiments so we can make Like a Local a success. What it boils down to is that there is just an overwhelming, chaotic amount of information in most big travel magazines or blogs. Glossy magazines cover locations all over the globe, usually with (what I feel) a skew toward older people and an unreasonably high price point. The big travel bloggers aren’t much better. One day they’re writing about ziplining in Costa Rica and the next about the street food they had in Vietnam. With a few exceptions, I never feel like I get much more out of either than a quick Google search might reveal to me.

I gravitate toward blogs where someone has a long-term connection to a country or city and can provide me with more information than just regurgitating a guidebook. So in comes Like a Local: beyond the guidebook. We’re going for free or low-cost adventures in just one city per issue and collaborating with locals and long-term expats to give you fresh ideas for your future trip – and great stories for everyone, even if you’re not planning a trip there. (Side note: if you want to see this concept done with infinitely more grace and culture, check out Boat magazine. Their focus is more on the arts rather than strictly tourist, but is AMAZING.)

Like a Local’s first city obviously had to be Moscow, a city near and dear to my heart over the past four years. (And one I’ll be returning to in a few weeks, it seems!) I’ve had the luck to get some amazing people to write for our first endeavor, like Anna, Sarah, and Rhea (among others!). I was also incredibly excited to snag Ksenia as a photographer – check out her Instagram, it’s beautiful! I’ve also roped in the Russky for the big task of putting everything together as our designer. (By the way, this time we’ve gone with a test design from Graphic River, but hope to be working with Kate at some point! I just didn’t plan ahead well enough this time!)

I have to be honest: I don’t know where I’m going with all this, except to give you all a little more information about our superproject and gush over the amazing collection of people I’ve met in real life and online who not only agreed to help me with this madness but in fact approached me first. Seriously: people are great.

OK, I’m wrapping this all up, I swear. I have a bit of a request/question for you all who may still be reading: Like a Local magazine has some great content and we need to make sure that content gets out to as many people as possible. I’ve got several people/organizations I want to approach, but do any marketing geniuses have any bright ideas about how to get a magazine more exposure? I’m a bit stuck in my bloggy ways and I’m not sure how to market an online magazine as effectively. Any thoughts will be much appreciated and rewarded with love and affection!

And if you have no intimate knowledge of Moscow or magazine marketing, that’s totally great too! Sit back, relax, and get ready: we’ll get to your neck of the woods soon enough!

Don’t forget to sign up for the Like a Local magazine’s e-mail list, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s a much-appreciated way to show your support. In return, we’ll try to reward you for your support as much as possible!