This is Our Story.
Five years ago an Australian, aged nineteen boarded a one-way flight to London. A combination of fear and excitement gripped him as he had no idea what he could expect to find on the other side. He had never left the comfort of his own country, let alone by himself. Having no friends or connections to stay with he checked himself into a hostel based on its fantastic online reviews. His excitement however, was short lived once he discovered he was to be sharing an eighteen bed dorm with a forty-something year-old crack-head.
After a quick beer and a chat with the bartender that worked below she informed him where to go to meet other backpackers. As events turned out she had no idea what she was talking about and he couldn’t help but think that she may be friends with his room-mate upstairs. It was in this moment that he started questioning his decision to leave the comfort of his friends and family to travel half-way around the globe. Although filled with doubt and confusion, with these series of events so too the idea of Backpackr was born.
Three years and thirty-eight countries later that same Aussie found himself in Kelowna, Canada where he decided it was time to stop partying and bring his idea to fruition. With the little money he had he hired a team of developers from India to start building an application. He’d had an idea of what he wanted to call it but as it was now being developed he had to decide.
After brainstorming with his good friend and house-mate he finally decided on Backpackr. The domain name was free and things were progressing as he’d always planned, until he stumbled across a Facebook page with 52 likes and a link to the domain backpackrapp.com.
At this point in the story I’m sure you can imagine the wave of emotions that he felt. Three years ofhis dreams and plans thrown out the window. He’d partied too hard and taken too long to bring his vision to life. After a lot of anger, frustration and tears (oh yes, he cried) he decided to man up and send an email to find out who had robbed him of his dream.
There wasn’t a company on the other side of the email. There wasn’t a corporation or a group of people working on the app. There was a 24-year-old Canadian who had recently returned from a trip to Sri Lanka.
Seeing the gap in the travel market and huge potential for a social network for backpackers (especially solo travellers) he put together a website and hired his own team of developers. He had the same idea. The same vision and would you believe it? The exact same name.
Call it fate, call it luck or call it what you will but he was back in Canada with a two-bedroom apartment and a room-mate that had just moved out. Three days and a plane flight later the complete strangers who shared the same dream were in the same town where they slaved away for the next six months to bring you Backpackr.
We couldn’t begin to tell you the obstacles that Backpackr has faced since its initial launch. As we are backpackers ourselves we have never had enough money to bring you the app we want. We have never had an investment or outside help. It has only been the two of us behind everything you see. We’ve juggled countless jobs to fund development and hosting costs and since our initial launch numerous apps with a lot more funding and backing have joined the market, one company even going as far to steal our source code when we were searching for a local development team.
A lot of these companies come and go and will continue to do so for we feel that only backpackers will ever truly know what it is that backpackers want. We don’t care about fame or fortune as we are just two simple broke-backpackers like you.
In recent times there has been a ‘lull’ in the enhancements of Backpackr as we were sucked back into the monotony of a normal life but your constant following and support has motivated us to get back on track with our dream, born so long ago. We’re back in the same city and working on releasing a major update which will bring us closer to the app that we know you’ll love.
With your help we are going to make this the app that every backpacker (and traveller for that matter) has on their phone. Facebook is for your social life. Linkedin is for your business life. Backpackr is for your travel life.
Ways you can help us.
If Backpackr is free how do we make money? … we don’t. If you’ve found yourself reading this, we want to start by saying thanks! We understand the importance of saving hard earned money for your travels so your help supporting the Backpackr community is greatly appreciated. There are a number of different ways you can support us which we’ve listed below.
Get some Merchandise
We’ve set up a merchandise store and any profit we make from the gear you buy goes straight back into making our app better for you.
We hate asking for donations, but we’d like to keep the app free forever so any donation goes straight back into the monthly hosting fees and app enhancements.
Spread the word
Just as broke as we are? The least you can do to support us is spread the word so we can continue to grow our community. The more users there are on the app the better it is for everyone.