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.
El Camino Bracelet Giveaway – perfect for Travellers
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.
The bracelets are so beautiful and amazing. I would love to win one.
My first step would be Malta, as I have some great family memories from there.
I think id like to start with my heritage so an Australia or Oceania region step and a Republic of Ireland country step. This is a great idea. Perfect as a gift with one or 2 steps, then lots more room to add on. Might get one for my children. They can add as they grow!
My first step would be Japan as it’s top of my bucket list.
Would be Mauritius. I have family over there and been a long time since I have seen them 🙂
This would be the perfect gift for my daughter who graduated from Uni this year and went off travelling in November. She’s having an amazing time and so far has been around Thailand, Singapore and currently in Bali before heading to Australia for Christmas! Not at all jealous!
The Seychelles would be nice … I can dream lol. Thanks for the chance to be your lucky winner
I already have an El Camino bracelet so would love one for my hubby and would get him Dominican republic as it’s where we got married
The England Country Step
my first step greece such an amazing place we go every year i love it
I’d pick Scotland as I’d always wanted to go there and finally got the chance last year!
Where to start? Nepal I think!
I think it would have to be Italy first.
what a lovely idea! I’d love the Australia Region Step bead
I would love to win this for my daughter and let her pick her beads 🙂
Pacific Ocean, Tuvalu and Thailand
France and Greece
Iceland and the Arctic Circle
Those bracelets are a fantastic idea! My first step would have to be the UAE.
fuerteventura, the first time my husband and i had been abroad together, and also our honeymoon
France where we went on our 25th wedding anniversay!
These bracelets are gorgeous! I think the first steps I’d add to mine would be North America and Cornwall – both special places in my heart!
Australia and New Zealand would be my first choice as they are home to me.
I would add the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains (Adventure step) beads.
I’d choose Spain and Greece! Thank you!
I would gift it to my daughter as it comes.
I love this idea. I’ve been to a fair few places and it would be nice to celebrate this.
My first steps would be the places that my husband and I have adventured together. It’s our 20th anniversary in a couple of weeks. This is such a brilliant idea! I’ve had lots of adventures, but the best have certainly been the past 20 years of adventuring with my love and our amazing adventurous family that we have created! Some of our favourite travel adventures have been Nicaragua, Spain, Canada… those would be my first steps.
Sounds like between you quite a few bracelets will be needed 🙂 Some great suggestions there!
France, where we went for our First Anniversary , and Belguim where we spent our second
London to support my own country as a great place to live
Love London, great suggestion!
Scotland my home
What a fabulous place to live!
Italy as I haven’t seen my Italians cousins for over twenty years x
Just back from beautiful Mexico, so thats for me 🙂
“Morocco” would be my choice for the first ‘step’. We were planning to visit Morocco next month but have postponed the trip until the Minister of Foreign Affairs stops issuing travel warnings about Morocco.
I am going to Greece next. I love these especially for my adult travelling children
New Zealand for me!
Switzerland – Beautiful
I love these bracelets
These are so cute! Mine would be Thailand as I am off there in September and I am soooo excited
Oooh, have a fab trip!
Love these, gorgeous El Camino bracelet and I would start with Paris
Derby!!! A bit out there I know, but it’s where I’m travelling to next to see my son and grandsons!!!
Not out there at all, why not! It’s also my old neck of the woods too (grew up in Derbyshire)…have a lovely time!
Alaska. The Last Frontier.
Australia for me. My mums family came back to the uk in 1972 after emigrating as $10 pommies. Iv only been once myself but feel i know it as well as my mum from the wonderful stories she would tell us as children
Wow, what a history, I can see why you’d want Australia! How lovely!
Australia so I can work my way back up.
Ha ha, I like your style!
So cool! I would love to keep my holiday memories close even when I’m at work or doing something boring. So much nicer than a normal charm bracelet. Goregous!
Scotland – looks a lovely place.
Austria – we had a vulture watching holiday in the Austrian Alps last summer and can’t wait to get back there.
Wow that’s a different kind of trip!!!
Mine would be Turkey. These bracelets are so adorable!
What a lovelyidia, I would start Iceland, my birthplace.
Great choice! Love Iceland, how wonderful to come from there!
I’d pick Thailand, the only place I’ve been back to more than once.
i like the London one 🙂
I’d pick Scotland too. There’s so much to see right on our own island.
I would probably go with Beijing – my first international trip after I became a wheelchair user!
I’d love a London one, where I met my husband and our adventures together began!
Scotland – It’s on my bucket list!
