After graduating from the University in 2005, Dan Spokojny and Justin Trauben wanted to avoid the monotony of a nine-to-five job, so they strapped on backpacks, bought plane tickets and started a video blog.

Angela Cesere
University alum Dan Spokojny looks out over a valley in Laos. Spokojny and fellow 2005 graduate Justin Trauben are spending six months backpacking around Asia and posting videos of the trip online. (Courtesy of vlogabond.com)

They begin a six-month journey through Asia this month. Their website, vlogabond.com, will feature footage of the countries and cultures they explore, all on what they call a “shoestring” budget.

The video blog, which they describe as a mini-documentary, will show the story of their travels. In an e-mail, the pair called the project “part reality TV and part adventure journalism.” The three-minute installments will be posted on their website every other week.

Through their sponsors – travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, Gregory Backpacks and travel blog website TravelPod.com – they received free travel gear and a chance at having their work featured on the Lonely Planet website.

Having arrived in India on Wednesday, Spokojny and Trauben will travel through Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand and Cambodia before heading northward to China and Japan.

Trauben and Spokojny said the aim of their trip is to embrace communities abroad and provide insight into societies that many will never see.

“We want to expose our contemporaries to new cultures, ideas, and ways of living,” they wrote in the e-mail.

They said they also hope to get involved with the communities they meet over the next few months.

“It is our duty as citizens of a global community to be aware of the issues and do our part in working towards solutions that benefit everyone,” Spokojny said.

Spokojny’s involvement with off-beat travel began when he was a high school senior. He led a group from his high school on a trip to Cuba. Last year, he spent two months in Asia, traveling around Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

“It was such an amazing experience,” he said. “Justin heard my stories and decided he needed to see it for himself.”

On his previous trip, Spokojny found it easier to record his adventures on a blog rather than send e-mails to his family and friends. That way, they all had access to the same stories and photographs. The video blog takes this idea a step further, letting everyone who’s interested see the footage.

Trauben and Spokojny said they do not foresee any major problems with the trip, although keeping their gear in top condition may prove difficult.

On their website, they wrote that their biggest fears are “losing our equipment, our passports, or our lives. In that order.”

Follow their travels at www.vlogabond.com

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