Obviously, the best souvenir from one’s travels is their experience and the memories made. Even with that, a lot of people like to have something extra… something that when they look at, it instantly brings back the memory of a certain trip. For many, that includes photos, wristbands, scratch maps, postcards and many other, various things. I for one, don’t really like spending money on the souvenirs, and the only things I really bring back from my travels are the experience, photos, and whatever free things I collect along the way.
I wanted to start getting at least one thing to represent each place that I go to, something small that I can look back and remember that certain city, or country where I went. Combined that with my love for wristbands, and that is how I found El Camino. I was randomly bored one evening and roaming the internet when I came across an Ad for a company called El Camino. At first glance, I was intrigued… “Your Travel Memories Will Never Leave You.” So I quickly Googled the company and found their site, which lead me to about 30 minutes of exploring, and reading up about the company and their mission, and I was sold! I immediately placed my first order, and followed all their social accounts. I hadn’t even received my bracelet, and was already a huge fan.
Now I know I am quite late to the El Camino bracelet as the company was formed in 2014, but better late than never right? For me, this was the perfect souvenir. As I enjoy wearing bracelets and wanted to find something to incorporate all my travels, this made perfect sense to buy. They had representation of every country you may have visited, along with other stuff to add. The El Camino is a bracelet where you purchase “steps” to fill up. Firstly, the bracelet itself is made up of 4 woven cords, ended off with a stainless steel clasp, engraved with the El Camino logo. The bracelets come in 7 different colours of; black, chestnut brown, forest green, purple, steel blue & turquoise. All bracelets come in either a single band, or double (wrapped around twice), giving you more options if you purchased a lot of steps. As for sizing, they have quite a helpful chart and suggestions to help you find the perfect fit.
The steps are a representation of the places you have been to or plan to go. The main steps are made of high quality surgical grade stainless steel, which are then engraved and hand polished. There are currently 240 Country steps, and as of writing this there are 37 small steps, but this is a growing list as the company is always taking suggestions to add new steps (if there is a demand). The small steps represent cities, states or landmarks. For example, if you visited New York City, but that was it, would you want a USA country step, or a New York step to represent the actual place you visited? I mean, it’s all up to personal preference, but I find this addition amazing as sometimes I visit certain cities in a country, but haven’t explored enough of the whole country.
If there is not a step that you want, you always have the option to get a custom step. The custom step can also be a representation of something you did there instead of being a city/landmark. Such as my Skydive Dubai one; the initial reason of my booking a trip to the United Arab Emirates. The custom steps can be either 29 characters (country step) or 32 characters (small step) long, which is plenty of room to play around with. In addition to each step bought, you are given a free spacer step, which is made of real coconut, and engraved with the El Camino logo. You can also purchase additional wood spacers (light or dark), which comes in packs of 4. These can be used to add a little variety to your bracelet. On top of all of these, there are also region steps. There are 12 region steps in total, which represent different parts of the world. These however have no writing on them, but the engraved El Camino logo. They are all made of glass, and are different colours. They let the colours do the talking. This way you can make them represent what you want!
I have written a lot about the bracelets and how amazing they are, but one thing I must talk about is the company itself. It was the company’s mission, and ethic that made me hooked on the brand. Started in 2013 by two backpackers, making their way from Barcelona to Monaco, Candace Kellough from Canada and Tom Lane from Britain came up with the idea for a unisex bracelet for travelers. They went back to England, and started to follow this dream and from there El Camino was born! Everything is hand-made by them, and created with love and care. There is no mass-production, or corporate ethics, and the only way to buy an El Camino is through their website. I find this ideology amazing, as it shows a true, genuine, connection with each and every product they sell, and also with their customers.
Personally, I have always been a supporter of independent businesses. There is just something more genuine about independent companies than corporations, and I would rather pay more to an independent business than to a corporation. The fact that Kellough and Lane, two travelers, are the ones behind this company means that they understand the traveler mindset and have made a great product to appeal to the other travelers worldwide. Before I end this review of an amazing bracelet, and company, I must give one last nod to their customer service. Because I placed my order, with a custom step, it was delayed a little (understandable), but because of this, my mind had changed twice, and I contacted them about the changes. In no time was I contacted by Candace to help fix my problem, and make everything correct. She resolved, and changed exactly what needed to be changed, then assured me that if anything else needed fixing, they would handle it right away.
I love my El Camino bracelet, and as of now, I still have another order to place as I need a few more steps. Due to the low Canadian dollar, the prices do add up for me, so I have to wait a bit, before placing my next order. Hopefully not too long!
Everyone should check them out at www.ElCaminoBracelets.com as well as following their social accounts:
Do you have an El Camino Bracelet? Let me know how you like it below.