My first step would be Rome then Florence, Paris & London, Dublin & N. Ireland
It would be so hard to pick which step to add first!! Do I start at the beginning of my travels and go with the USA? Or my new(ish) home of Australia? As I already have a charm bracelet with something from everywhere I have been, I think i would probably use The El Camino as a wish list to inspire and encourage me – which narrows down my choices to Myanmar & Burma.. and probably over 100 other places!
I am planning a trip to Churchill in Canada so that would be a step I’d love!
Lovely! My first step would be….. Paris! My first reaction was that to enter the contest I needed to do ALL of those things and that it was the most intense entry form ever. Whooops :p
what an amazing prize and what an amazing gift it would be for my beautiful daughter who has been away seeing the world for the last 12 months….Australia will hopefully be her final stop….for this year anyway! so many charms will be needed that Christmas sorted for years to come.
Haha that was such an awesome response! We hate labels too that’s why we’re renegades though!
I love the idea of these bracelets. Some many people I’d like to get one of these for. Thanks for the great idea!
The bracelet looks great…By the way: I am Arzo and I love traveling 🙂
I’ve seen these before! A cool concept, and definitely a conversation starter!
Who am I? Looks like such a simple question, but anyone can write a book answering that question.
This is such a wonderful giveaway! I couldn’t just pick one step for my first bracelet. I’d have to pick three. Italy because it was the first country I ever visited. London because it was the first place I visited abroad on my own. Lastly Canada because I’m moving there in August and it will be my first time living abroad ☺
I have this scheduled to be shared this evening on my blog’s Facebook page It’s A Travelful Life.
3 is better than 1, agreed! Good luck with the move, so exciting to relocated abroad, I’m sure Canada will be amazing!
Such a wonderful idea and cute keepsake!
What a brilliant idea! The bracelets are absolutely gorgeous. My first “step” would have to be Spain.
I love this! I don’t wear much jewelry when traveling but I can see myself using this. My first step would be the Philippines 🙂
I don’t really wear jewellery either, but make an exception for my El Camino 🙂 The Philippines is a great start!
What a great idea! It’s small and beautiful, and meaningful. 🙂
Love this! New Zealand would be my first step as a reminder of my amazing honeymoon and my final adventure before little miss arrived. Looking forward to more adventures once she’s a bit bigger!
A great way of reliving those honeymoon memories! Hope you all get to enjoy some adventures together soon!
Machu Picchu would definitely be my first because Peru was the first country I traveled to!
Great choice! We were there on our honeymoon so I have one of those steps too 🙂
I like the look of the double band, but I’d be worried about it getting too tight as I added beads to it. If I were to pick my first step, I’d probably choose Machu Picchu.
You’re right, it does, which is why I’ve suggested getting a bigger one than you first think. Personally I prefer my single band one, fits so much better!
These are so cool and such a great way of remembering your travels! I actually make it a point to pick up an ornament from everywhere I go — preferably handcrafted locally — so that come Christmastime, I have an excuse to remember all of the places I’ve been.
Yeay, another trinket collector! Our house is full of souvenirs, trying to cut back which is why the bracelet is such a good idea!
Interesting concept, probably going to weight after several countries!
I love that bracelet concept! My first step would be Japan simply cause it’s my dream travel!
Fingers crossed you get to go some day!
Oh yes please, I love these! I think Kathmandu would have to be my first step! 🙂
I think it would!!
Oooo this is so cool, though I dont think I’d be able to choose which beads to have, there are so many, I’d have to get them all!!!
You can always get more than 1 🙂
I’d get Barcelona as my first step, it was my first ever solo trip!
It was mine too!!!
That bracelet looks awesome! It was make a great gift.
What a brilliant idea, my first “step” would be Scotland to remind me of the wonderful holiday with my wife and daughter last year
Holidays in Scotland are always wonderful, great choice! No matter where we travel in the world, we always come back to Scotland as it’s one of our favourites.
This is awesome! I am always looking for something to collect from my travels especially now that I am traveling more. I think my first step will be Iceland. The trip is coming up and it will be my first solo trip! Something I’m very excited about. Can’t wait to learn about myself and the land.
Oooh, Iceland is a good once, it’s a fascinating place, hope you have a great time!
Oh these look so lovely! Entering now, thanks for sharing 🙂
Would love one as a reminder of my travels …. My first step would be antigua as thats my most memorable holiday
How exotic! Great choice 🙂
I love this idea! I have to order a pair of Jo and myself!
Birthday and Christmas presents for ever more!! 🙂
I love this! I may have to get an El Camino bracelet for myself. (Fingers crossed they ship to USA!)
These are awesome! I want one! And I might end up buying some for gifts for Xmas this year for travel-loving friends 🙂
Me too, though I suspect some of them might not make it as far as the intended recipients and end up on my wrist instead 🙂