Why did I create and launch Backpacker College? The school of life is learning beyond the classroom.
It was 20 years ago today, St. Pepper taught the band to play. Any Beatles fan knows this reference (everyone else should too). I was 19 and just finished my first year at business school and was productive on almost every front, with the exception perhaps of academic excellence. By second year, I was disillusioned, bored, and even worse, uninspired. I had not done much travelling or exploring, and wasn’t exactly the most adventurous person, but I loved road trips and cottaging and knew there is much more about life to learn beyond the classroom. The world is big and amazing, and mine at that time was not (yet), and so came the idea to shift gears and go travelling.
I sold my car, paid my bills and my credit card, and with a round trip ticket and $500, I went travelling. I had a backpack full of gear and a travel guide. That’s where I learned how to play as John Lennon would put it, and the Backpacker College idea was born.
I want to share with you the motivation for why I started the Backpacker College. My dream business is to use technology to enable travel for every person in the world to gain similar positive global perspective by exploring what’s local.
Unique experiences and gaining self-confidence through independent travel gave me a renewed energy, even a bit of swagger, and a sense of purpose. I also grew to truly experience and appreciate the perspectives of others. The perspective gained from simple, affordable and independent backpacker-style travel is something I recommend to everyone. We all need this and I was recently reminded why. The spirit of music lives in every backpacker. It’s what brings us together.
I love business and travel and for me, Backpacker College brings these two things together. Business is something I’ve always understood very well – software to solve problems for groups of likeminded people or simply satisfying a person’s need or want – is something I’ve enjoyed for much of my career. Travel was my first real love. There’s something magical about it. Exploring new countries and cultures. Meeting great people in amazing places. Connecting with strangers in a random circumstance and helping each other. Travel, that get-away experience is something everyone needs and wants, whether they know it or not.
There are obstacles for many people from unhelpful websites, suspect ratings, and clumsy booking, to wondering where to start and where to stay. There’s a lot of noise online which doesn’t make it easier. However, cost and accessibility are the two most frequent obstacles that we can remove or make better as a business, to enable travel for almost anyone.
Backpacker College allows people to book a new class of affordable curated accommodation options in college towns and nearby, 12 months a year, and find fun things to do that are local and relevant to them. When the music of life plays, we want you all to sing along. Backpacker College is the new smartphone travel companion for budget minded travellers of today and tomorrow.