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almost fearless magazine review

I’ve been following blogger Christine Gilbert for a few years, even taking her online blogging courses back when Travel Fearlessly was just getting started.  So when she announced last summer that she was starting a travel magazine called Almost Fearless that was just for parents I immediately signed up.  Since I’m a fan of print magazines I subscribed to the digital and print bundle which included 4 seasonal issues as well as numerous printed travel guides for $79.  Unfortunately my subscription has so far fallen short of my expectations.

almost fearless magazine review

The magazine was off to a bad start with numerous delays in publishing.  When I subscribed in August the first print issue (fall) was set to be released in September with the winter issue arriving in December.  The fall digital issue came out in early October but there were delays in printing the hard copies.  Like, A LOT of delays.  In the private Facebook group created for subscribers there was frustration over the lack of communication regarding the magazine.  Subscribers were panicking about Christmas gifts that likely wouldn’t arrive in time.  Others were angry at the general disorganization.  Some demanded refunds.  Complaints became so numerous that the moderators of the group began deleting posts and comments en masse, further infuriating everyone.

Finally the print magazine came out.  After Christmas.  By then fall had come and gone but many of the articles were still somewhat relevant.  Subscribers were satisfied and the editors promised the winter issue would be released in January along with the first of the travel guides.

It’s now March.  I have no winter issue.

In February I emailed the support team at Almost Fearless to inquire about the status of the winter issue, which had not been released in digital or print form.  I received no response.  I inquired in the private Facebook group but by then the moderators had decided to approve all posts first.  They never approved my post.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  I tried asking on the Almost Fearless Facebook page.  Again, my post wasn’t approved and I received no private communication about my subscription.

To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement.  This magazine wasn’t exactly cheap but it’s not even really the money that I’m angry about.  I’m angry about the lack of communication and customer service by the editors.  Delays happen, everyone knows that.  And issues will surely crop up with the release of a new magazine.  But to go dark and leave all your subscribers hanging is completely unacceptable.

What really takes the cake, though, was the magazine’s recent fundraiser.  In the midst of all the delays during the fall issue the magazine editors decided to run a Kickstarter campaign in November.  To get more subscribers and advertisers, they said.  Would I, as a current subscriber, please help out?  That was a little ballsy considering I hadn’t even received my first magazine, now two months late.  In the end Almost Fearless exceeded their $10,000 fundraising goal for the campaign.  So why are there STILL delays?

Whew.  Now that I’ve finished my rant let’s move on to the actual magazine.

Almost Fearless is a beautiful magazine, well thought out with lists of festivals, books, and even houseswapping opportunities.  However many of the articles are what I would consider extreme family adventure.  Multiple pages were devoted to fearless families living out of RV’s or traveling around the world as nomads.  It was an inspiring article but grouped with other pieces about hiking to Everest Base Camp or WWOOFing with your kids was a little much.

For parents who travel extensively with their children this magazine can provide valuable information to take the next step to family adventure travel.  However parents who are just getting their feet wet with family travel won’t find many useful articles in this magazine.  The Almost Fearless tagline is “An Adventure and Travel Magazine for Parents”.  I just felt it was a LOT of adventure and not much of anything else.

almost fearless magazine review

Don’t get me wrong, so many kids love adventure.  I was surprised at how much Stink enjoyed spending a month in Costa Rica.  But she also really enjoys cultural activities, food, and amusement parks.  I was hoping this magazine would have had a little bit of that, especially since those are the topics that are constantly being discussed in the private Facebook group.

The Verdict:  The magazine is a perfect fit for very adventurous parents but due to the constant delays, lack of communication and hefty price I would not recommend this magazine.

Good to Know:  If you’re still interested in subscribing you may want to do so soon.  It looks like the pricing is going up at the beginning of April.

Child Friendly?  Almost Fearless is a travel magazine geared toward adventurous families but it’s not a magazine that kids would find interesting to read.

Are you a subscriber of Almost Fearless?  What are your impressions of the magazine?

25 Comments

  1. You know I am so glad you wrote this. have you received any new issues yet? I have not and still am trying to reach someone. Their office is in Seattle and I live in Seattle so I plan on going down to the office to see what is going on.

