Hello to the New Year!
It’s no surprise that the past year has definitely been an unusual one, but now that 2021 is here it’s time to reflect back while looking forward to the year ahead.
As the founder of We Drifters, I’ve been reflecting on what inspired our start-up journey and what we can do to get a bit of inspiration for 2021. I like to define 'inspiration' as a pull rather than a push, it can be a sudden deep knowing of something or inspiration to act. For me, it’s closely intertwined with living life on your own terms – living and feeling aligned with your core authentic self, tapping into a sense of freedom, and acting when the moment feels right. Read on to find out how I was inspired to travel which led to the inspiration behind our Anti-Insect Sleepwear, and how I continue to tap into a source of inspiration from the comfort of my own home.
Growing up, living life on my own terms meant valuing my time. I would choose time over money – which meant time to myself over extra hours at my part-time job. I would use this time to do things I really loved: painting, dancing, seeing friends, and exploring new places. In my own small way, I felt I was doing things on my own terms. I was figuring out what was important to me and how I wanted to live my life. As the years went on, getting more independence came with more freedom to use my time how I saw fit. Leaving home for the first time to go to university just added to that sense of freedom, which I naively thought would only increase when I graduated, moved to London, and started my first proper job.
Fast forward a few years and I found myself stuck in the rat race: doing crazy hours, living for the weekend, and just not having time for the things that really mattered to me. Sometimes you need to hit a low for things to really shake up and change.
Making a change
One summer, having a drink with a few friends, the topic of travel came up. Travel had always been something I thought I’d do one day, but just didn’t have a plan on when. Also, I’d seen a lot of my friends backpack before starting their careers and kind of felt like I’d missed the boat. However, right timing meant that travel became my answer to the change that I needed. Getting stuck at work hadn’t been enough for me to make a change, but the idea of travel rapidly grew and I was inspired to quit my job and book a trip to South-East Asia!
Booking that trip was the best decision that I ever made, and on reflection, a bit of a turning point in my life. I now understand why we travel – it opens up so many avenues in ways we don’t expect.
I fell in love with the nomadic lifestyle, exploring new places and connecting with locals and fellow travellers. Travelling also gave me back time. Time to myself and the freedom to do things to my own timetable, living more in the moment and intune with myself. Looking back, I see it was a way for me to more easily be present and bring conscious awareness to my day. I was able to slow down, appreciate my surroundings and become more connected to myself and everything around me.
While there were certainly no regrets about taking the trip, there were indeed challenges while on it! The biggest thing I struggled with were bugs and getting bitten. I’d come prepared with sprays and a repellent sleeping bag liner, but the mosquitoes in particular just loved me...
I was in Vietnam when my bites turned into hives – an allergic reaction covering me from head to toe in red itchy patches. Then in Lao, I reacted badly to my antimalarials; which meant I had to stop taking them and be extra careful with trying to not get bitten by the mozzies.
It was there in Lao, when I was ill and not sleeping from struggling to fit into my very restrictive repellent sleeping bag liner, that got me thinking – how much better would it be to have a liner that fits to your body to help keep bugs away? This idea kept coming back to me for the rest of the trip and I made a mental note to revisit it later. It was here where my inspiration started.
A new adventure
When I returned to the UK, I was determined to hold on to that sense of freedom you get when travelling. So, I started a new adventure and switched to freelancing and started exploring my idea for bug free clothing, to turn my bad experience into something good. I also wanted to connect with travellers and stay in the headspace of using my time on my own terms. This led to the creation of We Drifters.
A ‘drifter’ is defined as a person who is continually moving, which I like to interpret in a positive way as someone continually expanding and growing. We Drifters is for those of us who crave the freedom to live life on our own terms, to keep moving in-line with our core authentic selves. Whether that’s travelling the world or doing whatever it is you truly love to do. We want to keep drifting on what is our own path in life. Through sharing our community’s experiences and stories, we hope We Drifters inspires people to travel (when it’s safe and possible to do so of course!), and live a more balanced life with self-care and wellbeing at the heart of it.
Also, after years of research and development, we finally developed the Anti-Insect Sleepwear, which was inspired by that first trip. It’s made from soft bamboo fabric and anti-insect technology, which together is designed to give you peace of mind and empower you to adventure wherever your wanderlust takes you. It also makes for the perfect loungewear for staying comfy at home.
For me, travel inspired my start-up and gave me back my sense of freedom, which I’m so grateful for. As much as I still love travelling, I now look for other ways closer to home to tap into a source of inspiration and a sense of freedom, which has become incredibly useful in these challenging times when travel may not be an option. I’ve found the source really is within and freedom is a state of mind – finding ways to be more present and mindful each day can help empower that state. When I’m consciously aware of the present moment, I can more easily focus on things I appreciate, and direct my thoughts and feelings in a more positive way. This came naturally when I travelled but can be practised into a habit at home. I find that when I’m being in a more aligned state and feeling good, I’m more aware of my intuition and ideas just flow.
I’m now a firm believer that inspiration can come anywhere you are, but the source is always within and you can control the state you are in to help tap into your inner self more easily. The start of a new year is a great time to explore new practices to find out what works for you, and to build new habits for a more empowered you! I remain hopeful and eager to travel the world again, but in the meantime, I’m happy appreciating where I am right now in the present moment, wherever I am. I’d love to know where your inspiration comes from!
Become a Drifter by joining our Facebook group to share your travel inspiration and your stories!
Disclaimer: We Drifters is not promoting travel during the lockdown period, please check local news before travelling.