I think it was Audrey Hepburn who said, “Paris is always a good idea” but my first solo backpacking trip to Paris landed me in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. As scary as it was spending five days alone in a foreign hospital, my lifelong love for travel wasn't shaken.
Real travelers know that along with every Instagram-worthy moment comes grit. The truth is most of the time traveling keeps us outside of our comfort zones. We get lost. Things get stolen. There are moments we feel disconnected and just wish we could be at home sleeping in our own comfortable beds. But for many of us, the challenges we face outside of our comfort zones are what compels us.
One of my first ventures into uncomfortable territory was leaving my slow-paced hometown to chase the longshot dream of being a professional singer in California. I did the starving artist grind and eventually my music was featured in film/television. It was a dream being invited to perform in Asia, exploring beautiful places, being immersed in different cultures, trying unusual street food... but some of the places I stayed were filthy --I’m talking “better wear your flip flops in the shower,” actual bugs in beds, and sheets that had clearly not been washed.
I’m not just calling out hotels in Asia. Hotel rooms are dirty everywhere. An undercover expose here in the U.S. showed that 1 in 3 hotels were guilty of not changing sheets between guests. ONE IN THREE! And these were what we consider good hotels.
After being grossed out one too many times, I started bringing a sleeping bag liner wherever I traveled, from tented camps on an African safari to a bare bones beach hotel at a Costa Rican surf camp. But the liners I used were designed for camping. They were low quality. Some were made out of synthetic materials like polyester, that made me sweat. There were cotton ones, but those were too bulky and heavy. I found a few silk options but they were super thin and fell apart in the wash.
I realized the versatile travel sheet I wanted didn’t exist, so I decided I’d make it myself. I knew that silk was the strongest, softest, lightest material available, not to mention naturally hypoallergenic. I discovered the best mulberry silk was made in a tiny region in China and, never being one to half-ass anything, I went there. I toured factories, learned everything I could about the process, and after several months of trial and error created the best travel sheet on the market.
Brave Era’s 100% Mulberry Silk Travel Sheet weighs less than 6 ounces and folds down into a tiny pouch fitting easily into a small carry-on. When you get home, you can throw it right into the washing machine and it will air dry in about an hour. And since it’s premium quality silk, it will last through lots of washes.
I am so excited to finally have something nice that I can bring with me everywhere, from a weekend getaway in Mexico to glacier trekking in Iceland. I even bring it when visiting my parents (because the fabric softener they use always seems to make me itch).
I’ve gotten such an amazing response from other travelers who love it too --adventurers, flight attendants, couchsurfers, music festival-goers, gap-year takers, and business travelers. One dad gifted it to his daughter who was headed out for a semester at sea and some members of our armed forces are enjoying the added comfort while stationed abroad. I’ve been so inspired seeing pictures from travelers who have brought their Brave Era travel sheet with them on adventures all over the world. I can’t wait to see where you take yours.
I hope you'll connect with me on social media to share your travel plans and adventures.
Cheers to many adventurous days and peaceful nights!
Chief Exploring Officer at Brave Era