I hate labels…
I was once at a conference where during the ice-breaker everyone was asked the inaugural question:
So who are you?
People duly answered:
I’m a banker from London; I’m a retired dentist from Brighton; I’m a swan-wrangler from middle earth…
Okay, well maybe not the latter, but without exception, they all labelled themselves according to their jobs and careers. Now I hate labels, and the incessant need to define ourselves within such neat and categorical parameters. Yes, James is indeed a London banker but he’s also a champion fly fisherman, and has just gained his private pilot’s licence. Debbie was until recently a dentist but has also fostered 16 children and opened an orphanage in Cambodia. And Harry may well live in fantasy world most of the time, but his vivid imagination has just earned him his first published novel. Coincidentally about neither swans nor hobbits.
So when it was my turn to answer, the first thing that came out of my mouth was,
I love the rain, always burn the sausages and am just back from learning to plough paddy fields with buffalo in Laos!
Most of them didn’t get it, and immediately retreated to their corners, distancing themselves from the clown who was clearly asking to be sent to the back of the class in disgrace for non-compliance with social conformity. Yet one chap stayed to hear more, and after 10 minutes he had a whole host of ideas for his upcoming trip to Southeast Asia and my business card tucked away safely in his pocket. None of which he would have received had I told everyone about my day job instead.
Yet there are some labels I’ll proudly wear.
The El Camino Bracelet Review
You see I’ve discovered the El Camino Bracelet – a brilliant and innovative style of charm bracelet for travellers where the beads are uniquely engraved with countries and iconic landmarks. Perfect for globe-trotters and collectors, and even those who hate labels! It’s like a badge of honour. A cool yet subtle way of carrying memories of your journeys around the world with you every day.
I initially chose a double black band bracelet (there are several different colours) and after much deliberation decided on these as my first beads, or ‘steps’ as they are known:
Laos – where I learnt how to plough a rice paddy field with a water buffalo
Morocco – where we slept under the milky way in the Sahara
Swaziland – where we camped out in the bush and tracked rhino on foot
Mauritius – the best ‘slight detour‘ ever
My starter pack also came with some wooden spacers, and I added on some region steps for a bit of colour! I’m looking forward to collecting all my favourite destinations, and have already bought myself another bracelet (this time a single) to wear alongside my double. I also have my eye on the new ‘Ocean Steps’, which cover each major water expanse from the Pacific to the Southern Ocean, in gorgeous blue and white tones.
El Camino bracelet sizing
To determine your bracelet size El Camino suggest measuring your wrist then adding on 2-3 cm to allow room for the steps. I have pretty skinny wrists so ordered a 34 cm one (which included a 3 cm allowance) but already with just 4 steps the bracelet is quite snug, so I’d advise adding more like 4 cm as a minimum if you’re planning on adding lots of steps.
The only suggestions for improvement would be to engrave the country steps on two sides, because when they slide around on your wrist, often the writing is face down so all you see is a simple silver bead; and it would be cool to have the coloured region steps engraved too, as at the moment they just have the company logo on, so in effect are simply coloured beads. But at least with them being anonymous I can just choose the colours I like rather than having to stick to the regions I’ve visited!
I’m really looking forward to continuing my collecting journey with El Camino, and love showing my bracelets off to my traveller friends. So folks, if you’re reading this and are in the habit of buying me birthday or Christmas gifts, I still need several more countries for my collection!
Maybe some labels aint so bad…
El Camino Bracelet Giveaway
I’m delighted that the lovely folks at El Camino Bracelets have teamed up with Conversant Traveller to offer you the chance to win your very own travel bracelet along with two country steps and one of their new ocean steps.
How to enter the giveaway
It couldn’t be simpler. Just use the Gleam widget below to enter, completing as many of the options as you like. If you have previously completed any of the actions (for example if you already follow us on Facebook, Twitter etc) then feel free to have an entry for them!
IMPORTANT: Make sure you use the Gleam widget below to validate your entries.
Terms and conditions
No purchase is necessary to enter or win. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The prize is provided by El Camino and is a bracelet with two country steps and an ocean step of your choice.
This giveaway is open to a worldwide audience. Postage is included. No returns. The prize is not refundable or exchangeable for cash. The giveaway will run for 2 weeks starting on Monday 3rd December 2018 and end at midnight on Monday 17th December 2018. The winner will be determined on or around the 18th December 2018 by a random drawing of eligible entries received. Your chances of winning are determined by the number of eligible entries. Winners must respond within a week of receiving the notification email, otherwise another winner will be chosen. The winner’s email address will be passed to the giveaway sponsor in order to arrange delivery.
El Camino kindly provided me with my first bracelet starter pack, as well as the giveaway prize. All opinions remain my own, and I only feature products that I truly love myself.