  2. same here, so glad to hear I am not the only one. Since it’s pretty hard to get their attention, I am debating sharing my experience in worldschooler facebook group…

    • I’m going to share it with as many people as possible. Just search #almostfearless on Twitter, you find a ton of irate freelancers who haven’t been paid for their work, some since September!

  3. I did not subscribe to the magazine. However, I did purchase two of her courses. I’ve had no access to either since about September. I’ve contacted CS several times without any success. I’ve had to kiss those hard earned dollars goodbye. I couldn’t believe it when I started receiving emails for the magazine kickstarter. The fact that she was able to raise the ten grand (plus) is mind boggling. It’s no secret that she has scammed many people. I don’t understand why she still has such a stable of supporters.

  4. I didn’t subscribe to the magazine but I purchased several of her courses that were never completed. No word on when or if they ever will be. I finally went through PayPal’s claims service to get money back for the most expensive one. But what’s worse is that I worked as a social media intern for the first issue of the magazine on the promise of receiving a coaching call when it was finished. I thought she would actually teach me about social media marketing. Nope. She just said “This is what I want. Make it happen.” Needless to say that coaching call never happened. It’s one thing to waste money as you can usually get some back but you can never get back time and I gave her a lot of my time.

    • This is what is bothering me as I research more about the situation. Christine said she invested a lot of her own money to start the magazine but it seems that she used mostly interns to write the first issue. And the few freelancers she hired for some stories went without payment for months afterward. So between her investment, the free interns and the money rolling in from subscribers there should not have been as many delays in the rollout. And now the entire company has gone dark. No Twitter updates, no courses, nothing.

      I know that in the fall Christine announced that she was getting divorced and I understand that it has to be stressful but it’s no excuse for leaving thousands of customers without promised products and services.

  5. I’m a subscriber. I too have emailed support numerous times, initially receiving vague answers on when we would be seeing magazine and guide releases, and now there has been no answer. The magazine and guides sounded amazing and I was so excited for them, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if we never see another release. You just don’t make that many broken promises and then eventually cut off all communication with your subscribers. The only communication that subscribers have received recently has been about the change in magazine pricing, with no mention of the many months overdue guides and magazines, and not even any weak assurances that they are still working on it. Bitter disappointment 🙁 The only upside is the AMAZING community – such a great place to ask family traveling questions!

    • I am reading through these comments with intrigue and unsure how someone can operate in this way. I’m in the adventurous travel space so I have been following this launch and rollout with interest. I noticed your comment Jen, so if you want family travel questions answered in a friendly FB group, without supporting this venture then pop over and say hi in ‘our tribe travels’. It’s a really friendly active group FB of over 5,000 families. A very lovely bunch 🙂
      Would love to welcome you.

  6. When she emailed me and asked me to write for this rag for….wait for it….a whole 1 hundred dollars…I knew this publication was going nowhere. Shame so many punters were conned. She’s a fake.

  7. I’m just disappointed. I really enjoyed Christine’s book, thought she and her story/concepts were great. Happily backed and promoted the Kickstarter. I wouldn’t even care that the mag was late if they were communicating. Instead the only updates I’ve had are when I’ve chased. And now I discover I’m not the only one. Didn’t pay a lot for the subscription but guessing im never going to see that money now.

    • I agree. I’ve been following her ever since she biked the Euro Velo years ago. I took her courses, bought her book, loved her writing. So I’m extremely disappointed but that’s turning to anger now that I’m realizing how many people have been burned by her. Not just recently but in the past as well

  8. that is so disappointing! Both on the timing and the content. I almost subscribed. Clearly we need to start a family TRAVEL mag!

  9. Thank God im not the only one!!!
    Im so fustrated and sad at the fact that it feels like she has scamed soooo many people. I really idolized this woman.

  10. I haven’t received anything either, I believe it’s been around 4-5 months since singing up, no response to communcation either 🙁

  11. So glad to see I am not the only one!! I just opened a American Express dispute because we have yet to receive one issue. We signed up in December. No one responds to the emails. DON’T subscribe!!

