In 2002, at the age of 19, Rhiannon left Australia for the first time, to travel around Europe during her University summer break. Immediately bitten by the travel bug, Rhiannon then spent the next 10 years backpacking over 80 countries, at a time when Facebook didn’t yet exist and the Lonely Planet was often the only reliable source of information on the roads less travelled. Realising that a life of travel couldn’t quite pay the bills, in 2009, Rhiannon went to live in London for 5 years.
Over those years in London she continued backpacking, staying in a total of 300 hostels during her travels. Rhiannon found a hostel common room to be one of the most fascinating places to meet people in the world and as she travelled, friendships from all over the world started from conversations in random city hostels.
Yet as she continued to travel past 2010, Rhiannon noticed that with the rise of AirBnB there were more 18-35 year olds travelling than ever, but often in a new location, when travelling alone, it was hard to discover where they were.
Further, with the rise of social media it was easier to travel solo and be entertained, which meant old fashioned word of mouth, so important to a traveller, was now replaced with travel blogs, but often the great content was lost within the back pages of Google.
In 2013, Rhiannon left London and travelled for 6 months, passing through Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Myanmar and Japan before settling down in Sydney. Along the way, it became apparent, there still was no popular mobile application that allowed you to meet travellers when you arrived in a location, share the cost of travel with those who wanted to do the same thing and that allowed you to see who might also be in a city the same time you would be there, ahead of time.
With a passion to change this, that only a Global adventurer would understand, she formed the initial concept of Travlyfe and Travltalk in January, 2015.
It took a product pivot, a move from Sydney back to London and the undying belief the world needed Travtalk, to bring the application to market.