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The World in Braclets


FIJI | Friday, 15 May 2015 | Views [194] | Scholarship Entry

I write this, half starved and in a bit of a pickle. I have lost my bank card and have $20 to last me five days until I can safely return home from my travels. Of course, I am looking forward to having a bank card, seeing my dog and the luxuries of home. Saying this, I doubt the novelty of being home will stay with me longer than a week- it never does. Despite being a poor backpacker, I have still managed to buy one of the things I never travel without- a bracelet.

The collection started when I was seventeen. I brought a small bracelet to remember a summer working in my town's twin town- Bamberg. It was a beautiful and long summer. We were all poor, but somehow when you are with other poor people, it doesn't feel so bad. We would spend days on end walking around the roads and alleys of the glorious Bavarian town, trying to discover new parts. There were bike trips around the surrounding area, the were days spent at the river swimming and when we were really poor, we would pick plumes in a field near our flats and make jam, clumbles and anything we could manage to turn into plum-food. Plum soup is better than it sounds.

At the end of the summer, I purchased a bracelet to commemorate my time in Bamberg. It was my first trip by myself and I could not believe how exciting the prospect of wandering through a new town was. In the split moment I chose that bracelet, I started a tradition.

Nowadays, I buy a new bracelet wherever I travel to. It never is fancy and on occasions, has led to green wrists. There is the metal band I brought in Sapa, my first trip to Asia- a place so exotic it was beyond my wildest dreams. Pakistan, Iceland, Greece, Canada, USA, Thailand, Turkey, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and of course, Fiji. The Fiji bracelet was made out of a coconut as the locals taught me how to do so- an experience I will never forget.

There are sadly, ghost bracelets. A bracelet from Berlin was lost after, spend 10 minutes untangling the bracelets, going through airport security. Another from Croatia was tragically lost at sea, never to be see again.

The bracelets are more than a travel treasure, they are a part of me. Boyfriends come and go, but the bracelets are always by my side. I can count twelve of them in the current candlelight. Each one telling a story of their own. So here are to all the bracelets, the past ones, the presents ones and the ones that are surely to come, from the adventures I haven't even thought of yet.

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

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