El Camino Bracelets: Taking My Travels With Me

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This is part of a series on my blog all about my favorite travel accessories for the wanna-be-stylish female traveler. Also check out my reviews of Speakeasy hidden pocket scarves, Allett travel wallets, and Tieks ballet flats.

Travel accessories

 

I've got a bit of an obsession with buying jewelry when I travel. It's uncommon for me NOT to pick up a new ring or necklace or pair of earrings when I visit a new place.

For example, my jewelry box currently contains:

  • A Claddagh ring from Ireland
  • Hand-painted earrings from Thailand
  • A blown-glass necklace from the island of Murano in Italy
  • A Greek-patterned ring from Santorini
  • A hand-made necklace from Croatia
  • Carved Maori bone necklaces from New Zealand
  • A leather bracelet from Greece
  • A black pearl ring from China

I love buying jewelry abroad, because it's actually a useful souvenir. Instead of sitting on a shelf or hanging on a wall, I can actually WEAR it. And, when I wear a lot of these things, people ask me where I got them and I get to relive some of those great travel memories.

But the problem is that I can't wear all of these bits and bobs at once. I would look ridiculous.

However, I've now discovered a way to wear ALL of my travel memories (or, at least my favorite ones) at once: with an El Camino bracelet.

El Camino bracelet

I first heard of these bracelets from another travel blogger. They're kind of a more streamlined version of a charm bracelet — but made for the travel-obsessed like me.

Basically, you buy “steps” for countries, regions, and even cities you've been to. (You can also get custom steps made for any other travel-related events or places you may want to remember.) You then put these steps on the bracelet, kind of like charms/beads on a Pandora bracelet.

The design is sleek and simple — not too flashy; neutral enough to more or less match anything.

I got a dark green double-sized bracelet (so it wraps around my wrist twice) and 3 steps to start with. I chose the USA and New Zealand (the two countries I've lived in) and London (my favorite city in the world) along with some spacers and a green region step that represents Asia.

El Camino bracelet

I've been wearing my El Camino bracelet EVERYwhere, and I love looking down at my wrist and being reminded of roadtripping across the United States, bungee jumping in New Zealand, and going to the Olympics in London.

I love this piece of jewelry so much that I decided to invest in a bunch more country steps and region steps to cover the 5 major parts of the world I've visited.

I've decided to have my bracelet represent ALL of my adventures (well, eventually…), but you could easily focus yours on a specific region or part of the world.

El Camino bracelet

Do you like buying jewelry that reminds you of your travels?

 

*Note: I did receive a free “starter kit” from El Camino, but I have since purchased more steps on my own — and will likely buy more! As always, I would never recommend something to you that I wouldn't buy for myself.

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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37 Comments on “El Camino Bracelets: Taking My Travels With Me

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  1. Looks great! I’m pretty similar, I always buy earrings when I travel. They’re small, unique and light, plus I have a ten dollar limit on them as I’ve lost quite a few over the years 🙁 My favourite is a pair I bought in Sarajevo, they are homemade and contain stones found in the Bosnian countryside. They’re almost too good to wear 🙂

      I have soooo many pairs of earrings from my travels! But yes, like you, I try not to spend too much on them since I tend to lose/break them easily.

    Well this is just adorable. Sadly, I can see myself spending waaaaaaay too much on this jewelry in the future 🙂

      Haha, you and me both! In fact, I just got a raise last week at my part-time job, and I celebrated by buying a ton more country steps… Yeahhhh, haha, these can get pricey if you’ve been a lot of places!

    Those bracelets are so cool! I have a Pandora one but I like the idea of these being more travel-related.

      Me too! I’ve never been really drawn to the Pandora ones, but these ones are so perfect for me!

    Ooh, these look great! I hate Pandora bracelets with an unreasonable amount of passion, but these look awesome. I think I have a problem with the rounded edges on Pandora.

    This’ll be perfect for when family wants my Christmas list. I never know what to say!

      Yeah, I’ve never been a huge Pandora fan, either. I think partly because each charm is SO expensive – I think usually around $50-$60 each! At least the “steps” on the El Camino are much more affordable!

      And yes, this would be a great gift! (Also be sure to check back in about 2 weeks, because I’ll be giving one away!)

