The Story Behind Vagaband

My mum/boss/co-worker, Renata Pappin, is the woman behind Vagaband – but the idea didn’t come from nowhere…

I was about five or six when I got my first backpack – at the time it was pretty close to impossible to find one that would fit me, but somehow or other my mum tracked one down. Her whole life’s been dedicated to two things: teaching and travelling, so it made sense to combine the two before my brother and I hit primary school. They call it “worldschooling” now… they didn’t have a word for it back then. That’s how I caught the travel bug, and got used to a type of travel I’ve loved ever since: the kind where you never know what’s coming, where you expect the extraordinary, and where you never assume that things go “to plan”.

Our travels as kids showed us all the beauty in the world, but also that it’s not without risks… that’s why mum would always carry a little waterproof card in her pocket; she’d write her name, my name, my brother’s name and where we were staying on it – not because she expected disaster, just because she’s a mum… and mums worry.

You can probably see where this is going: as her kids got to be old enough to head off on their own travels, she realized we needed something just like that little waterproof card – one we couldn’t lose, one that wouldn’t be stolen, one that would be a comfort to both parents and their roving offspring even when they were worlds apart. That’s Vagaband.

As soon as I left school, I got onboard and brought my best friend along for the ride – together, headquartered at the family kitchen table, we turned Vagaband from an idea into a reality. We loved it, we grew it, we even managed to slap a patent on it. Happily enough, the people of Kickstarter were into it too: thousands of people around the world pitched in and put their faith in us to the tune of nearly £25,000.

Fast forward 14 months and more than 5,000 happy wrists – that brings us to right now. The team, the dream, the mission and the kitchen table are all the same, but the Vagaband has grown up – and, like the little kids who inspired it in the first place, it’s ready and waiting to see the world in all its chaotic beauty.

So, together, let’s make travel safer, simpler and more social for everyone.

Peace and love,
Walker (the source of all that lovely worry)