*This travelling memories post is a collaboration with El Camino Bracelets, but as usual, all views are my own
Travel is never about how long you spend in a place, rather how much you let it change you. When I left over four years ago to travel the world solo, I traded a life of things for a life of memories and I've never looked back. Over time, travelling memories become a currency among new friends, as stories are traded and connections are forged, eventually becoming their own tales. We all cling to our travelling memories like the precious jewels that they are. Keeping traveling mementos close can be difficult when you’re living out of a backpack, but it’s so important to keep a little piece of your experience with you. When you cut down on stuff, memories become all the more precious, and any way you can find to immortalise them is priceless.
It seems perfect timing that El Camino bracelets wanted to help me keep my traveling memories close when I am about to head back to the place where my solo traveling journey first began. Over four years ago, I touched down in Thailand and stepped into the chaos of Bangkok to start the adventure of a lifetime. With a flight booked home for exactly one year later, I already knew my traveling would not stop then. It was those first incredible moments – the vibrant colours of the temples, the sizzling of the street food stalls and the incredible noise of the city that made me fall in love with it. This was sensory travel at it's finest. Overwhelming and disorientating, I threw myself in the deep end and this craving for the unexpected twists and turns, is what has kept me travelling ever since.
In two weeks, I'll be heading back to Bangkok, this time to show some very special people why I love this city, and the rest of Thailand so much. I'm so excited to share this adventure and to share a country that will always have a piece of my heart. After the city, we'll spend the rest of the time down in the south on my favourite island, Koh Lanta, the place where I first turned my dreams into reality, sleeping in a little wooden hut on the beach, watching the waves from my bed and drinking fresh coconuts at sunset. After spending so long feeling so trapped in my life, it was like I could finally breathe, like I could finally be the person I wanted to be.
The team behind El Camino Bracelets have given me such a unique and beautiful way to keep my traveling memories with me wherever I go. Created out of sustainable products, their bracelets are made to survive your travels, no matter how much of an adventurer you are. More than anything, I love the company's values – this bracelet isn't a way of counting countries, it's a reminder of all the people you've met along the way.
We love travelling, we know how addictive it can be and that's why we started El Camino. Each country you've visited is an accomplishment and the country's name becomes more than just a name to you but a memory of everything you experienced there. Your El Camino is a way to keep track of the countries you have travelled to. It's a reminder to you, your friends and people you meet along the way of the memories you've created all over the world. – El Camino
I chose to represent both my past and future travels on this bracelet – with individual steps to represent the oceans I've swam in, the mountains I've climbed. There's one on there for Asia and another for Australia, both huge parts of my life that I will never forget. Each time I look at my bracelet, I'm reminded of all you amazing souls I met when traveling over there and what you all meant to me. There's also two steps on there for two upcoming destinations for later this year – I can't reveal these just yet but I'm so excited to share them with you.
Have you been to Thailand? How do you keep your travelling memories with you wherever you go?