    This bracelet looks beautiful and I love the fact it is travel themed. I used to collect “charms” (as well as was given them) when I traveled back in the 70’s & 80’s so have a couple of pretty cool charm bracelets but I’m sure I would get laughed at if I attempted to wear them now! I will never part with them though. I buy jewelry (mainly earrings) when traveling as well – usually from markets and I don’t spend much as I am notorious for losing one earring. I do love jewelry as a souvenir however because like you say.. it’s a special memory when you put them on, a conversation piece and also doesn’t take up any room in your luggage! I seem to get invited to a lot of jewelry parties (does anyone else hate those “at home” parties like I do?) and always decline saying I prefer to buy jewelry when I travel…but the El Camino bracelet looks like something I would wear.

      Haha, yeah, I have one obnoxiously gold charm bracelet from when I was younger that I’ll probably never get rid of, but that I’ll also probably never wear again! This is definitely an “updated” charm bracelet, which I love!

      And yeah, I’ve gotten invited to a few of those jewelry parties lately. But I’m like you – I like to buy things when I’m traveling (or buy really cheap pieces when I need them from Target… lol.)

    Amanda! I notice not many guys have replied to this so just wanted to say that this is a cool idea! I like the way each “step” is different and glad the company provided you with one – if anyone can promote it you’re the girl. It could take off! Good luck and safe travels. Jonny PS – As a male I’ll stick to wearing football shirts and collecting beer labels 😉

      Hahaha, yes, unfortunately my product reviews of late have definitely had a female slant. But thanks for the comment and for the confidence in my promotional skillz! 🙂

    These look great! Maybe I’m gonna give on as a present to my gf!

      That’s a great idea! I’m sure she would really like it.

    Thanks for posting this, Amanda! Those bracelets look amazing! I am also a huge fan of jewelry as souvenirs. I am absolutely gutted to have lost a necklace I bought in Ireland on my first visit to the Emerald Isle in 2008. I wore it almost daily for 6 years until the chain snapped a few months ago. I never recovered the pendant. 🙁

    I have dropped so much money on plane tickets and bus tours and hostels in the last couple of weeks, I’m not sure I can justify buy this for myself. But as luck would have it, my birthday is in a couple weeks. So I think I know what I’ll be asking for…

      There you go, Victoria! The perfect birthday gift for the on-the-go traveler!

    I soooooo want one of theeeeeeese!
    Just sayin’ 😀

      Haha, well you’ll have to enter the giveaway next month!

    I LOVE these! I’ve never heard of these before but what a cute non-tacky way to “collect” countries. Thanks for the review, I’m browsing their site now!

      Yeah, really not tacky at all, yet still a great way to kind of “show off” where you’ve been.

    What a great idea – might have to treat myself! Fantastic idea for a gift too

      Yes, these would make great gifts – if you buy one for someone who travels a lot, you’d never run out of gifts since you could buy them new steps for every holiday! Haha.

    WANT! So much. I mean, you should see my left wrist right now. I have 5 bracelets and two festival wristy’s on it. And an insane white tan line where they all sit, too!

    Love the bracelet! I’ll be looking for one. And I love your newly discovered blog! I recently put together a (long) necklace, attaching small items – silver Viking ship charm from Sweden, link from bracelet bought in Spain, bone whale’s tail from Alaska, etc. – from our travels with gold rings to a chain. It is centered with a pendant watch which belonged to a too-long-gone favorite aunt. It no longer runs, but permanently displays 5:00. How convenient! 😀

      Your souvenir necklace sounds really cool! I have so many things all around my apartment from my travels. It’s nice to walk by and be reminded of another time or place.

    I saw these on another of my favorite blogs. they are pretty cool!

    This looks neat… my Pandora covers some of my travels, but I’m very picky about what goes on it. I’m trying to lay out the steps/order I’d want one of these in!

      I really love mine – especially the fact that it’s 100% travel-centric! I ordered a bunch more steps a few weeks ago, and now it’s a little more than half full!

    I love that you can wear something like this to be reminded of your adventures.

      Yes it’s great! That actually reminds me that I have to buy a few new country steps!

    […] This is part of a new series on my blog all about my favorite travel accessories for the wanna-be-stylish female traveler. Also check out my reviews of Aroamas travel perfume sticks, Speakeasy hidden pocket scarves, and El Camino bracelets. […]

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