What else can you do but shriek with excitement upon receiving pre-packed Rimowa luggage filled to the bursting with Harlan and Holden clothes and shoes? Not much, I tell you. This outburst of gleeful yelling was down to the Philippines-based brand, whose goal is to make your life simpler, richer and easier by providing you with clothing that uses the least amount of brainpower to put together. The luggage was for a voyage, a voyage dedicated to the new Harlan and Holden Camino shoe – a light as a feather, rubber-soled slip-on made from canvas fabric that they were touting to be the comfiest shoe you could ever encounter.
What better way to christen the comfiest of practical shoes than on a trip of treks to the Kingdom of Bhutan? And this trip warranted its own hashtag #CaminoChallenge. Long on my bucket list, Bhutan is known for its famous Gross National Happiness Index – a key indicator for its government to measure the life satisfaction of residents. This tiny country, nestled in between the behemoths India and China, restricts tourists visas and celebrates eco-friendly farming, building and harvesting methods. Their number one resource is water-powered electricity which they export to India. And they love meat, but as Bhuddists they do not kill the animals, so instead they import meat from India. Their houses are painted with brightly-coloured symbols – including the penis, a sign of fertility but humorously jarring for most tourists, aka me. The Bhutanese are a generous and friendly bunch, best exemplified by the staff at our amazing hotel, the Aman Kora in Paro, located next to neighbouring capital city of Thimphu.