  12. I finally got the fall issue at the end of January. I’m so disappointed and am also thinking of disputing the charge with my CC company. I’ve emailed and sent messages and haven’t heard anything back since December.

  13. She has a very bad reputation for not following through with ANYTHING. I read 6500 subs for magazine = a lot of money! Very dodgy and very sad for the entire family travel community.

  14. Wow, this has been really eye-opening! I’m glad I didn’t subscribe or buy her courses.

    I did use to really envy how she seemed to keep so many balls in the air -constantly= between that documentary they made, courses, blog, etc, etc, and now I see it’s all smoke and mirrors and poorly executed or not executed at all.

    My feeling is she subscribes to the “pre-sell, then build it!” philosophy and “quit your job and travel and do anything!” game but in reality, it’s not sustainable. At least not in the way she depicts it or without stumbling into the right niche before it’s super saturated. I kind of doubt she would have that success walking into the marketplace now, but she’s telling people they can.

    It also tells me most bloggers are probably doing this. That whole mentality of “anyone can be an expert” or “anyone can make courses and content” is just a huge disservice to online marketing and content marketing as a whole. I think you can be successful, but not the way she lays it out there.

    Blogs are the new MLMs.

  15. I had the same experience! Never received a magazine. Tried to cancel never got a refund. She is basically a thief.

  16. My experience basically mirrors yours, subscribed in August, watched all of the delays (I get it) got the fall issue in December and have not received anything since – no emails, no digital copies, no guidebooks. I’ve contacted them through all of the possible avenues via their website and Facebook with absolutely no response, in fact, the last time I tried to submit an email via the web site it just kept giving me an error message and would not allow me to submit anything! I feel like this magazine has great potential but am extremely disappointed in the customer service. Unfortunately for me the time to dispute the transaction with my CC company has long passed so now I’m out my $79 bucks which sucks.

  17. me too!! NO RESPONSE!!! I’m going to dispute it on my credit card. We should all get our money back! I didn’t even get the first issue you received! The website doesn’t take messages, no Facebook response, no email response. SO FRUStrated!!!

  18. File a claim with your credit card company!! Thats what i finally had to do after several attempts at reaching out with no response.
    The card company refunded me the money and will take up the claim with them.

  19. I to have subscribed earlier last year before the initial magazine was set to be released. I did receive the first one and was promised to have the others soon to follow. I have contacted customer support a few times, I can’t log in to the member portal anymore nor retrieve a password. I appreciate Brieanna’s comment I may have to go the route with the credit card company as this appears to be somewhat sketchy at this point. Glad to see I’m not the only one who has been slighted.

    I do agree though the magazine that I did receive was well put together and well written, a shame.

  20. Hi

    This couple are known for falling short and basically scamming.

    As you can see from the above they’ll take your money and just not deliver and not respond when questioned.

    They are known by many in the community as people to avoid, ESPECIALLY FINANCIALLY. Well done on speaking out, most bloggers refrain due to these two being seen as the big dogs.

    Here is examples of what I know.

    Affiliate payments not being made…..in the years gone by. Some got something but settled for a lesser amount than due, after giving up complaining.

    Entering in to other business ventures with other bloggers. Not fulfilling their duties and actually walking away with cash leaving the others to pay back the customers.

    Writing courses abroad very expensive and poor quality. More a worshiping base for smaller bloggers to admire the top dogs. Anybody questioning quality, left out of the “in crowd” and made to feel less worthy.

    Selling of other peoples writing property (with permission) but denying anything was sold, despite plugging for months.

    I’m sure there is more and I’m sure this venture will fall through completely and you all will find yourself out of pocket.

    These people have no morals. Shout high and deliver low. Look at their website. At first looks glossy, impressive and professional, spend a bit of time, look on it on different devices and see how quickly it’s been knocked together to generate a profit. Their contact form doesn’t even work, but one would imagine that it has been disabled due to incoming complaints.

    I hope I am wrong…….but word to all…..DO NOT KICKSTART anything these guys are involved with. They are rich…from the pockets of readers, bloggers and the gullible.

    Anybody with a similar story should name and shame!

  21. I subscribed to the magazine 5 months ago. And, have gotten nothing!!! I filed a complaint with BBB.

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