I never leave home without my sun hat. It’s my all-time favourite travel gear.
My hat has hiked to Machu Picchu, down the Grand Canyon, through the fjords of New Zealand and along the rugged coastline of Tasmania. It’s explored Uluru, the heartland of Australia, wandered through Myanmar and visited the beautiful island of Bali several times.
It’s a great travel buddy because it’s made of soft straw so it flattens down for packing, plus it’s got wire in the brim so I can manipulate the shape if I want.
My hat’s saved me from scorching in the sun and I’d feel naked travelling without it. You can see from the photos it’s become pretty bent out of shape after so many years of fun and adventure.
Out with the old
I bought a pristine new replacement a couple of years ago but some things are hard to give up and I’ve had trouble letting go of my well-travelled one.
Sometimes though events force you to change habits against your will. I dropped my holiday hat in the ocean recently and it hasn’t quite recovered. It’s a bit stiff and sticky from the salt and has started to rust a little where the wire runs through it.
But instead of swapping out the old for the new, I’ve bought an entirely different travel hat. This one’s from Hurley and it was lucky enough to score a trip to Cuba and New York City recently. My original sits patiently on the laundry room hat rack looking a little sad and sorry, waiting for its next outing.
Don’t leave home without a hat
Over the years I’ve seen so many unsuspecting tourists scorched pink, red and burnt orange by the sun. They don’t realise what a potent weapon the sun can be.
This might sound preachy but I can’t stress enough the importance of protecting your skin from the sun. Even when I’m exploring big cities nowadays, I always wear a hat during the day.
It’s a legacy of growing up in Australia where melanoma is one of the top 10 most common cancers. I have olive skin yet I’m worried that one day I’ll pay for those early years of soaking myself in coconut oil and frying my body in the sun.
So get yourself a travel hat and protect your most important asset – you.